Can Steve Nash and Dwight Howard Pick-and-Roll Chemistry Save Lakers’ Season?

The Los Angeles Lakers notched a crucial, emotional victory over the Boston Celtics on Wednesday night, 113-99. It was the team's first game since their legendary owner, Dr. Jerry Buss, passed away.

Kobe Bryant addressed the crowd at Staples Center before the game, and the team paid a moving tribute to their dearly departed patriarch. 

But once the game tipped off, L.A. was all business. The Lakers finished with seven players in double figures and they totaled 54 points in the paint (Boston had just 30). The offense was so good as a unit, Kobe was almost an afterthought.

Steve Nash finished with 14 points on 6-of-7 shooting and seven assists.

And Dwight Howard looked rejuvenated after the All-Star break, putting in 24 points and pulling down 12 boards, including seven on the offensive glass.

But can Nash and Howard's newfound chemistry salvage the Lakers' season? Well, yes and no.

It can punch their ticket to the playoffs, but it won't get them any further than the second round, if that.


Spoiler Alert

Against Boston on Wednesday, Howard was moving around the offensive half court like Baryshnikov.

He was setting beautiful ball screens without slipping off early, which keyed a host of buckets off the pick-and-roll. The Lakers point differential was plus-22 with Howard on the court.

Following their dismal start to the season, the Lakers are showing signs of life. This team can make the playoffs, there's no doubt about that. They're still a disappointing 26-29, but they're only three-and-a-half games out of the final playoff spot.

So is a potent Nash-to-Howard pick-and-roll enough to save the season? Not really.

As GM Mitch Kupchak told ESPN Radio's Colin Cowherd on Wednesday, "As of now, we're looking at a two-year window, [and that] plays to the ur...

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