Baby Steps For Nash, Lakers In Debut





HANG TIME HEADQUARTERS – It’s still a bit strange seeing him in purple and gold.

We know, we know, get over it already.

But just like it’s taking Steve Nash time to transition into his role as the Los Angeles Lakers’ starting point guard, it’s taking a little time for us to figure out exactly how this grand experiment is going to work.

Without the benefit of seeing Dwight Howard out there with them, and with Kobe Bryant in limited doses during the preseason, imaginations to tend to run a bit wild with the possibilities.

A preseason loss to the Warriors where we don’t see enough of the Lakers’ core group together for long stretches makes it hard to make a true evaluation of what they are working with. Everyone knows what sort of potential is there. Waiting to see it, though, has to be a bit nerve-wracking for Lakers fans.

It’s tough for the rest of us, hoops voyeurs who are just curious to see this what the league’s big top circus will look like when it comes to our respective towns.

There were, however, positive signs. Folks who observe the Lakers’ every move saw traces of the powerhouse that could be, of the cohesiveness we all know is needed if the Lakers are to compete at the championship level expected:

Mark Medina of The Los Angeles Times Results don’t matter in preseason games. So don’t suddenly demand the Lakers should blow up their roster after losing to Golden State without center Andrew Bogut and shooting guard Stephen Curry. But when the Lakers played with their starters in the first half, they showed that their chemistry looks strong. Steve Nash (five points, three assists) looked unbelievable throwing a cross-court no-look pass to Kobe Bryant, who then connected with Pau Gasol on an alley oop play. Nash also broke some ankles by shaking Jarrett Jack with a crossover that nearly made him fall before nailing an open three-pointer.

The Lakers also ran the revamped offense that includes elements of the Princeton system with fluidity. Rarely did the Lakers ever go into isolation sets. Each player appeared intent on following Steve Nash’s lead (five points, three assists) and finding the open player for a shot. Kobe Bryant, who posted 10 points on two of seven shooting and three assists, appeared intent on facilitating. The Lakers set strong screens and actually played off of them.

They routinely covered for each other on defense. The floor spacing gave plenty of room for Metta World Peace to operate outside and score 10 points on three-of-six shooting. It’s fair to say that this reflects how much calmer and easier it’s been for the Lakers to absorb Brown’s teaching concepts with more time and a solidified roster. As a result, the Lakers look a lot more exciting and fluid on offense than last year’s disaster.

The two names you need to lock in on are Mike Brown and Metta World Peace. As important Kobe, Nash, Howard and Gasol are, the two guys who could very well hold the key to this season for the Lakers are the coach and the wild card personality on the roster.

World Peace has earned a level of trust from us based on his Game 7 performance in The Finals in 2010. Everyone conveniently forgets that it was World Peace, and not Bryant or necessarily Gasol, whose big shots saved them from losing that epic series to the arch rival Celtics.



Brown’s second season in Los Angeles has to be smoother than his first. It probably helps that Andrew Bynum isn’t around anymore to challenge his authority. It also helps that he’ll have a veteran floor general like Nash to run his show now, too.

Kevin Ding of the Orange County Register highlighted the impact Nash has had on his new team, a hold that began long before Sunday’s preseason opener:

When you’ve played as long as Nash — this 17th NBA season for him and Bryant marks as many years as it took Bynum to go from birth to the Lakers — do you still want to put in the work or do you feel like you have to put in the work?

The Lakers showed in recent years that an aging roster might tilt toward the latter. That should not be the case this season, and in that regard, Sunday’s game was an early statement.

Nash made a statement even earlier when he invited fellow veteran point guards Steve Blake and Chris Duhon to Arizona before training camp. For three days, they didn’t just work hard, they worked smart.

“Get a head start on some of the offensive concepts,” Nash explained.

If you’re a proven genius in the basketball world, you might settle for cramming. That’s the opposite of cramming.

For those who think Nash’s mind and creativity will be muted with the Lakers, consider that Brown said before the game that Nash can determine whatever he wants to run every time down the floor by where he goes and where he moves the ball. (For sure, though, the opposing defense will dictate to Nash — which is sort of the point of what Brown is promoting to his players as “a stress-free offense” dependent on proper reading and reacting.)

