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Nash says no Howard means Lakers offense will be “more fluid”

Jul 16, 2013, 2:24 PM EDT

Houston Rockets v Los Angeles Lakers Getty Images

Dwight Howard wants touches in the post — and he’s pretty good in the post despite not having a lot of counter moves to fall back on. He shot 44 percent on post up situations last season despite the injury, 49 percent and 50 percent the two years before that.

But in Mike D’Antoni’s style of basketball, just throwing the ball into the post and waiting for him to make a move or kick the ball back out stalls the ball and player movement out. Guys stand around, the offense withers.

Steve Nash told the Los Angeles Times that with the more versatile Pau Gasol in the post the Lakers offense will be better.

“I think [Gasol] gives a little more fluidity. The ball can move more,” Nash said Sunday at his Steve Nash Foundation Showdown/soccer match. “We can use him as a facilitator. He’s such a versatile player that it’s going to be a lot of fun to have him making plays and scoring inside.”

A couple thoughts here.

First, the Lakers offense scored 105.6 points per 100 possessions, eighth best in the NBA last season. While there certainly is room for improvement, the offense was not the side of the ball holding the Lakers back last season. And that other end of the court is where the Lakers will miss Howard more.

Secondly, Nash is right. Gasol at the five should work well for what D’Antoni wants to do (better than Gasol the stretch four, that was a flop on the scale of “Red 2″).

Howard was opposed to D’Antoni’s pick-and-roll heavy offense, but Howard would be the best roll man in the NBA if he’d just embrace it. I pointed out Howard’s post shooting above, but he has never shot worse than 74 percent as the roll man the last three years. His mobility for someone his size is his biggest asset, yet for some reason he thinks he needs to be Shaq with the ball on the block. If he’d gone with the system more in Los Angeles he would have been fine.

This is now Kevin McHale’s problem — Howard with James Harden and Jeremy Lin could make the Rockets the best pick-and-roll team in the league. But if Howard doesn’t want to run the floor to set a drag screen and just heads to the block while the defense sets the Rockets’ offense will stall out, too.

  1. zacksdad - Jul 16, 2013 at 2:32 PM

    The same Gasol that got benched D’Antoni. Love the great Dr. Busses Lakers, the Jimmies version of the Lakers is not what I like now.

    • fanofevilempire - Jul 16, 2013 at 4:47 PM

      Jeremy Lin is nothing more then a back up and Howard
      is a joker, Houston , you have a problem.

    • wfon1 - Jul 16, 2013 at 10:06 PM

      Jimmy didnt like what he saw. Jimmy wants changes. Jimmy’s worried.

  2. bucrightoff - Jul 16, 2013 at 2:35 PM

    Lakers are making such a huge mistake going all in for the 7th seed. $100 million+ in salaries and penalties for the 7th seed that prevents you from getting the top end talent in the draft, or cut some costs, tank and get top end talent. Making the tough choices isn’t supposed to be easy, but in this case it seems rather easy. Of course as someone who doesn’t like the Lakers I’m cool with them chasing that 7th seed and setting themselves back a few more years.

    • JHathwell - Jul 16, 2013 at 3:54 PM

      There’s what makes sense and then there’s just the real world. Everyone agrees they should be looking to hit the lottery next year but the facts are Kobe is not going to go for tanking when he’s got only two or three years left in the league and Jim Buss is way too foolish and egotistical to be able to handle the jokes that will be made about his team if they go 20-62. He’d rather win 45 and get swept than win 20 and have the world call him what he is, an idiot with no idea how to run a basketball team.

      And it won’t se them back years at all. Either way, they are starting over next summer when they’ve got less than 10 million on their cap. Only difference is whether they’ll be picking top 5 or 15-18.

    • sal11 - Jul 16, 2013 at 4:08 PM

      Realistically, what would you do? Trade Gasol, amnesty Kobe? Kobe’s an expiring contract anyway, so using the amnesty on him will save some money (okay, a lot of money) in the short-term but will have no basketball benefit. The Lakers are looking at next offseason to make a free agent splash, so if you’re going to trade Gasol you’d have to send him to a team under the cap that can absorb his salary without sending any back (they don’t exist at this point) or a team that could send equal expiring contracts back, which, what’s the point?

      And anyway, if the Lakers fancy themselves a hot free agent destination for the LeBrons and Carmelos of the world in 2014, they have to keep up their prestige. You can make a good sell with something like “Get our middling team over the top, we’ve reloaded before and we’ll bring back as many talented guys as we can.” There isn’t much ring to, “Come play on our 26-56 team with this unproven rookie, now that we’ve unceremoniously jettisoned our best player since Magic.”

