The Los Angeles Lakers have had a serious deficiency at the point guard position for a decade. Finally, the Lakers’ front office has made a move to bring in one of the best point guards of all time, Steve Nash. Nash has 9,916 career assists (5th in NBA history) and is still considered one of the best passers in the league, even as a 38-year-old veteran.
Nash is the starting point guard and unquestioned leader of the Lakers. He has been handed the keys to a Lamborghini. He has so many options on offense it’s unfair. Nash has a great basketball mind and is also an underrated shooter. For his career, Nash shoots 49.1% from the field. What the Lakers have been missing the past few year is an athletic point guard that can pass and hit an open shot. Nash isn’t the most athletic guard in the game but he really is the key to the Lakers’ offense. The Dwight Howard acquisition wouldn’t be as significant if the Lakers didn’t have Steve Nash. He makes his teammates better, so expect another great season for the 15-year veteran.
The point guard is the Lakers’ deepest position in terms of players on the roster. Nash is backed up by Steve Blake, Darius Morris, and Chris Duhon. Steve Blake will see a majority of the minutes off the bench at point just like last season, but if he doesn’t produce I can see head coach Mike Brown giving more time to the veteran Duhon. Blake had a great start to the season last year but his shot cooled off around the time the Lakers traded for Ramon Sessions half-way through the season. Blake is under contract with the Lakers for two more seasons.
Darius Morris is a talented player but he is still very young and inexperienced. As a rookie out of Michigan last season, Morris averaged 2.4 points in about nine minutes of play per game. He played on the Lakers 2012 Summer League team, but was inconsistent. He put up over 15 points a game but also averaged 3.4 turnovers. He has a habit of trying to do too much, which leads to a forced shot or a turnover, reminiscent of a young Kobe Bryant. He is the youngest, most athletic guard on the team so his defensive ability will be valuable in guarding teams with deep benches at the one spot.
Chris Duhon, who came to the Lakers as part of the Dwight Howard trade, is an 8-year veteran out of Duke. He is a smart basketball player, who plays efficiently, common characteristics among guards coached by legendary Duke head coach Mike Krzyzewski. He played significant minutes with Orlando last season, a team that played point guard by committee. His playing time will increase as the season moves on as Mike Brown will look to rest Nash for the playoffs.
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