“Hopefully by December or January,” Brown said, “it will look very, very pretty.”

You’d better believe Nash is on a crusade for that — and it to be very, very effective.

Even though most of the offense isn’t in yet, Nash made things so pretty in the debut Sunday that Bryant said: “It was natural. Just real natural. Real easy” and so effective that Brown said of rookie last-pick-in-the-draft center Robert Sacre: “He made Sacre look like he was in his third year in the league.”

Nash wields that sort of power, the ability to make a journeyman look like “The Man” (in brief spurts). It’s simply what he does and what he’s always done.

And it’s what the rest of the Lakers, Kobe included, have to be willing to step aside and allow him to work his magic at times, if they’re going to chase the lofty goals already in place for this team this season.

79 Comments

  1. alfred says:

    lakers are on there way for another championship, kobe remind me as jordan,nash as stockton,howard as duncan,gasol as kevin mchale, can beat that.

  2. ALBERT says:

    PEOPLE…….. STOP THIS BULL……. THE REASON THE HATERS AND EVERYONE ELSE IS JUMPING ON THE LAKERS IS BECAUSE THEY KNOW WHAT COULD HAPPEN IF THEY REALLY GEL TOGETHER, AM SORRY BUT OKC HAD ONE OF THE BETTER ALL AROUND TEAM PLAY AND LOOK WERE THEIR EFFORTS HAVE LED THEM TO…… LOOSING IN BACK-TO-BACK YEARS CONF FINALS AND NBA FINALS. THE LAKES HAVE THE CAPABILITY OF REALLY BECOMING A DOMINANY YEAM FOR 2-3 YEARS IF HEALTHY. EVERYONE IS AFRAID THAT THE LAKERS COULD PULL OFF WHAT BOSTON HAD IN 2008, THATS ALL.

  3. castor says:

    uhm…just a question, why is it there’s no negative vibe about kobe having the help of a two time mvp and a 3 time defensive player of the year? does this mean that kobe does really need help, not just “baby” help but everybody knows what kind of help steve and d12 can provide…just asking. thanks.

  4. Kobeng-Burat says:

    If the lakers didn’t make it in the finals…. W/ coach brown… that means lakers won’t win any ring…. LBJ carry the cavs by himself w/ coach brown… But swept by the mighty SPURS… If the lakers with D12 nash Pau kobe and MWP didn’t make it in finals… They got issues…. And they are doom…. Pity for Nash though…

  5. Nando says:

    Itz pre-season.. Pre-season!!! lmao…. Wait till the Lakers start kickng @$$ with the mavs….

  6. nimble says:

    no excuses for a 35-0 nba vs kindergarten run.Lakers will be struggling all year if they keep KB and SN minutes down.

  7. DR says:

    It took about 4 or 5 years for me to get Nash to come to LA to fullfil what has become a reality and sweet. Now we need to get Jimmer to back up Nash so in 3-4 years Jimmer can take over and keep playing with Howard.

  8. Rhey says:

    The Lakers line up is more than enough to be the candidate for Championship for this year…. The challenge will be more on coach Brown. If they did not make in the final this season, the manager or owner of the team must think twice and decide if they will still continue the contract of Brown and offer Phil Jackson to return back to add additional 3 to 4 Championship trophy…….. It will be more on the coach now for this line-up!

  9. Rookie98 says:

    Don’t look to much in one game. TOOK THE DREAM TEAM a while to gem. I think the Lakers have a better team than last year hands down. Will they play better and will they get injured I hope so and hope not but there injuries are part of the game. What worried me is that there is so many negative comments after jus t one game. Win loose or draw I am behind the Lakers. They will be fine . They do have so work to do but that was to be expected.

    Rookie98

    • Califan says:

      The Dream team did not need time to gel.

      • Gellin' says:

        Looooooooooool! Yes, they did. They lost to a college team in their first scrimmage. Do your homework, kid.

