If You Thought Kobe Was MVP, Wait Until He Clicks with Returning Steve Nash

Steve Nash might not be the MVP he once was, but his presence should aid a teammate in his race for the prestigious title. 

Kobe Bryant is playing at the highest individual level. He leads the NBA in scoring at 29.5 points, and whether he feels like it or not, he doesn't look like he's aged a day.

But over the past month, he's been riding the bus without a driver.

Steve Nash's ability to control the tempo of the game and put his teammates in the best position to make a play will be a huge pick-me-up for a team that's been switching between Chris Duhon and Darius Morris at point.

Some wonder whether two ball-dominant guards can co-exist in the same backcourt. With Kobe at 34 years old and Nash at 38, I don't think either will mind giving up an extra few dribbles a game.

One of the reasons this can work is because of an underrated part of Nash's game that rarely gets recognition: his thee-point shot. He's actually one of the best shooters of our generation, finishing above 39 percent from downtown in every season but one (37 percent in 1999).

The Nash-Bryant duo could end up being lethal in the drive and dish game, with both capable of penetrating and making spot-up open looks.

But what will really help out Kobe Bryant is Nash's ability to make everyone else around him better. Most of the time you wouldn't even realize it; it could be a dribble-hand-off to free up a shooter, a ball reversal or something as simple as an entry pass.

By getting guys like Dwight Howard and Pau Gasol consistently involved, it will free up Kobe on the perimeter. And if it doesn't, that means Howard and Gasol should be getting plenty of opportunities to operate one-on-one in space.

Nash will provide the Lakers with a more balanced offensive attack—having Bryant take the ball up the court is a waste of his offensive talent. He shouldn't be the one setting up the play, but ...

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