Forget the 9-14 start. Forget the embarrassing state of the Laker Defense. Fuck all that the Mike Brown nonsense.
This season started last Friday night.
I’ll be real about it, I’ve probably watched less Laker basketball this year than I have since the Randy Pfund era was in full bloom. Look, I can watch a bad team if they are expected to be such, but forgive me if I have no interest in spending 2 and a half hours watching a 100 million dollar collection of basketball talent get their asses dragged up and down the court, get outhustled by shitty teams and yield countless easy baskets as if it were part of some charity drive.
I said it when they hired Mike D’ Antoni: Call me when Steve Nash gets back. This whole season hinges on Nash, and judging the successes or failures of the Lakers before then was not only a waste of time, it was downtright ignorant.
There are a whole mess of reasons why the Lakers started the season so terribly. Blame the defense, blame the lack of chemistry, blame the defense (again), blame Dwight Howard’s free throw shooting, blame the injuries, too. Thing is, if there was an antidote foor this plethora of misfortunes, Nash was it. With him, the offense runs smoother. Guys get open shots. Morale improves. Hell, for all the talk of his defense (or lack thereof), just you wait and see if the defense doesn’t start improving in short order. Trust me, the Lakers defensive failures have been more about effort and morale than scheme or personnel. It may have taken three quarters, but this Laker team looked more than capable defensively in the 4th quarter and overtime of Nash’s first game back.
So yeah, I tuned into to watch Nash’s return against the Warriors on Saturday night because this is what i’ve been waiting two months to see what this team is really gonna look like. It took awhile to take hold, but it looked alot like what i thought it would. This team should be devastating on offense, and it was. This team should have too many weapons and too much passing, and they did. 33 assists worth. And yeah, this team should buckle down in crunch time and be good enough defensively to win, and they were.
That’s all that is needed, really. If they scored 108 in regulation against the Warriors, well that’s gonna be more than enough to win on almost any night, even against teams that can shoot like Golden State can. On his first game back, they went into Oakland and beat an 18-9 team that had won 8 out of it’s last 10. They won a game where Kobe Bryant took FORTY ONE SHOTS and somehow failed to get to the free throw line even once. hey, I’ll take it.
I’m dead serious about this. For this year, it’s all about Nash. With him, everything is still possible. Without him, this team is dead in the fucking water. Just ask yourself why a team that is getting Kobe Bryant’s best season in a decade and World peace’s best season since he was Ron Artest was steadily getting humiliated while Nash sat on the bench in a suit. God knows I’ll miss the days of Chris Duhon and Darius Morris manning the point (ok, so I’m lying) for a team full of megastars, but if Steve Nash has a skill, it’s his ability to elevate the game of those around him, to make life easier for all. Almost nobody can do it better, even at his advanced age.
Now, it’s gonna get fun. Now, I won’t miss a game. Hope you had your fun at the Lakers’ expense while you could, because that’s all over for now.
Merry Christmas and shit.