      • ncsportsman says:

        Yes the dream team did need time to gel, if you remember coach brung in college players and they beat the dream team by like 20 or 30 points. He did that to show they needed to take it serious as there were alot of ego’s on the team. Please if you are going to argue in a open forum at least be honest in your remarks.

  10. LAKERSYEH2K13 says:

    lakers taking it this yr haters mad keep hating broskis…

  11. bball boy says:

    oh the miami lost to atl oh oh hhoooh wee wee wake up and smell the beans this is not the season players that are not going to be on teams are playing dirk missed a lay up think about it and thats it

  12. Karlo Garcia says:

    I would not b worried if i was the lakers. It’s just PRESEASON.

  13. bball boy says:

    seriously you guys are hillarious oh the lakers ooh hohooh dumb serious the heat lost to this is a play play game where the scrubby teams get a chance to win this is ridicolous

  14. almost died lookin’ at nash rockin’ jared jack! Lakers are a really, really, really good team, really!

  15. They will try to play showtime as older Lakers in my opinion. Bye.

  16. DANITo says:

    so stupid how some people judging the lakers from that preseason game, the heat lost too. who cares its just a practice game. heat fans get over urself lakers show coming fa you.

  17. TO LD21 THIS WAS PRE-SEASON AND IT WAS GAME 1 OF THE PRE-SEASON SO I DONT KNOW IF YOU ARE A NOOB BUT THOSE NUMBERS WERE EXPECTED….. JUST SAYING MAN, LET KEEP THING IN PERSPECTIVE.

  18. LA-Lakers@Manila says:

    That’s alright.. Go LA!! Let the other teams you look weak..

  19. Kupchak says:

    Lakers are obviously resting their starters and not giving anything away…
    Just letting all the rookies play and most will get cut…

  20. W/E says:

    guys everyone in the Lakers is past his prime,even D12, his bad back will cause his defence intensity to drop, ppl expect too much from the lakers but they r not so good as they think they are,at least no where near good as if their stars were at their prime..

  21. Belizeboy says:

    Okay we all know the game means about as much as who wins American Idol. It did however show me that Laker bench may be weaker than people think. A 30pt loss should not happen in a preseason opener.

  22. 416 says:

    Although I’m not a fan of the Lakers, I’m still rooting for nash! We all love you here in Tdot!

  23. LD21 says:

    the guy had like 5pts & 3Ast in almost starter minutes,that’s not impressive AT ALL

    • KOBE BRYANT says:

      what!! nash played starter min? lastime i look at nash min. he was just playing 15 min. and you call that starter min. man i really suggest you should watch more about basketball before you comment

    • NBAGUY says:

      He played 14 minutes

    • Lakeshow says:

      Since when is 14 minutes storters minutes… Steve Nash may be a Laker now but I hope people don’t start talking trash on him just because of it. He’s one of the best players/men to ever play the game.

    • Mytownla says:

      Your an idiot… and thats an understatement… numbers dont always tell the whole story moron. Nash had a very productive debut, in which he was able to maintain the tempo, and give the fans a tatse of whats to come for the season. And he only played about 14 minutes, that doesnt qualify for starter minutes fool. Take your stupidity somewhere else

    • LD21 is stupid says:

      how stupid are u? steve nash didnt even play during the second half. Did u even watch the game?

    • toki says:

      14 minutes is almost starter minutes???????

    • chigchig says:

      14 mins is almost starter minutes?

      Good that you know basketball and your comments mean alot.. said no one ever..

    • mark says:

      14 minutes is starters minutes. you obviously know nothing about this game

      • KOBE BRYANT says:

        so your saying that steve blake(23.3 min)duhon(19.5)meeks(24.9)harden(31.4)turiaf(14.4)barnes(22.9) are starters?

