Will Nash finally win one?By Sev Sarmenta
Philippine Daily Inquirer
NBA fans have never had a better All-Saints’ Day break.
The new season unfolded, and many fans opted to avoid the Nov. 1 crowd, electing to troop to the cemeteries this weekend and watch the NBA games instead.
Older folk frown on this, because Nov. 1 should be dedicated to those who have passed away and nothing else. And definitely not basketball.
But you can’t blame the fans completely, for there are a hundred and one stories to follow, especially those of the teams that completed blockbuster trades in the off-season.
Ray Allen’s departure from Boston to Miami, Jason Terry’s hop from Dallas to Boston and James Harden’s move from Oklahoma to Houston were some of the stories that hugged sports headlines recently.
Hands-down, though, the most celebrated moves were instigated—and completed—by the Los Angeles Lakers, who brought in All-Star center Dwight Howard and two-time MVP Steve Nash in the off-season.
Fans are anticipating Showtime’s return to Los Angeles given that Nash can run a very high-octane offense.
Nash has two quality big men in Howard and Paul Gasol and an all-around offensive threat named Kobe Bryant. Without question, this could be a potent brew if all the ingredients mesh correctly.
The Lakers’ moves were very similar to the Miami Heat’s own buildup two years ago, when Lebron James and Chris Bosh were recruited to join Dwyane Wade. It took two years before the Heat won it all last season.
Los Angeles also had a similar recruitment coup a few seasons ago, when Bryant and Shaquille O’Neal were joined by Gary Payton and Karl Malone. Although it looked like an unbeatable unit, the Lakers didn’t win a title with that version of a Big Four.
Many Filipino fans are hopeful that Nash will finally win a title before the 38-year-old guard hangs up his sneakers. Filipinos like Nash’s freelancing, flexible approach, which is similar to the way we play the game. Nash has always been a great passer but can crank up shots from the perimeter if necessary.
It’s not as if the Lakers will simply walk over the Oklahoma Thunder and other Western powerhouses with its new cast. The Lakers system for this season will determine if Nash will finally win a crown.
Sadly, though, Nash and the Lakers have started 0-2, bowing to the undermanned Dallas Mavericks, 99-91, on Tuesday, and to the Portland Trailblazers, 116-106, on Wednesday.
Despite his age, Nash can still run the break and lead a different version of Showtime. The Lakers’ half court set should be a work in progress just as it was for the Heat, who had to get used to having three superstars playing at the same time.
But with Nash’s abilities and with a solid crew, this could be the year that Nash finally becomes an NBA champion.
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