A Quick Look at Lakers Heading into Battle Versus Knicks

After a fairly disappointing first battle in New York a little less than two weeks ago, the Los Angeles Lakers and New York Knicks will battle again on Christmas Day, as Kobe Bryant and Carmelo Anthony will be front and center at Staples Center.

Anthony was at his finest the last time these two teams met, but unfortunately, his night was cut short, as he sprained his ankle in the third quarter.

Bryant was quite productive at Madison Square Garden, as he brought the Lakers back into the game and made it competitive at the end, although he required a fair amount of shots to do so.

But this time around, things promise to be far more different.

In the same manner that Jason Kidd has been instrumental to the Knickerbockers with his leadership, playmaking, shooting and overall intangibles, an argument could be made that Steve Nash brings the same things to the table for the Purple and Gold and might, in fact, be more important to his team than his former mentor is to his.

Oddly enough, two of the best point guards in NBA history will rarely match up against each other given that the former Maverick now starts at shooting guard, and thus, will be called upon to defend the Black Mamba.

Consequently, Nash will probably get stuck defending Raymond Felton, whose eyes will undoubtedly light up when he sees Kid Canada guarding him.

Mike D’Antoni will have the option of hiding Nash on Corey Brewer, and thus have Darius Morris defend Felton; but that strategy would require Pau Gasol to defend Carmelo Anthony in what may be an impossible defensive matchup for the Spaniard.

The other options at the coaching staff’s disposal would revolve around the backcourts matching up with each other while Bryant guards Anthony in what would be branded as an advantageous matchup for the Knicks. Perhaps sliding World Peace into the starting lineup will offer the Lakers the best co...

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