Can LA Lakers Make a Run If Kobe Bryant and Steve Nash Return Soon?

In a word—no.

Adding another—no chance.

Even the return of two former MVPs won't save the Los Angeles Lakers' season now, no matter how quickly Kobe Bryant and Steve Nash come back.

It's over.

The Lakers sit 13th in the West heading into Tuesday night's action, nine-and-a-half games out of the final playoff spot and just a precarious half-game up from being in the Western Conference cellar.

Their offense has lost all its usual potency, ranking 22nd in the league in points per possession.

During Kobe Bryant's tenure in Los Angeles, the Lakers have never finished lower than 11th in that category.

Defensively it's even worse, as L.A. rates 26th in the NBA in points allowed per possession. That's not surprising given the roster composition and the way Mike D'Antoni likes to play.

No team has allowed their opponents to attempt more field goals in the restricted area than the Lakers. And it's not even that close. The Boston Celtics, who surrender the third most attempts at the hoop, are closer to 17th in that category than they are to the Lakers.

And only the Philadelphia 76ers allow more corner-three attempts than L.A.

Corner-three-point attempts and field goals right at the rim are the two juiciest shots in basketball—the shots that every offense aims to generate on each possession—and the Lakers give up those prime looks more frequently than any other team in the league.

Bryant and Nash—two notably subpar defenders—won't help any in that department.

Where they can be of use, however, is on the offensive end.

The two haven't played a single minute together this season, but in 2013 the Lakers were vastly superior on offense when their two starting guards were on the court at the same time.

According to NBA Wowy, in the 1,422 minutes Bryant and N...

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