      • Mytownla says:

        Mark… seriously stfu!!! u just made probaly the dumbest comment i have ever seen. If you truely believe starters average 14 minutes a game, you should take your ignorance to some other sport that doesnt require much thinking, kuz it seems u have a hard time with that smh

  24. minime says:

    lmao you guys are tools… This is the preseason who really cares. The mighty lakers will be fine come Regular season time :)…

  25. Mytownla says:

    Even though the bench allowed GS to go on a 35-0 run, i enjoyed watching Nash distribute the ball so well, as expected. I know you haters are itching to talk ish about the FIRST PRESEASO GAME. Ppl tend to forget that the whole purpose of a preseason is to establish a comfort level and chemistry for the new roster on each team. LA’s starting 5 kept the tempo up, and i liked how well they played eachother, especially being that it was the 1st time playing an actual defense. And when D12 comes back, i can only imagine how afraid Bron Bron and his Miami cheerleaders are going to be, as well as the rest of the league. 17th banner, here we come!!!!

  26. ddddd says:

    This is not the time to throw anyone under the bus. Preseason games don’t really matter. Both the Warriors and the Lakers were trying to see what they have. Both teams did not play a regular rotation. If they had, I really think that the rotations would have been different and Kobe probably would have played 35 min, Nash probably 32 min, and the no names like Sacre would have been in the bleachers with business suits. Plus the Warriors rotations would have been different as well. It is the preseason. It is the time to figure stuff out. It is not the time to panic. Heck, even the Heat lost! Lebron only played 20 something minutes. Nobody cares about preseason. It is cooking and eventually at the end of the month, fine tuning time….. THATS IT!! Players are supposed to be rusty right now…. The Lakers don’t give a hoot whether they win or lose games right now. Lets see what happens at the end of the month after players start getting waived and rotations are closer to being set. The regular season and postseason are the ONLY games that count. Preseason DOES NOT!

  27. jcstrings says:

    Same thing happen to Heat the first game… You can not judge with a warming game for both starters and bench!

  28. Sparks says:

    In all honesty, I don’t understand how people complain about the Lakers buying a team. They just made good trades and signed good players that’s all. Remember the Bulls? They picked up Rodman from the Pistons, and Harper from the Cavaliers making that one of the best off season improvements of all time! Anyways, I think people forget that yeah, Nash is the kind of point guard that LA needs, not that Sessions guy, but also that Howard missed the playoffs last year because he just recently got back surgery, so he won’t be up to par for a while. People are just going to remember him for how he was with the Magic, but not take into account that he probably won’t play as well as he used too. Just like Rose won’t, Lin won’t, Rubio won’t, Noah won’t, even Brandon Roy maybe. People also need to understand that Bynum was more offensive of a center, Howard is more defensive. They also signed Jamison from the Cavaliers, pretty much having a good grip on the forward spots with Gasol and Peace in the mix. They do need a better back up guards and centers, the bench is awful when it comes to that. Hopefully the Lakers pull themselves together by the start of the playoffs, because they still have competition! They almost lost to the Nuggets last year, and now they’re tougher because they picked up Iguodala, and let’s not forget OKC, San Antonio and the Clippers! I feel like it’ll be a great year of basketball, definetely when it draws towards the Finals this year.

    • BIGMatta23 says:

      WRONG! The Bulls picked up Rodman from San Antonio in 95 and they picked up Harper a year earlier from the Clippers. Lets not let facts get in the way of a good rant ay!

  29. dom42 says:

    Is Nash hurt yet?

  30. jusgomobile says:

    No matter what people say, making the move to get Steve Nash was a wise choice. Yes, Steve is old, has back problems, but he is one of the top 5 point guards in the league today. He can shoot with the best of them, run the floor better than most of them and will bring showtime basketball back to the LA Lakers. The Lakers need and I mean need, to get rid of Steve Blake– he’s garbage. Whoever Steve Blake has incriminating evidence against on the Lakers staff, needs to step down. I do not see how he’s still in the league.

    I’m hopeful the Dwight Howard drama queen era was left in Orlando, Fl where it belongs. This trade was also a wise choice. I never understood the logic of people who spoke so highly of Andrew Bynum as one of the best centers in the league. He’s been in the league for seven years, has one good year, and people are talking about this guy like he has won the Lakers championships. I could tell by how he reacted to calls by referees that he has a child’s emotional capacity. He thought he was bigger than what he was, he thought he could turn on and off his pseudo dominance and people would realize he was the next big star on the Lakers roster– well he was wrong.

