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Does Steve Nash make the Lakers title contenders? [Poll]

July 05, 2012
  • Steve Nash became a member of the Lakers after a sign-and-trade deal was completed with Phoenix.
Steve Nash became a member of the Lakers after a sign-and-trade deal was… (Christian Petersen / Getty…)

Writers from around Tribune Co. discuss whether the acquisition of two-time league MVP Steve Nash puts the Lakers back in the running for the NBA title. Check back throughout the day for their responses and join the discussion by voting in the poll and leaving a comment of your own.

Ben Bolch, Los Angeles Times

In two word: Heck, yes. Steve Nash not only gives the Lakers the dynamic point guard they have lacked for, oh, 20 years, he makes the core trio of Kobe Bryant, Andrew Bynum and Pau Gasol exponentially better.

The Lakers can make the pick-and-roll game a staple of their offense while spreading the floor more effectively and benefiting from the sharpshooting of a player who has made 42.8% of his three-pointers over his career.

Nash, who has not won a title in his 16 NBA seasons, will also infuse the Lakers with a hunger that had been palpably absent outside of Bryant. Additionally, he'll play the role of good-guy leader in the locker room, somewhat offsetting the more menacing Bryant.

Of course, as the wins pile up, there may not be as much drama in Lakerland this season.

K.C. Johnson, Chicago Tribune

Yes, the Lakers are title contenders again but not merely because they added an aging star who occasionally will struggle to coexist with the ball-stopping ways of Kobe Bryant and Andrew Bynum.

Steve Nash, no matter his age, remains an elite player. More important, he remains an elite shooter, one of the best in league history. Nash is the only player in NBA history to shoot 50% from the field, 40% from three-point range and 90% on free throws more than twice. He has done so four times and was near a fifth time last season.

The Lakers have struggled in recent playoff runs with defenses collapsing on big men Pau Gasol and Bynum and doubling Bryant, daring shooters like Derek Fisher and Steve Blake to beat them. No longer. Now, defense will be an issue if the the Lakers are to win it all. But when you add Nash to the uber-competitor Bryant, you're at least back in the picture.


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