L.A. Lakers: Nash, Bryant’s Offense Is More Important Than Perimeter Defense

There are numerous reasons the new and improved Los Angeles Lakers could fail to qualify for the 2013 NBA Finals, but contrary to popular opinion poor perimeter defense is not one of them.

It's extremely difficult to find room for criticism in a roster that includes the likes of Kobe Bryant, Steve Nash, Dwight Howard and Pau Gasol, but if you were to compile a list, perimeter defense would fall behind after chemistry, Howard's back and the threat of injuries.

However, poor chemistry, Howard's injury and the threat of more due to age are legitimate concerns on the road to a title, but the lack of perimeter defense isn't.

When the Lakers perimeter defense is mentioned it's usually in reference to Nash who has never even had the benefit of being called an average defender, and Bryant whose recurring first team All NBA defense selections are perceived to be based on his reputation.

Nash has never held much interest for the defensive end of the floor, but it's not like his lack of attention in that category has prevented him from being dominant at his position anyway.

Nash's ability to orchestrate an offense and increase the productivity of his teammates has always over-shadowed his struggles on the defensive end of the court.

Nash's best defense may be pushing the ball up the court after an oponent's made basket, but remember he managed to push mostly mediocre Phoenix teams consistently to the brinks of the postseason and beyond.

And Nash has never had the benefit of playing alongside talents like Howard, Gasol and Bryant.

Especially Bryant.

Kobe's critics like to say that his multiple first team defense awards are undeserved, but in doing so, they are suggesting that they are better judges of NBA defense than the head coaches that pick the teams.

That one award is one of the few end-of-season NBA awards that actually are derived from people...

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