Steve Nash Injury: All Pressure Is on Star PG to Right the Lakers' Ship

Timothy RappFeatured ColumnistDecember 18, 2012

LOS ANGELES, CA - NOVEMBER 16:  Injured point guard Steve Nash #10 of the Los Angeles Lakers follows the game from the bench against the Phoenix Suns at Staples Center on November 16, 2012 in Los Angeles, California. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement.  (Photo by Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images)
Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images

All season long, he's been cast as the future savior of the Los Angeles Lakers.

The team limped out to a slow start?

Wait for Steve Nash to get healthy and see what happens.

Pau Gasol seems like a poor fit paired with Dwight Howard in Mike D'Antoni's system, and logically remains the team's best trade piece?

Wait for Nash to get healthy before giving up on this team's chemistry and dealing Gasol.

Don't like that The Hobbit was shot at 48 frames per second?

Wait for Nash to get healthy so he can cure your headache.

Okay, so maybe that last part isn't true, but all season long Nash has been treated as some sort of elixir for what has been a very disappointing time in L.A. And now that he's on the precipice of returning to game action, a whole lot of pressure is sitting squarely on his shoulders.

From Ben Bolch of the Los Angeles Times:

Steve Nash said he hoped to return by the Lakers' game against New York on Christmas, ending a stretch of nearly two months on the sideline because of a small break in his fibula.

"I'm starting to get excited," Nash said, "just because I'm able to do some things."

Gasol and Nash participated in a light practice session Monday that included the offense running plays while not being defended by anyone.

If there is one guy capable of making D'Antoni's system work, navigating the myriad of egos present on this team and doing it all with a bit of Hollywood flair, Nash is that man. There are few players in the NBA better suited for running a team with players like Kobe Bryant, Dwight Howard, Gasol and Metta World Peace on the roster.

Plus, Nash won't need an adjustment period running D'Antoni's system. Nobody, and I mean nobody, has ever run D'Antoni's offensive attack better than Nash. The two were made for one another.

However, there is no substitute for solid chemistry on the court or having a group of players that naturally complement one another. It remains to be seen if the Lakers possess that group, and not even Nash may be able to make this thing work.

But like Obi-Wan Kenobi, Nash is the Lakers only hope. (Yes, you just got a Hobbit and Star Wars reference in the same article. Nerd power.) If the Lakers are going to right this ship, it will be because Nash steers them to calmer seas.

No pressure or anything, Steve Nash. You're just expected to return from injury and save the season for the league's most scrutinized team.

Good luck with that.


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