Why Pau Gasol and Dwight Howard Will Define Steve Nash’s Success

Dwight Howard and Pau Gasol are the main determinants of how effective Steve Nash is going to be in Los Angeles. How well the two Los Angeles Lakers' big men play on the offensive and defensive end of the floor will determine Nash's success.

The Lakers are in the process of implementing a new offense after a rather lackluster performance in 2011-12. Along with a new offensive system usually comes a learning curve. Head coach Mike Brown’s new system is a mixture of the Princeton offense and schemes the Lakers ran last season. Brown even hired former NBA head coach Eddie Jordan to aid the installation process of the Princeton offense.

Howard has never played in the Princeton offense before. Neither has Nash, nor most of the Lakers' players for that matter. If you think the Lakers are going to come out of the gate like the Boston Celtics in 2007-08, you're mistaken. It's going to take them some time to learn to play with one another, similar to the Miami Heat after they added LeBron James and Chris Bosh. 

Nash should be fine learning the new offense. He's mastered the pick-and-roll, and he's smart enough to incorporate the read-and-react aspect of the Princeton offense. Gasol should be good too because the read-and-react was also a large element of the triangle offense the Lakers ran under Phil Jackson. 

Howard may struggle at first. Not only has Howard never played in the Princeton offense, but it's been years since he wasn't a team's No. 1 option. How will Howard react to being the No. 2, or possibly the No. 3 option on the Lakers offense? The pick-and-roll game isn't new to Howard, though. He did it in Orlando, and he executed with Kobe Bryant and Nash in his first preseason game with the Lakers against the Sacramento Kings. 

If the two big men figure out what they are supposed to do in...

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