The Los Angeles Lakers picked up aging yet immortal PG Steve Nash into their fold from the Phoenix Suns. All of a sudden, the Los Angeles Lakers are placing one of the top two most elite back-courts on the floor each and every night. While the status of another aging vet in PF Pau Gasol is still in the air, the big three stratagem employed by all NBA front offices again comes to fruition.
Having the back-court of these two to complement the NBA’s second best (arguably) center in Andrew Bynum will seemingly vault the Lakers back into immediate contention. While the class of the West in San Antonio and Oklahoma City clearly showed their flaws, L.A. may need to hold off the gas a bit with the championship parade bus.
Even if the Los Angeles Clippers brought in a great shooting guard like Ray Allen, this still would not supplant the innate greatness of these two first ballot future Hall of Fame players in conjunction. The insightful ESPN radio analyst Colin Cowherd said it best. Yes, the title of this article makes sense in the fact that no longer will SG Kobe Bryant be able to hog the ball and chuck up miraculous jumpers for the entirety of a possession, but the idea that “these two will not work” is nonsensical. Miami Heat SG and SF Dwyane Wade and LeBron James did not work for a long, long time. Midway through the post-season this past year the two still had cohesion issues. Yet they were two games from a title in 2011 and blasted the Thunder out of their building and into hiding in five this year.
Another prime example is what the Boston Celtics may have become without the facilitation of PG Rajon Rondo. Three wonderful players but no one to drop the ball for Paul Pierce. Nobody to find a wide open Ray Allen in the corner, and no one to lob a crisp pass deep in the paint to Kevin Garnett.
It seems as if the older, less primal Kobe Bryant is in fact even better suited than if he were still posting 81 points in a single game. A play maker like Steve Nash is going to attack the paint with three intentions in order of priority. Firstly, he will seek out an easy drop for a layup. Secondly, he will look to kick to a shooter, and third, he will create his own shot. Steve Nash can do all three. With an older Kobe Bryant, his toughness throughout his career is catching up with him. He has suffered wrist and knee issues for quite some time. Yet Kobe at this age with the benefit of such a savvy point man will not have to take the beatings every drive or the elbows at every shot.
It is no secret that Kobe Bryant still is one of the great shooters of our time. He may not have a Ray Allen or Reggie Miller type pedigree, but he can easily spot up from anywhere. With Nash taking many of the responsibilities off of Bryant’s back for distribution and creation, Bryant will look to capitalize on some easy looks. Last season, many thought Kobe would be slowing down to a near halt. Yet, he still scored second best in the league in points per game. He may be a generational ball hog, but he does it because it has been the only way to win without Shaq.
With Steve Nash, Kobe can redefine his role and score with an easier toll on his body. His knees will be eternally grateful.
Eric Schmidt is the owner/editor of thepigskinreport.com. You can follow Eric on Twitter @bucco40 and make sure to visit the pigskinreport FB page. Make sure to visit our other sites- hardballchat.com, roundballchat.com and centericechat.com for all of your sports needs.