I am free!
I’ve hijacked my optimistic thread to post my first written thoughts since November the 10th. I hope you’ll all forgive me. But I come to you CL, in the Lakers’ moment of need. I hope to bring to you the enduring optimism that has helped me stay positive through this entire ordeal. And without further adieu…
My friends! Hearken to my words! There’s much to be positive about!
Our team has shown in flashes exactly what it’s capable of. We’ve beaten some good teams (Brooklyn and Denver among them)! We’ve shown that when we need to play defense we can, although it’s been a while since we’ve seen that…
What I haven’t seen many people around here say (I think I saw Punk say it maybe?) is that this team seems to be waiting for Steve Nash. In my opinion, D’Antoni isn’t doing much coaching right now. Outside of finding the guys he likes and the rotations that work, I don’t see him doing much coaching. Neither offensively or defensively. He seems to be the exact opposite in fact of Brown in that Brown micromanaged and I think D’Antoni is doing too much macromanaging.
He seems to be waiting for the return of our Hall of Fame Quarterback, our 6 foot savior, our Captain Canada, and I don’t blame him. Steve Nash’s return will allow for so many things…
1. Less Kobe-ball which is proving detrimental this season, like it was last season at times.
2. Less fast break opportunities by other teams since we’ll have better shots, they’ll be in the right spaces, and they’ll hopefully be going in at a higher percentage.
3. More effective Pick and Roll since although I think Kobe is trying, he’s simply not Steve Nash.
4. Better spacing, not only because Nash will be on the floor as one of the best shooters ever, but because he’s the famed quarterback of this offense that can and will put guys in the right spots.
5. Better defense because Nash will make the offense more smooth and once that happens, the guys will get confident, they’ll be willing to do more, they’ll work that little bit harder, and things will bounce our way just a little more.
6. Fun. He’ll just bring back a little bit of that fun we saw.
7. He’ll keep Kobe from getting tired and making so many mistakes.
8. It forces Duhon back to the bench where they really need someone to set them up.
9. Leadership. He’ll be able to counter Kobe’s “give me the ball” attitude (which I think in fairness is reflected in the coaching staff) and the two of them will work together to keep each other fresh.
10. Winning. When Nash gets back, all of those things start falling into place, and soon we’ll get back on the right track again. It’s still a young season and while I think the team is starting to stress on the results, Nash is the guy that can and will make these things better.
In addition to that, Gasol will be back soon. While I think that it’s likely Gasol is traded before the deadline and I don’t think Nash can save him, Gasol will be good for a few things:
1. Mike Brown’s favorite: length. Jamison tries, but he’s easy to bully because he just doesn’t have the size that Gasol does. Utah went to town on us down low just with bully ball. Gasol is no defensive stalwart, but he’s better than Jamison.
2. Jamison goes back to the bench where he along with Meeks and Duhon and Hill combine to form a really nice bench for our starting five.
3. Less pressure on Kobe. Since Gasol has been gone Kobe is relied upon to do almost all of the heavy lifting. Howard is given the ball as well, but without looking at the numbers I wouldn’t be surprised if Kobe has taken 3 times as many shots as Howard since Gasol has left.
In conclusion, and without a moment to spare, stay positive my CL brethren! The end of the darkness is upon us. There’s much to be down about and we as a fan base are in a state of shock, probably as much as the players themselves, on how this season has started out. It hasn’t been easy and there’ll still be problems to fix, but when Nash comes back that list of problems shrinks to one thing and one thing only: how hungry is this team?
When you’ve got Kobe, Nash, and Howard on your team I wouldn’t worry about hunger at all.
Stu : "Yeah, that's an old fashioned whoopin'."