It’s Up to Steve Nash, Not Kobe Bryant, to Save Lakers’ Sinking Title Hopes

After a deflating six-game losing streak highlighted by defeats at the hands of the Houston Rockets, San Antonio Spurs and Oklahoma City Thunder, the Los Angeles Lakers (17-22) have slowly rebounded and looked far better in recent games against the likes of the Cleveland Cavaliers and Milwaukee Bucks.

A cynic would be quick to point out that defeating those teams at Staples Center is hardly a cause for celebration, but then again, great teams are expected to blow out inferior competition at home, and that’s exactly what the Purple and Gold did.

Obviously, the Lakers’ record disqualifies them at present time from earning the label of great, but the team certainly seems to be showing some signs of turning the corner.

And really, if the Lakers are going to have any shot at winning the title this year, it will be because they managed to fix their issues and get hot in the stretch run of the regular season.

To do that though, Steve Nash may have to play like, well, Steve Nash.

One would assume that Mike D’Antoni’s title hopes would revolve around the exploits of Kobe Bryant, and although that's partly true, it’s not completely accurate.

Consider the fact that the Black Mamba is converting a career-high true shooting percentage of 58.8 percent (true shooting percentage takes a player’s field-goal, free-throw and three-point field goal percentage and blends it into one stat). As a result his scoring forays have looked much more effortless than in previous seasons, and yet the Lakers are still a sub-.500 team.

This isn’t an indictment of Bryant’s gifts as a player or scorer, but rather an indication that Kobe can carry the 2012-13 Lakers for stretches, but needs a backcourt partner to help set the table for the rest of the players on the roster.

Let’s make this abundantly clear: With Nash missing time due to his injured leg, D...

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