Lakers News: LA Needs Steve Nash Back as Soon as Possible
Lakers.com’s Mike Trudell reported via Twitter:
Nash is going to be re-evaluated next weekend to see if the non-displaced fracture in his leg has healed.— Mike Trudell (@LakersReporter) November 17, 2012
The point guard’s reunion with Mike D’Antoni has been one of the top storylines surrounding the Lakers' coaching change. This reunion is bound to be successful, as D’Antoni is clearly a different coach when he has Nash as his point guard.
With Nash, D’Antoni went 232-96 (.707 winning percentage) and made the playoffs in every season with Nash as his floor general. After moving to New York, D’Antoni went 121-167 (.420).
Nash is the perfect PG for D’Antoni’s system, and although it has been four seasons since the two were together in Phoenix, it will not take long for Nash to fall back into his old habits and execute his old coach’s scheme at a high level.
However, the rest of the Lakers will need time to catch up. Kobe Bryant and Pau Gasol grew accustomed to the Triangle under Phil Jackson, and this offense is slow-paced and focused more on half-court sets.
The Princeton offense, which the Lakers attempted to institute this offseason, is similar. Now, Bryant and Gasol will need to learn to be effective in an extremely different system.
How will the Lakers do this season with Mike D'Antoni as coach?
As the discrepancy between D’Antoni’s record with the Suns and his record with the Knicks suggests, his system is far more effective with Nash at the helm. Los Angeles will not be able to truly adjust to the speed and timing of this high-powered offense until they are playing with Nash.
In addition, Bryant is 34 years old, Nash is 38 and Dwight Howard is coming off back surgery. These players will need to have their minutes managed in order to ensure that they are ready for the postseason.
With age and injury as omnipresent concerns, the Lakers' time to get comfortable with this system is not abundant. Ultimately, D’Antoni’s offense will be an excellent fit for the L.A. roster. Nash is clearly ideal to run the show, while Howard’s athleticism makes him a perfect pick-and-roll partner.
Gasol, meanwhile, has the versatility and vision to excel at the elbow, like Boris Diaw did during his time in Phoenix. Lastly, no offensive scheme has ever been conceived in which Bryant cannot be effective.
However, it will take time for these stars to gel while running this fast-paced system, and as long as Nash is out, this progress will continue to be delayed.
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