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Dwight Howard Believes Steve Nash Will Help Improve Lakers’ Defense Reviewed by Momizat on . One of the glaring problems for the Los Angeles Lakers during the 2012-13 NBA season thus far has been on the defensive end of the floor. The Lakers currently a One of the glaring problems for the Los Angeles Lakers during the 2012-13 NBA season thus far has been on the defensive end of the floor. The Lakers currently a Rating:
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Dwight Howard Believes Steve Nash Will Help Improve Lakers’ Defense

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SteveNashReturnOne of the glaring problems for the Los Angeles Lakers during the 2012-13 NBA season thus far has been on the defensive end of the floor. The Lakers currently are among the league’s best in scoring, putting up 102.0 points per game and dominate the glass with 46.0 rebounds per contest, but give up 99.3 points to opponents (21st in the NBA) on a nightly basis.

Obviously, giving up almost 100 points a night is a problem that needs to be corrected by a team with three of the league’s best defenders in Kobe Bryant, Dwight Howard and Metta World Peace. Even though Bryant and World Peace are on the backend of their careers in the league and Howard is still trying to get back to form after off-season back surgery, there’s no excuse for the Lakers’ defensive problems this season as they should be playing much better on that end of the floor.

Before helping the Lakers win a third consecutive game in hard-fought battle against the lowly Charlotte Bobcats on Tuesday night, Howard talked about Steve Nash’s return to the floor and how the veteran’s presence will help the team defensively via Eric Pincus of the L.A. Times:

“Most of the time our half-court defense has been pretty good. That teams that kill us [do it] with fast-break points, which on the stats sheet show up as points in the paint, and it makes it seem like we’re not playing defense.”

The Lakers turn the ball over 16.2 times a night, second-worst in the league.  Howard expects Nash to orchestrate a more cohesive offense, resulting in fewer turnovers, which would drastically reduce fast-break opportunities for their opponents.

Nash’s defense has been considered his biggest flaw during his career with his focus strictly on the offensive end of the floor. Howard does have a point here though as Nash’s return might very well reduce the defensive deficiency with a more efficient offense.

Another advantage of having Nash on the floor will be the fact that the team won’t be putting so much energy on the offensive. Nash’s penetration will draw the defense and leave shooters like Bryant, World Peace, Jodie Meeks, Antawn Jamison and others open on the perimeter. This means less one-on-one basketball that the team has been resorted to and a more fluid style of offense that should help in all areas.

It’ll be interesting to see Nash’s impact that might be felt as early as this Saturday against the Golden State Warriors in the Bay Area. It remains uncertain whether or not Nash will ultimately be a game-changer for the Lakers that’ll help cure the team’s problems on both ends of the floor, but it’s hard to imagine that having the two-time NBA MVP back on the floor won’t improve the team considerably.

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About The Author

Ryan is a senior writer for Lakers Nation and Examiner.com with an undying passion writing about the Los Angeles Lakers. Follow Ryan on Twitter: @Lakers_Examiner

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  • Maxpr1me

    The Lakers problem is easily solved. First; stop the twin towers
    experiment. Gasol should be playing strictly at center. As Howards
    back-up. Metta should be playing the stretch four with Kobe
    playing the speed 3. Meeks at SG and Nash the Point. Second unit; Gasol
    at C,
    Hill at PF, Jamison at SF, Morris at SG and Duhon/Blake at PG…This
    makes the starting unit faster w/better chemistry. And gives them a
    great second unit. Hill’s midrange jumper and Jamison’s slashing
    compliment Gasol’s post-up and passing out at center. Except for Morris
    being a second yr player he has shown the ability to make his shots.
    That’s a pretty good second team.

    • http://www.facebook.com/joshthomas13 Josh Thomas

      You really think a player like Pau Gasol–three FIBA world championships, two Olympic silver medals, four-time NBA All-star, two-time NBA champion–deserves to only play back-up minutes to Dwight Howard? What’s that, like 6-8 minutes per game? Gasol is worth every penny of the $19 million he is making this year, and you don’t pay a guy that much to play 8 minutes. Dwight and Pau just need to learn to play together, and D’Antoni needs to adjust some of his offensive schemes to make it work.

  • JohnC

    Dwight is a rebound monster, a beast in the zone. But don’t give him the ball 4 metres away from the rim or he will lose 1 out of 3 times. Howard numbers will be higher with both Gasol and Nash. Nash is probably the one who can ‘destroy’ D’Antoni’s crazy, predictable system by making Pau and Howard coexist,

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