This was supposed to be a dream season for the Los Angeles Lakers.
Things have not gone as planned.
The Lakers finished with the No. 7 seed in the Western Conference and will play the San Antonio Spurs in the first round. They ended the season with a 45-37 record and Bryant is lost for the playoffs with an injury.
One reason for the unsuccessful season was the play of Nash. The former Phoenix Sun and Dallas Maverick was either injured or not the player he once was. Even when the Lakers fired Mike Brown and hired his former coach in Phoenix, Mike D’Antoni, things didn’t gel the way the Lakers were hoping.
Nash only averaged 6.7 assists a game, which was his lowest since 1998 when he averaged 5.5 for the Mavericks. He also only played 50 games and averaged 12.7 points.
The experiment didn’t work. It is time for the Lakers to move on.
While the Lakers’ window with Bryant may not be open for long, Nash just doesn’t fit. Nash needs to have the ball in his hand. So does Bryant. Nash looks to penetrate the defense and kick out to open shooters. Bryant also drives the lane, but looks to shoot a little more than pass.
Nash doesn’t mix with the current Lakers roster. They do not have the shooters that Nash’s old Suns teams did. Players like Metta World Peace, Antawn Jamison and Jodie Meeks can shoot from behind the arc, but it is not really their game.
Nash has also become an liability on the defensive end. He can’t stay in front of most of the elite point guards in the league. Russell Westbrook, Ty Lawson and even Tony Parker have field days against Nash because of their quickness.
What could the Lakers get for Nash? At this point probably not much. An over-the-hill point guard is not something teams are really looking for. The Lakers and Nash may be stuck with each other.
The two biggest name point guards hitting free agency in the summer are the Los Angeles Clippers’ Chris Paul and the Milwaukee Bucks’ Brandon Jennings. Paul will probably stay with the other team in Los Angeles and Jennings needs the ball in his hands a lot, which would not mix with Kobe Bryant.
The Lakers want to eventual build their team around Howard, if he signs with team this offseason. Nash should not be part of that future.
The Lakers tried to match the Miami Heat and create a Big Three (or Four if Gasol was included). It just wasn’t the right mix of talent. The Heat have three stars in their prime. Nash is past his prime, Bryant is headed towards the end and you never know what you are going to get with Howard.
Cut bait with Nash, Lakers. It is in the best interest of the historic franchise.