Lakers News: How Steve Nash, Pau Gasol Will Solve LA’s Problems

Coming into the season, the Los Angeles Lakers looked like the most dangerous team in the Western Conference.

Kobe Bryant and Pau Gasol were already in the fold, and the team had acquired Steve Nash from Phoenix and Dwight Howard from Orlando. Nash is one of the most dynamic point guards in recent history, while Howard is widely considered to be the top center in the game.

With Nash on the perimeter, Howard in the post and Kobe on the wing, what could possibly go wrong?

Well, as it turns out, a lot. Nash hasn't played since Halloween, and Gasol has been out of the lineup since Dec. 2. The Lakers are 11-14 on the season and wouldn't be in the playoffs if they started today.

But Lakers beat reporter Mike Trudell is reporting that both Nash and Gasol as expected to return to practice this week.

And when both players return, the Lakers will get back to where they belong—atop the Western Conference.

The Lakers fired head coach Mike Brown Nov. 9 after a 1-4 start to the season. Since then, the Lakers are just 10-10.

Mike D'Antoni has implemented a much different system with the Lakers, and the team has felt some growing pains during its adjustment from Brown to D'Antoni. Defensively, the Lakers rank just 21st in the league, allowing 99.3 points per game.

Nash's defensive deficiencies have been well documented. And while Kobe was once one of the league's most versatile defenders, he's no longer capable of shutting down an elite scorer.

Los Angeles certainly won't find a head coach that makes Nash or Kobe any younger. If the Lakers are going to turn things around, it will be because of their high-scoring offense.

D'Antoni coached Nash from 2004-2008 in Phoenix, and the Suns were consistently one of the highest scoring teams in the league under his direction.

Once Nash returns to the Lakers' lineup, the pieces are in place for a similar, ...

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