      • sportsfan18 - Jul 16, 2013 at 4:31 PM

        sal11 The Lakers can’t amnesty Kobe. The Lakers have already used their amnesty provision on Metta World Peace.

        So there is no longer anyway possible for the Lakers to jettison their best player since Magic.

      • dirtydavis - Jul 16, 2013 at 4:34 PM

        All I read was a bunch of quitters suggesting to throw in the towel.

      • sal11 - Jul 16, 2013 at 5:57 PM

        sportsfan18 – thank you for clarifying for me. I was responding to bucrightoff’s argument that the Lakers should be tanking; if they were to go in that direction, amnestying Kobe instead of Artest would have been on the table.

    • fanofevilempire - Jul 16, 2013 at 4:50 PM

      They cut MWP and you think they are all in for the 7th seed.
      why don’t you continue to follow your Bobcats and let the
      Lakers worry about hanging a 17th banner, or do you know
      better how to do that, I doubt that.

  3. udleerc - Jul 16, 2013 at 2:39 PM

    When are they gona realize howard wasnt the problem… It was their team defense that sucked

    • aboogy123456 - Jul 16, 2013 at 3:47 PM

      Where did Nash say Howard was a problem? He was just stating the facts, their offense WILL be more fluid with gasol in the post and not Howard. It doesn’t mean they will be a better team, and nash knows that, or he wouldn’t have been in the meetings convincing howard to stay. Your right the defense might be the worst in the league this year, but nash wasn’t talking about that.

      • prismejhall - Jul 16, 2013 at 6:47 PM

        Nash Is Correct about Gasol,,,, but Lakers still need more scoring punch,,don’t ya think Brandon jennings or Mike Miller would be Availiable??? What do you think??

  4. jeffw - Jul 16, 2013 at 2:45 PM

    A few predictions for this coming Lakers season: 1. Kobe never plays a minute. By January they’ll be so far below ,500 it won’t make sense for him to play. 2. Nash will be ineffective in trying to carry a team of nobodys. 3. Gasol gets flipped at the trade deadline to try and set up for 2014 season. 4. Lakers miss playoffs in the 11th spot.

    Write it down!

    • asimonetti88 - Jul 16, 2013 at 3:21 PM

      I don’t think you’ve followed Kobe’s career very closely if you think he’s going to sit out a whole year.

      • 4thehaters - Jul 16, 2013 at 3:58 PM

        People who hate Kobe Bryant live in a negative world, where the only focus on the negative. They ignore everything positive. Their minds are so brainwashed by the media and their hate, that there is nothing you can say or do that will change their mindset. Almost like a crackhead. Once a hater, always a hater..fact

      • sportsfan18 - Jul 16, 2013 at 4:34 PM

        You’re exactly right… He’s gotta come back and come back quickly to keep jacking up shots so he may continue to climb the all time scoring list…

      • fanofevilempire - Jul 16, 2013 at 4:55 PM

        I rather KOBE sit and tank the season but Kobe isn’t built that way, the guy is a winner.

        Sportsfan18 doesn’t know anything, I don’t even care who or what he is, could be a
        little girl who can’t jump rope today because it was raining outside so her mom let her
        play with the computer so she decides to type foolish ccomments.

      • sportsfan18 - Jul 16, 2013 at 10:01 PM

        fanofevilempire

        I prefer facts to name calling. Here is what I do know:

        Kobe’s NBA Finals Stats vs Shaq’s NBA Finals Stats
        1999-2000 vs Indiana Pacers
        Shaquille O’Neal: 38ppg 16rpg 2apg 61%FG
        Kobe Bryant: 15ppg 4rpg 4apg 36%FG

        2000-2001 vs Philadelphia 76ers
        Shaquille O’Neal: 33ppg 15rpg 4apg 57%FG
        Kobe Bryant: 24ppg 7rpg 5apg 41%FG

        2001-2002 vs New Jersey Nets
        Shaquille O’Neal: 36ppg 12rpg 3apg 59%FG
        Kobe Bryant: 26ppg 5rpg 5apg 51%FG

        2003-2004 vs Detroit Pistons
        Shaquille O’Neal: 26ppg 10rpg 1apg 63%FG
        Kobe Bryant: 22ppg 2rpg 4apg 38%FG

        Shaq shot 63% in those finals and only took 84 field goal attempts. Why? Because Kobe, who Phil James said in his book, was tired of being a sidekick to Shaq. He wanted to be the man, to win an NBA finals MVP.

