Is This the Steve Nash LA Lakers Will See Again Next Season?

Due to injuries Los Angeles Lakers point guard Steve Nash only managed to start 50 games during the 2012-13 regular season, yet he still averaged 12.7 points and 6.7 assists while shooting 49.7 percent from the field and nearly 44 percent from the three-point line.

Those are decent numbers when you consider Nash was forced to concede most of the ball-handling duties to Kobe Bryant, and he had to adapt to having two interior players in Pau Gasol and Dwight Howard, who were actually more comfortable playing in the paint.

Nash has vowed not to take any time off in his effort to be 100 percent healthy entering the 2013-14 season, but even if he does reach that goal, can he really be a better player at 40 than he is at 39?

More continuity would certainly help Nash and the Lakers next season, assuming Howard decides to make Los Angeles his long-term home, but a full offseason and training camp will not solve all of the Lakers' issues.

And it definitely doesn't ease my main concern about Nash.

If the Lakers are able to keep their core intact, then improved chemistry will make them a stronger team. But if Kobe does make a successful return from his Achilles injury and is available opening day, the Lakers will also be one of the NBA's oldest teams.

And that doesn't bode well when you consider the only way the Lakers can be competitive with the younger teams in their conference is if they slow the game down and focus on playing dominant defense.

Even when Nash was younger, he never much cared for defense and while we might see a healthier version of Nash next season, what are the chances that he will be a better defensive player?

I would say slim to none, but compared to how awful he was this season, anything would be an improvement.

Nash and Bryant can still be a potent tandem on offense next season, but it's equally possible that they might be the worst defensive backcour...

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