    All of what I stated does not negate that Andrew Bynum does have a polished post game (can play well with his back towards the basket), but he still isn’t a threat like other Laker big men of the past were. To be a big man for the Lakers is a TALL order, figurative and literally. I can not think of any other team that has a record of consistent dominant big men– with three of them being in the top 50 players to ever play the game. Bynum was no where close to that. He was better than Kwame Brown, but that’s only because Kwame had hands the size of a toddler.

    I’m not going to say the Lakers will win the championship this year but they will win the battle out west and the battle within there own arena– those clippers.

  31. Isaac says:

    lol funny to see the skeptics. Lakers had a 7 point lead at half and in the second half not only did the starters rarely see minutes but it wasn’t even the bench in. Darius morris, johnson-odm, and others were in when GS went on a run they are the back-up to the bench. Every1 acting like the starting unit let them go on a 25+ run. I guess people don’t realize what preseason is just everyone likes to criticize the lakers but in that case the heat must look bad to considering they also lost by 10+.

    • Rob says:

      That’s right. 3rd or even 4th unit came in when the Warriors pulled away. The bench will be Ebanks, Jordan Hill, Blake (injured), Meeks, and of course Antwan. These players got time but hardly together and not a significant amount of time, so it was meaningless. Starters looked great though, with Robert Sacre and not Dwight.

    • MIAMIWHO says:

      Great point Issac!

  32. Patty says:

    Nash is okay. Wait until Dwight Howard gets stronger and can play basketball for the Lakers.

    The Lakers’s organization needs a better bench. The bench is PITIFUL.

    The Lakers is Kobe’s team.

    • Kupchak says:

      srsly, u ppl in this world have lost ur minds…
      that wasnt the Lakers bench – it was their 3rd unti… the only person who will even see minutes from those guys is Meeks. The Lakers with a rookie Center and no Howard owned the Warriors. The Warriors played their starters with the Lakers 3rd unit, which consisted of high school level players, who were so afraid of the moment…

  33. Tomahawk Jones says:

    So let me get this straight…a meaningless preseason game in which 3 of the 4 Lakers superstars play limited minutes yet has the team still get obliterated by a Warriors team completely missing two starters yields positive affect for Los Angeles?

    • J says:

      I like how hypocritical your comment is. But yes, anytime new starters can get on the floor together in a game where there is an actual opposing team Yes it is a good thing. It helps build cohesion. But like you said it was a meaningless preseason game… juxtapose to winning or losing. BUT NOT to learning how to incorporate new players, pivotal players at that.

    • Krishawn-MIA says:

      relax i’m no laker fan but its just the beginning and a mere preseaons game

    • TP says:

      You do realize that the starters and 2nd team did play good and won the first half of their first PRESEASON game also without Dwight. Warriors on the other half was playing their starters and 2nd team against our 3rd and 4th string. I think that is a positive for Lakers and also still room to improve.

  34. ChichBaller says:

    I miss Nash already. Seeing him with Lakers is really strange. We’ll be rooting for you Nash! We will always love you here in Phoenix.

  35. BballSuns says:

    We miss you Nash! Show them how it’s done in LA!

  36. steppx says:

    well, i guess we watched different games. Its hard to take too much from preseason scrimmages. But defense remains a big issue for LA, as does their bench. With a team this old, the bench is pretty important, and the laker bench is awful. I suspect there will be a lot of time with nash running the second unit……..and a bit of time…maybe a lot….where he DOESNT run the starting group. The fact remains kobe needs the ball. Nash needs the ball. The defense is bad. Maybe Howard fixes some of the defensive issues, but………..then again, maybe not. He did a fair amount of individual defense with orlando, but he never played much team D. And he rarely knows where the hell to be on set plays. I remain a skeptic.

    • LOL the lakers played Kobe, Gasol and Nash only below 14 minutes…jordan hill got the most minutes on that game lol

    • trix says:

      defense will get alot better with dwight on the court. you can’t really judge defense until d12 is on the floor. And dwight doesn’t play good team defense? Are you crazyyyy??? The man is a 3 time defensive player of the year for a reason. He can erase the perimeter player’s defensive mistakes all by himself. His presence in the paint will do wonders. With him guarding the paint and metta taking the opposing team’s best wing, the defense will be alot better than last years.

