On Independence Day the Phoenix Suns agreed to a 3 year/$27 million sign and trade deal that would send him to the Lakers in return for LA’s first and second round picks in 2013 , a second round pick in 2014, and a first rounder in 2015. The message is clear. The Lakers want to win now. Can they?
Nash is certainly the upgrade at the point guard position the Lakers have been seeking. He brings great passing ability, court vision, and consistent 3 point shooting. Even with all of this the Nash won’t make the Lakers championship contenders. Here’s 4 reasons why.
The previously mentioned passing ability and court vision on display.
4. Mike Brown is still the head coach.
When Mike Brown became the head coach of the Lakers he found implementation of his offense . . . difficult. The Lakers, especially in the playoffs, were plagued by poor spacing and terrible shot selection as a byproduct of the aforementioned poor spacing. If a system is broken putting another player in it doesn’t make it better. If the Lakers still struggle with these issues next season, even Nash’s production could suffer.
3. The Lakers aren’t a running team and Nash is a running point guard.
Steve Nash spent the majority of his career under Mike D’antoni a most widely know for his uptempo offensive system with emphasis on fast break scoring. The Lakers have been and still are a dominantly half court team. Kobe Bryant is aging, and Bynum and Gasol have never been fast (though Gasol runs the floor pretty well). Stylistically this isn’t a perfect match. There will definitely be growing pains as both Nash and his Laker teammates are acclimated to one another.
2. Steve Nash doesn’t play defense well.
Nash is for all intents and purposes a defensive liability. In a league full of young point guards with speed and quickness Nash, who is 38 years old right now will not only be a hindrance defensively, he’ll be worse defensively than he has ever been in his career. Nash’s size and (lack of) speed means that there aren’t a lot of other people he can guard well, if at all. On the plus side though, Nash is a pretty good help defender.
1. The Thunder still exist.
As long as this is still a fact I don’t see the Lakers getting to an NBA Finals with their current roster. The Thunder are a younger more solid team with experience. They have been playoff tested, they are supremely talented, and they are certainly more athletic than the Lakers. Gasol and Bynum are the keys to that possible match up and they don’t play transition defense well enough to slow up Oklahoma City. Nash can’t change that. It’s out of his control.
The Lakers need to believe that none of this matters because they mortgaged their future for a 38 year old point guard in the hopes that he makes them championship caliber. It’s a lot to ask of one player to do and that’s exactly why it won’t work.