It has been a long beginning of the season for the Los Angeles Lakers with the team losing Steve Nash early in the year. Nash returned this weekend to a team that is floating around the .500 mark and is on the fringes of the playoffs after expectations were raised with the acquisition of Nash and Dwight Howard in the off-season. I do believe that the Lakers will get back to the level they were expected to be at now that Nash has returned, though.
Nash makes everyone better around him even with his career in its waning days. The thing that was stopping the Lakers early this season was the fact that injuries to Nash and Pau Gasol didn’t allow the team to be at full strength, and are now deep hole that they need to be dig themselves out of. I would be very surprised if the Lakers didn’t end up finishing with one of the top four seeds in the Western Conference when the playoffs arrive in April.
This team is just too talented not to at least be at that point. The addition of Nash was made to get the offense moving, and now there will be more pick and rolls with Gasol, along with the team playing better having a living legend running the show. It takes pressure off Kobe Bryant as well and at this point, it is always a good thing to allow him to save some energy. Los Angeles is going to be jumping by playoff time, with the Lakers and Los Angeles Clippers competing in the same arena.
Andy Schmidt is a columnist/writer for RantSports. Follow him on Twitter @ASchmidtSports or like his Facebook page.