Once acquired by the Los Angeles Lakers back on July 4, Steve Nash knew he’d been given another chance to win an NBA title before calling it a career. Even though Nash began his stint with the Lakers at 38 years-old, the two-time NBA MVP was considered a major upgrade and a step in the right direction for the storied NBA franchise.
As if acquiring Nash wasn’t a big enough improvement for the Lakers, GM Mitch Kupchak was also able to acquire a second superstar via trade by bringing in Dwight Howard. The addition of Howard along with Nash had created a lot of buzz around the league with the Lakers appearing to be the best team in the league on paper.
There’s no question with all the moves made by the Lakers over the summer that a legitimate NBA title contender has been put together in Los Angeles once again. Although the team is built to win multiple championships, the revamped roster has many players used to be being the first option in the offense or the undisputed leader of the team.
The Miami Heat had the same problem after signing LeBron James and Chris Bosh to play alongside Dwyane Wade. It was uncertain who’d get the ball with the game on the line and how these superstars would defer to one another. So far, that combination has gone on to two consecutive NBA Finals appearances and their first title coming at the expense of the Oklahoma City Thunder last season.
Nash talked about the challenge of playing with Kobe Bryant, Pau Gasol and Howard after the loss to the Sacramento Kings on Sunday via Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo Sports:
At different times, to different degrees, Nash would say, all five of the Lakers starters have been the dominant offensive player on NBA teams. The challenge is “trying to fit in with each other, while at the same time exploit your talent. …At times we press, and at times we misread each other.”
After the first game together with Howard in the middle, the Lakers’ starters appeared to be firing on all cylinders with obvious chemistry already developing through practice sessions over the last few weeks.
Along with the offense flowing, the defense was given a major boost with the presence of Howard in the paint guarding the basket. The end result may have been a sixth straight loss for the Lakers in the preseason, but the potential of this team looks promising with more time on the floor for Nash and Howard.
In case you missed it: Dwight Howard talks about his Lakers debut.
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