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Nash Bridges…the Gap for LA

“This is all just one big misunderstanding, officer.”

In an unforeseen twist, the reports on Steve Nash being traded to LA were greatly misunderstood. Actually, he’s joining the LA GALAXY, not the LA Lakers. I know, it’s confusing, but hopefully that image above clears things up.

In all seriousness the addition of Steve Nash doesn’t solve all of the Lakers problems, but it does make them a drastically better team. We’re all aware of how good Nash is – he did it for years in Phoenix, then Dallas, then Phoenix again. Average players look like heroes when on the receiving end of some delicious dimes. That’s what he does, makes his teammates look good…well, that and he can also score with the best of the NBA point guards out there.

He’s not a great, lockdown, defender – but of all of the top NBA point guards, which one is considered a great defender? Chris Paul is probably at the top of the list of guys who play great at both ends of the court. Rose? Decent. Rondo? Not bad. Williams? Meh. You won’t find Tony Allen defense with Jalen Rose offense anywhere. That guy doesn’t exist.

Ramon Sessions attended the Matador School of Defense (Olé!) so he didn’t offer any help in that department. Nash will be a slight upgrade there, but at least it’s not a step backwards. What he does on the offensive end will likely wear out opposing point guards, potentially slowing them down when they have the ball. Potentially. But he is old (38 years old) and in a league where speed and youth are at a premium Nash’s age could present  a problem. Maybe it’ll help him match speed with Kobe? Two old guys easing their way up the court is better than the rabbit zooming across and then waiting for the turtle, right?

Adding Steve Nash will do several things:

  1. Add 10-15 assists per game
  2. Extend the defense with his ability to shoot the 3 ball (42.8% career)
  3. Pick-and-roll the crap out of opposing teams with Bynum & Gasol
  4. Put Kobe in the position to work less and score easier buckets

Who’s The Big Winner? Kobe? Nash? LA?

We’ve never seen Kobe Bryant play with a legitimate, star, point guard. I can’t really take the Gary Payton era into consideration – Gary was so old and Kobe was so young. As the Lakeshow continues to transition out of the triangle offense into Brown’s whatever-it-is-he-has-them-running style I have no idea what the insertion of a premium point guard will do. It could lift the burden off of Kobe, and he could play 30 minutes a night while scoring 35 ppg? Or it could be a disaster because both Nash and Kobe need the ball in their hands a lot to do what they do well.

My hope is that Kobe will be able to recognize the early Christmas present that just dropped into his lap and adjust his game. It could add several years to his career and possibly win another championship. While Nash is happy to join a team that can legitimately contend for the Finals he also gets to live close to his kids – admirable move sir.

And a big thank you to the Phoenix Suns for giving The Lakeshow Steve Nash for some dumpy draft picks.