Still, Nash appeared tentative on the offensive end against the Mavericks and even shot just three-of-nine from the field with a measly four assists. Lets get one thing clear: if Nash is ineffective on the offensive end, he is essentially a liability on the court due to his limitations on the defensive end. That proved to be the case on Tuesday night, when Darren Collison generally attacked the rim at will and went off for 17 points on eight-of-12 shooting.
Perhaps Nash is finally starting to slow down due to father time – he will turn 39 in February. Most likely though, he is trying to fit in a little too hard playing among a number of stars in a new offensive system – the Princeton offense – that he may not be accustomed to just yet. At the end of the day, what makes Nash so great is his vision and ability to see plays develop before they happen, along with his ability to shoot lights out. If the Lakers want to be dominant, Nash will have to play the role of himself and not one that has been played by the likes of Derek Fisher, Steve Blake and company, which is to stand around and watch half the time and knock down some open shots. Nash is too good with the ball in his hands to be limited to that kind of role.
It’s a brand new team and the Lakers will certainly have their ups and downs early on, which is completely understandable. The Heat went through similar struggles in their first season with LeBron James on board, so we’ve seen talent-studded teams take some time to figure things out. One thing the Lakers can’t afford to do though, is let Nash lose his identity. His aggression could be the difference between championship or bust this season.
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