Skip to content

Time for Lakers to trust Steve Nash to get offense working

Oct 31, 2012, 2:16 PM EDT

Los Angeles Lakers coach Mike Brown (R) chats to Steve Nash of Canada during their loss to the Dallas Mavericks in their NBA basketball game in Los Angeles Reuters

That wasn’t pretty.

The Lakers offense in their opening night loss really wasn’t much of anything. It wasn’t very Princeton with its reads and spacing (only in flashes). It wasn’t up-tempo. It wasn’t much pick-and-roll despite some deadly combos on the floor. It really just wasn’t much of anything except making a point to get the ball inside a lot. Which didn’t really work that well.

What it’s going to take most to fix this is time on the court together for the Lakers stars — Kobe Bryant, Steve Nash, Dwight Howard and Pau Gasol. They looked like a bunch of guys who haven’t played much together. Because that’s exactly what they are. They looked like they were thinking and not just reacting in the offense, that takes time to fix.

But there is one other thing the Lakers could start doing as soon as Wednesday in Portland — start trusting Steve Nash. Fully trust him. And he needs to start trusting himself and not deferring.

Watch the first game and you didn’t see a Lakers offense doing what it was designed to do — figure out the opponent’s weakness then exploit it with superior talent. They went inside, which was supposed to be their advantage, but when it wasn’t working there was no Plan B. Nash is the guy who is supposed to make that determination on the court and get the ball where it needs to go.

Instead, he deferred t0o much, just getting the ball to someone in a Princeton set and then seeming to float around the perimeter. Don’t take my word for it, here is what he told Sports Illustrated.

“I’m caught trying to get the ball moving and get us into different sets,” Nash said. “Tonight I didn’t get a lot of pick-and-roll. There are growing pains and there will probably be more.”

The Lakers need Nash to be aggressive and attack on pick-and-rolls, especially if Howard is his roll man. He needs to push the tempo, get up the floor and get the team some buckets in transition (which needs to start with better defense). He needs to attack more quickly against pressure up the court like the Mavs used. If they do run a Princeton set, the Lakers bigs need to remember that Nash is the best three point shooter on the team and a kick-out to him is a good thing. There were flashes of what could be, like some nice passing from Gasol to Howard. But it was not enough.

The Lakers need Steve Nash to be Steve Nash. To take charge of the offense. The other Lakers need to trust him to be that guy and to space the floor, to know if they do that they will get the ball back and open looks.

It’s too early to blame the Princeton offense right now (you can start to discuss if it was wise to put in a complex new offense this year). Or the players — Kobe wasn’t attacking in quite the same way, Howard was not finishing dunks he normally crushes, the Lakers were not healthy. And of course, there were the free throws.

Latest Posts
  1. Tim Duncan drags seemingly drunk teammate to Spurs bus night of Game 7 loss (video)

    May 4, 2015, 9:53 AM EDT

    San Antonio Spurs v Los Angeles Clippers - Game Seven

    San Antonio players went out in Los Angeles after losing to Clippers

  2. PBT Second Round Playoff Preview: Los Angeles Clippers vs. Houston Rockets

    May 4, 2015, 8:30 AM EDT

    James Harden, Chris Paul AP

    It all starts with the answer to this question: How healthy is Chris Paul?

  3. Chris Paul’s MRI negative, is game time decision for Game 1

    May 4, 2015, 8:00 AM EDT

    Los Angeles Clippers v Oklahoma City Thunder Getty Images

    The drop off from Chris Paul to Austin Rivers should scare Clippers fans.

  4. Watch John Wall attack as Wizards take Game 1 in Atlanta (VIDEO)

    May 4, 2015, 12:10 AM EDT

    Washington Wizards v Atlanta Hawks - Game One Getty Images

    Wall looked like one of the best point guards and leaders in the game Monday.

  5. Ginobili, Duncan, Popovich dance around questions about Spurs’ future

    May 3, 2015, 11:01 PM EDT

    Utah Jazz vs San Antonio Spurs Getty Images

    Nobody wanted to talk about the future in the wake of an emotional loss.

  6. Watch Stephen Curry play like MVP, spark Warriors to Game 1 win (VIDEO)

    May 3, 2015, 9:30 PM EDT

    Stephen Curry, Jeff Green AP

    The Grizzlies have some work to do defensively to slow Curry.

  7. Reports: Stephen Curry to be named MVP Monday

    May 3, 2015, 8:00 PM EDT

    Stephen Curry AP

    Harden comes in second in the voting.

  8. Warriors cruise to Game 1 win over Grizzlies

    May 3, 2015, 6:17 PM EDT

    Stephen Curry Stephen Curry

    Memphis, minus Mike Conley, looks completely overmatched (as expected)

  9. Hawks start hot, finish cold, Wizards take Game 1 on road 104-98.

    May 3, 2015, 4:09 PM EDT

    Washington Wizards v Atlanta Hawks - Game One Getty Images

    It was a tale of two halves, and the Wizards took the key one.

  10. Doc Rivers on whether Chris Paul will play in Game 1 vs. Rockets: ‘If I had to guess, I would say no’

    May 3, 2015, 2:00 PM EDT

    Utah Jazz v Los Angeles Clippers Getty Images

    Paul battled through a hamstring injury during his incredible Game 7 performance.

  11. PBT Second-Round Playoff Preview: Washington Wizards vs. Atlanta Hawks

    May 3, 2015, 12:30 PM EDT

    Washington Wizards v Atlanta Hawks Getty Images

    Wizards could make things difficult on the top-seeded Hawks.

  12. Adjusting for playoff rotations round two: Watch out for the Wizards

    May 3, 2015, 11:00 AM EDT

    Kent Bazemore, John Wall, Paul Pierce AP

    Cavaliers could be OK against the Bulls (even without Kevin Love), Warriors remain favorites and more lessons from the first round

  13. Rumor: Orlando taking time to start coaching search waiting on Thibodeau situation

    May 3, 2015, 9:30 AM EDT

    Tom Thibodeau AP

    Thibs may not want to go to Orlando if he becomes a free agent as a coach.

Featured video

Thunder take risk with Donovan, but calculated one
Top 10 NBA Player Searches
  1. M. Conley (5163)
  2. K. Love (4801)
  3. R. Rondo (4016)
  4. C. Parsons (3449)
  5. K. Durant (3425)
  1. K. Bryant (3264)
  2. J. Smith (3259)
  3. P. Beverley (3047)
  4. A. Varejao (2905)
  5. P. George (2841)