In the city we know as Tinseltown, there is a never-ending supply of drama. Such is the case for the Los Angeles Lakers, who have gone from preseason championship favorites to questionable to make the postseason at all.
Even still, the Lakers would regret making a trade before Dwight Howard and Steve Nash find their rhythm.
After losing 10 of their first 12 games in 2013, the Lakers have since won five of their past six. They've done so in spite of the fact that Howard has missed their past two games with a re-aggravated torn labrum in his right shoulder (via Mike Trudell).
Thus far in 2012-13, Howard has missed five games.
As for Nash, he was absent for 25 of the Lakers' first 27 games. In that time, L.A. played under three separate head coaches and failed to develop team chemistry.
So why make a change when the Lakers are finally beginning to show signs of life?
If the Lakers are smart, they won't allow that to happen. Instead, they will continue to commit to their current group and embrace the highs and lows that this team has brought all season.
After all, the ceiling is high enough that the basement is worth the risk.
Gasol Finding His Niche
When the Los Angeles Lakers created their superteam, the No. 1 reason for optimism was their elite frontcourt consisting of Dwight Howard and Pau Gasol. Unfortunately, Gasol has yet to find his comfort zone.
As a result, Gasol has posted career-worst averages in points and field-goal percentage.
For the first time since the Los Angeles Lakers pieced together their superteam, Gasol has found his niche. Proof is in the numbers, as Gasol is averaging 16.4 points on 53.3 percent shooting over the past five games.
This is still underwhelming per Gasol's capabilities, but it is approaching what L.A. needs from the 11-year veteran.
For that reason, it would be rather counterproductive to break the Lakers up at this stage of the game. Gasol is finally playing at the level expected of him and creating offense with everything he does.
To neutralize that threat as soon as it happens would be disruptive and ill-timed.
Pick & Roll Potential
Steve Nash is one of the greatest pick-and-roll point guards in the history of the NBA. That very play has led to two league MVP awards and five seasons as the NBA's assist leader.
Considering Dwight Howard is the league's top pick-and-roll finisher, it's fair to assume that this tandem can achieve greatness.
Although they've yet to develop chemistry just yet, we know what can happen when Nash is paired with an elite athlete at the 5. Nash made three Western Conference Finals appearances while paired with Amar'e Stoudemire.
It's no coincidence that Mike D'Antoni was Nash's coach then and now.
The question is, will D'Antoni will be willing to expand the Lakers' offense by flashing Pau Gasol to the post? If he is, D'Antoni will allow Howard and Nash to exploit opposing defenses.
So why eliminate the potential for such greatness? If the Lakers are smart, they won't.
Not when it's finally coming together.
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