LA Lakers Players Under the Most Pressure in 2013-14

They say pressure bursts pipes, and the Los Angeles Lakers have two stars under a mountain of pressure to perform. 

While Kobe Bryant may get a pass due to his return from a severe Achilles tendon injury, both Pau Gasol and Steve Nash will need to bring their best this season in order for the Lakers to make a playoff push.

Especially after undergoing such a disappointing 2012-13 season, Nash is going to have to stay durable and healthy throughout the upcoming campaign while producing quality numbers.

For Gasol, the 2013-14 season is a chance for him to reassert himself as the alpha male in the paint after having to share the interior with Dwight Howard last season.

Alongside Bryant, both Nash and Gasol will have to anchor a supporting cast that has replaced a lot of veteran talent with very raw prospects.


Pau Gasol

While his averages of 13.7 points and close to nine rebounds per game last season are nothing to scoff at, they certainly pale in comparison to his career averages of 18.4 points and over nine rebounds per game. 

Playing in only 49 games last season, Gasol had a hard time finding a rhythm because of his inability to stay on the court and the inconsistency of the system that Mike D'Antoni was trying to implement. 

Despite his shortcomings last season, most of the pressure was on Dwight Howard. The purported savior of the franchise, his acquisition didn't bring the Lakers to contender status like it was supposed to.

Without Howard this season, Gasol will be the primary option in the paint on both ends of the court.

Tasked with being the interior scorer as well as the rim protector, Gasol will have to stay healthy and perform up to his past expectations in order to acquire any sort of redemption for last year's mishaps. 

As versatile and skilled as he is, Gasol is ...

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