        Kobe shot only 38% in these finals yet he took 113 shots.

        In the 2003/2004 NBA finals, Kobe shot .174% from 3 pt range. He was 4 for 23 from chucking it beyond the arc (I think he hit the backboard a few times though).

        In the 2008/2009 Finals, it was more of the same.

        Kobe took 135 field goal attempts and shot .430%. Pau Gasol took only 60 field goal attempts and shot .600%

        2009/2010

        Kobe ONLY shot .405% from the field and .319% from 3 pt range.

        Kobe came up small in the NBA finals. He only shot a bit over 41% from the field in 7 NBA finals appearances.

        He won his first 3 NBA titles because of Shaq. He was a sidekick.

        In the 08/09 finals that they lost in 5 games, he played terribly. He was trying to be “The Man” and he really stunk up the joint.

        Hey, he finally “Won” his first NBA title without Shaq and he only shot .405% from the field and .174% from 3 pt range. He was the finals MVP with these wonderful numbers… sad.

        Yes, he’s a winner alright.

      • spthegr8 - Jul 16, 2013 at 11:12 PM

        @sportsfan
        Dude you have WAAAAAAY too much time on your hands. Go fly a kite or something!!!

    • mrjackson777 - Jul 16, 2013 at 3:31 PM

      1. Koby comes back lead the leauge in scoring to prove a point.
      2. Nash carried a team of nobody’s for years in Phonenix
      3. Pau Gasol is not nobody and why flip an expring 15 mil contract?

      • bucrightoff - Jul 16, 2013 at 3:36 PM

        Steve Nash also had the best training staff in the world in Phoenix. Unless they’re somehow migrating to Los Angeles, he plays 60 games max.

      • aboogy123456 - Jul 16, 2013 at 3:48 PM

        hey, Gary Vitti is the man! Lakers have one of the best training staffs in the league, there’s only so much the guys in phoenix can do.

      • mytthor - Jul 16, 2013 at 9:55 PM

        Hooked on Phonenix did not work for you.

    • prismejhall - Jul 16, 2013 at 6:51 PM

      Lakers are will continue to be rebuiding, We can easily win next year as long as we have Kobe to work his magic!!!

  5. sackings916 - Jul 16, 2013 at 2:49 PM

    I bet the biggest fan of Dwight this summer was none other than Lebron James. Over the past few years Dwight did everything he could to tarnish his name and appear to be a cancer on any team. Everybody crucified Lebron over the “Decision” which I agree was wrong of him, but other than that he has never done the back and fourth wishy washy stuff that Dwight does. Not of fan of his as you can tell. He’ll definitely help Houston but I would bet on them winning the West.

  6. apkyletexas - Jul 16, 2013 at 2:51 PM

    I’ll bet that Laker defense is going to be pretty “fluid” also. Like the parting of the red sea.

  7. worldbfree4me - Jul 16, 2013 at 2:57 PM

    With Forbes Ranking the Lakers in the Billions, Mini Van (Buss Jr.) and company have plenty of money and time to right the ship. Some of you may be too young to remember, but the Lakers have managed to field a Championship team each and every decade since their inception. Look for them to again return to glory by 2020. Possibly with a player that’s not even in the league yet.

    • mogogo1 - Jul 16, 2013 at 3:10 PM

      Nash went on to say that he was really looking forward to running the offense through Gasol for the 15-20 total games they would both be healthy.

    • kinggw - Jul 16, 2013 at 3:59 PM

      Maybe, but they are going to have to learn how to draft well and spend wisely. It’s no longer enough to have a bunch of money. Bloggers, analysts, and Laker fans keep bringing up their past and how the Lakers used get anybody they wanted. That’s largely irrelevant now. Its been nearly 20 years since the Lakers landed a major free agent. And the Lakers can no longer offer free agents exorbitant contracts that their previous team couldnt match. The new CBA took away a lot of their buying power. The Lakers will always be a prestigious team and intriguing to many players, but that doesnt guarantee that they will be able to get a major free agent and right the ship.

  8. andyreidisfat - Jul 16, 2013 at 3:02 PM

    Not even a basketball post, but how can a movie that has yet to come out be a flop?

    • mrjackson777 - Jul 16, 2013 at 3:32 PM

      Must soemthing peronal btw him and Brue W.

