How Long Will It Take Healthy Lakers to Reach Peak Form?

Now that Steve Nash and Pau Gasol have finally both returned to the Los Angeles Lakers, it's time to answer the question: How long will it take the healthy Lakers to reach peak form?

Now it's important to note that the Lakers aren't healthy quite yet. Dwight Howard's health has improved since the start of the season, but he's clearly still dealing with back issues. So for the sake of argument, we'll assume that Dwight recovers over the course of the season.

Strangely enough, exactly when the Lakers reach their peak form won't be measured with time, but with change.

The Lakers, even when healthy, have two serious flaws—a terribly constructed play style and an utter lack of team chemistry. They'll reach their top gear as soon as those two very fixable flaws are taken care of...and not a second sooner.

We'll start with the system.

There were some serious critics of the Mike D'Antoni hire when it was made, and the reasons behind those criticisms are becoming apparent. His vaunted basketball system is simply nowhere near optimal for the current iteration of the Lakers.

D'Antoni's system is centered around playing offensive-minded basketball at breakneck speed. It requires a whole lot of speed, athleticism and outside shooting to be effective. Naturally, the Lakers have almost none of those things.

The Lakers are old, slow and not at all athletic. They have a couple of shooters, but not the amount or level of shooters that D'Antoni's system requires to be successful.

Yet, for whatever reason, the Lakers are still trying to run D'Antoni's system with little or no modifications to suit their personnel. They currently play the fourth-fastest brand of basketball in the league, and they've hoisted up 744 three-pointers so far this season, putting them at third overall in three-point attempts (per Basketball Reference).

The result has been a disorganized mess, both ...

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