      • MinneLakers says:

        are you kidding me steppx??? Dwight was playing individual defense??? Individual defense only happens if you are defending in the perimeter, not in the paint… and actually defending in the perimeter can’t always be called individual defense as well because of defensive rotations… Dwight defends the paint.. He erases or bothers every or if not all shots/dunks/layups in the paint and guess what, he is the best on it in the whole league 3 yrs in a row now… If that doesn’t bolster your defense, I don’t know what will… Orlando was one of the best defenders in the league for the past 5-6 yrs now and do you think that is because of Turk, Nelson?… no it was Dwight who brought them there… Now Dwight will be playing with top dog defenders in the league in MWP, Barnes, Kobe and under rated defenders Gasol and Blake who are immaculate in taking charging fouls… So unless you have a 3pt threat Center in your team to take Dwight out of the paint, don’t expect to be able to score in the paint against the Lakers if he is out there.. Not Durant, not Gay, not Bynum and not even LBJ (guess which team held LBJ’s scoring down in their games last season… Yeah you got it, the Magics) ….

    • CASH says:

      I CAN ONLY LAUGH AT ALL THESE INACCURATE STATEMENTS!!!!! LMAO

    • Rob says:

      I was at the game yesterday and the few minutes the starters played with Nash looked oh so very smooth. Kobe getting wide open shots, MWP making short and mid length shots, and the starters defense also looked sharp. However, the 2nd unit or bench was exploratory at best. Meaning, Brown did not bring out Jamison, Meeks, Jordan, Ebanks, and Blake all at the same time nor did he keep them on for a significant amount of time. The 3rd or 4th string, mostly rookies, probably played most of the minutes, so I would not take what they did yesterday as a conclusive show of possibilities for the upcoming season.

    • joe says:

      well, with half a team are new and a week of practice can’t truly judge

    • Troy says:

      You must be a Miami Fan. Dont hate my friend. The key to LA Defense is Dwight Howard who wasnt in this game. Defense is and will be there. Second unit is much better than last year, and they have a true point guard now. Funnest team to watch in Basketball. See you Miami, and Miami Fans.

    • lakers-fan-from-france says:

      I have some doubt about the Brown method to take profit from the preseason games, and get the chemistry and Priceton system into its stride :
      1) the player rotation was awful and managed without any structured ideas. the aim of the preseason matches isn’t to test the 20 players of your roster, but to practice your systems with the target team
      2) inculcate the fighting spirit they’ve lost from the last 2 years, and refuse the loss even for the friendly match
      3) don’t proceed by trial and errors (like the past season), but determine 2 or 3 schemas in which the players will find their points of reference and develop quickly the required chemistry

    • lakers-fan-from-france says:

      I have some doubt about the Brown method to take profit from the preseason games, and get the chemistry and Priceton system into its stride :
      1) the player rotation was awful and managed without any structured ideas. the aim of the preseason matches isn’t to test the 20 players of your roster, but to practice your systems with the target team
      2) inculcate the fighting spirit they’ve lost from the last 2 years, and refuse the loss even for the friendly match
      3) don’t proceed by trial and errors (like the past season), but determine 2 or 3 schemas in which the players will find their points of reference and develop quickly the required chemistry

    • Timothy Bladel says:

      What are you talking about. Lakers have a good bench. You are saying things that are simply not true. Their bench is one of the reasons they will be so hard to beat.

    • Mister 215 says:

      So you got all of this from not only one preseason game, but the first one??? If I can recall Howard took his team to the finals, in which he was the only superstar, but lost to who??? The lakers. Same for Nash, took his team to the WCF only to loose to who??? The lakers. You put those two players on the same team, what do you think will happen??? Kobe, Nash, and Paul only played 18 mins. Nash played 14. Jamison will be in talks for 6th man of the year. Something is wrong with your thinking!!!