After 16 seasons and two MVP awards, Los Angeles Lakers’ point guard Steve Nash is learning a new way to play.
The Lakers are coming into to this season running the Princeton offense. With new teammates and a new city, it’s been a busy October for a playmaker who’s not going by on his credentials as one of the greatest pick-and-roll artists of his generation.
Eddie Jordan, the veteran coach who joined Mike Brown‘s staff as an assistant last month, is working with Nash to make it happen. Jordan is watching over every offensive drill in the first few days of training camp, consulting frequently with Nash and Kobe Bryant while correcting missteps by Pau Gasol, Metta World Peace and Dwight Howard.
The Princeton plan has similarities to the triangle offense, particularly in the read-and-react mentality necessary to make it work. Triangle veterans Bryant and Gasol already recognize much of what they’re supposed to do, and everybody has played against the offense before.
The Lakers’ offense was stagnant for long stretches of last season, where the teams scoring was in the middle pack of the NBA after declining more than four points per game from Jackson’s final year with the club. Los Angeles even went 13 consecutive games without scoring more than 100 points.
After the Lakers were knocked out of the second round of the playoffs for the second straight year, Brown decided to try the Princeton plan, saying he has “always been fascinated with that offense.”