What is Steve Nash’s Proper Role on the LA Lakers Next Year?

There is no reason why a healthy Steve Nash can’t be one of the most effective players on the floor for the Los Angeles Lakers in 2014. At age 39, Nash is a step slower than he was in his prime, but throughout his career he has never relied on athleticism or strength to win—just his head.

The only foreseeable roadblock next season will be his health. Although Nash’s physical fragility doesn’t hinder his production, it does affect how often he gets injured. Last season, the veteran point guard played in just 50 games, the second-lowest total of his 16-year career in the NBA.

Nash suffered a fracture in his leg just two games into the new season and missed about seven weeks in addition to sitting out the final eight games of LA’s season with a hip injury that caused nerve damage in his right hamstring.

Statistically, Nash is slowing down.

In 2013, he dished out 6.7 assists per game, just the second time in the past nine years that he has averaged less than 10 dimes a night. However, a great deal of that can be attributed to the fact that the offense never really clicked under Mike D’Antoni the way it did when Nash played for him on the Phoenix Suns.

Steve Nash is not LeBron James—he is not going to go coast-to-coast and finish above the rim, nor is he going to work in isolation on the offensive end.

Nash has been a pick-and-roll master for his entire career, as evidenced by his back-to-back MVP award in 2005 and 2006 under D’Antoni in Phoenix. However, Kobe Bryant took over the role of distributor with Nash in and out of the lineup.

With the Mamba running the show, Nash was relegated to becoming basically a spot-up shooter. The future Hall of Famer readily accepted the role, netting nearly 50 percent of his shots from the field and 43.8 percent from beyond the three-point arc while posting 12.7 points per game.

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