Steve Nash Will Make Mike D’Antoni’s Offense Work for Los Angeles Lakers

Steve Nash is aiming to return to the lineup for the Los Angeles Lakers on December 22nd against the Golden State Warriors.

And the timing couldn't be much better. The Lakers are on a three-game winning streak, after nearly stubbing their collective toe against the visiting Charlotte Bobcats on December 18th. Pau Gasol is back in action, and though he's a bit rusty from his eight-game layoff, the rest appears to have served his aching knees well.

Mike D'Antoni may have tinkered his way into a new rotation, with Kobe Bryant sliding over to small foward, Jodie Meeks starting at shooting guard, Metta World Peace moving to the bench to play power forward and Gasol and Dwight Howard essentially splitting duties at center after the opening few minutes.

All of which sets up perfectly for Nash. The last time he donned a Purple-and-Gold uniform, Steve was seen struggling to adjust to life in Mike Brown's ill-conceived Princeton-ish offense. After 24 games away—or 25, if he opts for a re-debut on Christmas Day against the New York Knicks instead—Nash will find himself more at home in an offense and under a coach with which and whom he won back-to-back MVPs and led the Phoenix Suns to two Western Conference Finals (three, if you count the run in 2010 under Alvin Gentry).

The parts are decidedly different, but the overall philosophy should be familiar enough. Instead of one giant with whom to run the pick-and-roll, Nash will have two. One (Howard) is arguably the best roll man in basketball.

The other (Gasol) possesses the requisite skill to pop out for a jump shot or serve as a second set-up man in LA's repartee.

Kobe and Jodie can both spread the floor on the wings. But in Bryant, Nash will have something he hasn't seen since he last teamed with Joe Johnson—a swingman capable of creating shots for himself and his teammates. It'll take time for Kobe and ...

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