  9. rodge1 - Jul 16, 2013 at 3:04 PM

    The past 2 off-seasons have been night & day for Laker fans. Last summer the Laker fans were calling the championship ‘easily theirs’… Now they’re calling next year’s #1 draft pick ‘easily theirs’… Thank you Kobe for making this possible!!!!

    • 4thehaters - Jul 16, 2013 at 3:55 PM

      The Lakers would of never made the playoffs without Kobe. That’s a face regardless of how much you hate him and the Lakers. Notice how in the playoffs, the Lakers did not have one person, they can go to, who can take that shot, who can spread the floor, who can create his own shot, take someone off the dribble 1 on 1, run an iso play for, and draw double coverage on the perimeter? Everything was a 3 point for the Lakers. Maybe you ignore these facts? Noticed how all the haters last season said “lakers won’t make 500. they won’t make the playoffs hahahaha”

    • aboogy123456 - Jul 16, 2013 at 4:07 PM

      why do you only pay attention to the dumb laker fans? the lakers have one of the most intelligent and knowledgeable fan bases, yet you only talk trash about people who probably never even visit this site.

      • sportsfan18 - Jul 16, 2013 at 4:37 PM

        Intelligent and knowledgeable fans need to use logic, analysis, facts, numbers etc… and not their emotions.

        Far too many on this site, not just Laker fans, let their emotions rule them and what they say on here. Because they like a player and/or a team, they ignore facts.

      • fanofevilempire - Jul 16, 2013 at 4:56 PM

        rodge1 is a drunkard.

      • asimonetti88 - Jul 16, 2013 at 5:34 PM

        Not to mention there are no Lakers fans saying the #1 pick will go to the Lakers. No one is saying that actually. Except this guy apparently.

  10. shockexchange - Jul 16, 2013 at 3:08 PM

    If that’s the case then why did the Lakers bet the farm on Howard and later beg him to stay. This sounds like wishful thinking on Nash’s part.

    • 4thehaters - Jul 16, 2013 at 3:52 PM

      And Houston didn’t beg? Regardless of how much everyone hates him, every team in the NBA would beg him to stay, because he’s that damn good

    • aboogy123456 - Jul 16, 2013 at 4:17 PM

      because there’s more to the game than a fluid offense. It’s not like Nash said they are better off without Dwight, you should learn how to read.

      • shockexchange - Jul 16, 2013 at 5:33 PM

        The Lakers got bounced in the first round of the playoffs last year, or did the Shock Exchange read that incorrectly also?

      • asimonetti88 - Jul 16, 2013 at 5:35 PM

        You’re just ignoring the point and only seeing what you want to see.

        The Lakers can become a better offensive team and still become a worse overall team.

  11. dezglobal - Jul 16, 2013 at 3:08 PM

    When did Nash become the spokesmen for the Lakers?

    • 4thehaters - Jul 16, 2013 at 3:49 PM

      why can’t he be? what he said is true.

    • eureca323 - Jul 16, 2013 at 3:55 PM

      Sometimes NBA players are interviewed and answer questions. Its not really a new thing.

  12. mogogo1 - Jul 16, 2013 at 3:13 PM

    Nash went on to say that he was really looking forward to running the offense through Gasol for the 15-20 games they would both be healthy. He also promised to mix some tan suits and maybe even some sportcoats into his bench wardrobe to better balance out the dark suits like the one in the picture.

    • 4thehaters - Jul 16, 2013 at 3:51 PM

      How many games did you see where Nash and Gasol were on the floor at the same time?
      Hint: It was under 10

  13. boltsup - Jul 16, 2013 at 3:48 PM

    We had team chemistry issues over ever player that got injured point blank, Dwight Howard not committing to the Lakers gameplan was the cause of failure, he pouted bitched and cried all season and the worst part he never had a team mentality on winning for the Lakers like a Cp3 did while in the same contract position.. That’s why LA fans bash Howard not because we want him, we wanted him to STFU and play basketball for the Lakers and give his all, ur not a GM don’t worry about the coach who’s being hired (even though we all wanted PJ back) show you are a Top 10 player in the league… he came back game 1 we didn’t rush him to play we tried to work with him, he never tried to work for the Lakers…

