It appears that reports of the Los Angeles Lakers demise may have been greatly exaggerated.
With the acquisition of two-time league MVP Steve Nash in a sign-and-trade deal with the Phoenix Suns yesterday, Los Angeles went from a team stuck in conference semifinals limbo to one of the teams favored to come out of the West next season basically over night.
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With the move, Nash will be able to remain on the West Coast close to his family, but also be able to compete for a championship -- something that has eluded him his entire career. He's made it to the Western Conference Finals four times (2003, 2005, 2006, and 2010), but has never been to the Finals despite excellent postseason showings on his part.
That makes his addition to the Lakers all the more valuable.
With Nash comes both a great level of energy and sense of urgency. Unlike Kobe and company, Nash has the hunger and desperation for a title that his new teammates seem to lack in comparison -- mainly because they've already been there and done that. Nash's approach to the game should rub off on his new squad, especially on someone like Andrew Bynum, who has yet to fully develop into the type of player Lakers fans dream of.
Also, the upgrade from Ramon Sessions to Nash at the point could prove to be enough for Los Angeles to at least match, if not surpass, the caliber of their biggest competition in the West -- the Oklahoma City Thunder.
After all, even without Nash last year, the Lakers proved to be a strong threat to the Thunder in the conference semifinals. Granted, OKC won the series 4-1, but the the second and fourth games came down to the final seconds, and Los Angeles probably should have won both of them.
Of course, the pressure facing the Lakers will be immense, as is always the case when great talent comes together on one team. However, the pressure will be completely different than what the Miami Heat faced over the last few seasons.
While Nash is still producing great numbers (over 12 points and 10 assists per game last year), there's no denying the fact that he's now past his prime, meaning -- not as much will be expected of him as was Miami's "Big Three" as players in their prime.
People won't expect Nash to dominate games as he once did, partially because of his age, and partially because he won't have to with all the talent around him. The lighter pressure in LA compared to what Miami had to deal with could prove to be an advantage for the Lakers as the season progresses.
The bottom line is -- Los Angeles is a much better team now than they were just 24 short hours ago. And in the ever-changing world of the National Basketball Association, what more can you ask for?
Be afraid Western Conference. Be very afraid.
Nash is 38 years old and doesn't play defense. His impact will be minimal at best.ReplyDelete
^ guy is an idiot and doesnt understand basketball at all. And he doesnt need to play the greatest defense when he has bynum and gasol to block shots down low. And he is such a great passer that he will make the post players so much better and get kobe better shotsReplyDelete
Yeah I've heard multiple people say its not that big of a deal because Nash is old. Anyone that thinks that hasn't watched any Suns games over the last few seasons. Nash is just as effective now as he's ever been. His addition makes the Lakers alot better.ReplyDelete
Nash is a big upgrade at point guard. He's still one of the best in the league. Not sure if he'll be enough to get the Lakers past the Thunder or Spurs, but they are definitely better with him.ReplyDelete
nash is to old bruh. wont be no help to dat nigga kobe. lakers are done.ReplyDelete