    He’s talking about doing the Pick and Roll with Harden and Lin that’s laughable, he had to of the best pick and roll players to ever play the game in Pau and Nash and he refused to set a decent strong screen or even roll for that FAMOUS alley oop we thought we could get with Nash throwing assists… He played uninspired basketball and moped after every game Kobe hadn’t gotten into his ass until before All Stars because it was DO or DIE for the season and Kobe got his attention and got to the 7th seed over those HOuSTON ROCKETS who are oh so great…. I’ve typed enough so to sum this up we will be ALOT better than a lot of media expect I can see us getting to the 4 or 5 seed and if The Black Mamba is healthy enough to bite he will take this team farther than a lot of you guys can fathom, this team is still respectable and will bring it unlike what Dwight Howard brought

  14. 4thehaters - Jul 16, 2013 at 3:48 PM

    Can’t even remember how many times Nash drove to the basket, drawing defenders with Howard standing at the free throw line extended, vs under the basket for an easy 2. Howard didn’t want to run pick n roll. Never seen Nash yell at a teammate until he met Howard

  15. zelaya322 - Jul 16, 2013 at 3:52 PM

    The team the Lakers have assembled is actually pretty good ON PAPER and the best thing about it is they assembled it on a budget. If the Lakers can stay healthy (BIG IF) they are a lock to make the playoffs. This years roster is actually much more athletic, therefore quicker and they’ll have the same coach from start to finish. How easily Laker haters ignore the facts surrounding the Lakers STILL MAKING THE PLAYOFFS despite:

    1. Injuries galore
    2. Coaching change
    3. A horrible beat up slow version of Dwight Howard
    4. Did I mention the injuries?

  16. ambitoos - Jul 16, 2013 at 3:54 PM

    Laker fans are so impatient. The Lakers, Celtics and San Antonio have gotten old. Give them time to rebuild and they’ll be back. Be patient. Pop has done the best job of handling an older team.

    • 4thehaters - Jul 16, 2013 at 3:56 PM

      Can you imagine the fans of teams who never won anything? Imagine how they feel?

  17. dirtydavis - Jul 16, 2013 at 4:10 PM

    Lakers will finish with a better season record than last year

  18. waxthat - Jul 16, 2013 at 5:52 PM

    THE SAME STEVE NASH THAT FLEW IN FROM NY TO LA TO BEG HOWARD TO STAY IN LA?? SAY IT AINT SO

  19. obmig - Jul 16, 2013 at 6:05 PM

    Despite losing Howard, your main team need is at the Point Guard position Mr. Nash.

  20. acdc84 - Jul 17, 2013 at 12:04 AM

    Bad news for the Lakers (and I say this as an LAL fan). As Bill Simmons has said the Lakers would be much better off “tanking” the season, having a chance at a Top 10 pick, and coming back in 2014 with Kobe at a minimal salary and having cap room to sign a Lebron or Carmelo or some other elite FA.

    • badge3832 - Jul 22, 2013 at 11:28 PM

      They may not have to tank. Let’s see how effective Kobe is coming off injury. Let’s see if Nash is still an NBA quality player.

  21. lakerade - Jul 17, 2013 at 2:48 AM

    First off, the Lakers don’t tank.

    Secondly, even if they did, and somehow did worse than some Eastern Conference teams do regularly, that’d only give them a 25% chance at the #1 overall pick. Not a worthwhile gamble, they’re just presumably closer to it than normal as an option this season.

    I do think trading Pau before the deadline has real potential, that theoretically makes it possible for a max type player to already be here before the 2014 double-max-under-the-cap summer wooings (melo/lebron) even begin. Then they’d still have a 1st round pick in the 7-15 range, to draft someone who could come in and learn from this potential new triumverate. Maybe it doesn’t go exactly like that, but there’s a plan, and Kobe will fit in once it’s fleshed out, no need to play his hand til then.

    • loungefly74 - Jul 17, 2013 at 8:24 AM

      thats right. Lakers do not tank. making the playoffs at a 95% clip the past 30 years prove that…and i think they have done alright in that time span, yeah?

  22. sackings916 - Jul 17, 2013 at 11:59 AM

    I bet the biggest fan of Dwight over this summer was none other than Lebron James himself. He loves how all the attention of the dreaded “decision” has now shifted over to Dwight’s indecision and wishy washy ways of the past few years. Dwight Howard has become almost a cancer it would seem for any team and I do not believe the Rockets are the team left in the west when its all said and done. They will be better with him of course, but I’m just not sold on him is all. Lakers will be better without him.

  23. sackings916 - Jul 17, 2013 at 1:47 PM

    Lakers suck!

  24. antistratfordian - Jul 22, 2013 at 11:22 PM

    …and the Lakers defense will leak like fluid.

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