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Lakers Nation Roundtable: Expectations For Steve Nash In 2013-14 Reviewed by Momizat on . It is no secret that Steve Nash had a disappointing debut season for the Lakers last year. Expectations for the team were automatically raised when Nash was acq It is no secret that Steve Nash had a disappointing debut season for the Lakers last year. Expectations for the team were automatically raised when Nash was acq Rating:
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Lakers Nation Roundtable: Expectations For Steve Nash In 2013-14

nba_u_nash1x_576It is no secret that Steve Nash had a disappointing debut season for the Lakers last year. Expectations for the team were automatically raised when Nash was acquired, and that was before Dwight Howard came to Los Angeles for a single season.

With improved health coming into this season, Nash will need to contribute to the team at a much higher and more consistent level than last year. In the 2012-13 season, he averaged 12.7 points and 6.7 assists per game and only appeared in 50 regular season games.

We asked our Lakers Nation roundtable writers what their expectations for Steve Nash are in the 2013-14 season, and here’s what they had to say:

Suki Thind (@TheRealSuki): What I expect from Steve Nash is to have an impact next season. I hope he’s able to stay healthy, so in that regard, I expect his minutes to be limited. Additionally, I expect from Nash what has been one of his most ins tangible assets over his career–leadership. With a group of young players coupled with an offense familiar to Nash, I expect him to lead by teaching, mentoring, and of course by example.

Last season, he adjusted to playing alongside Kobe Bryant, Dwight Howard, and Pau Gasol by handling the ball less and shooting the ball more. He did that successfully, as he averaged 12.7 points on 49.7 percent shooting from the field and 43.8 percent shooting from behind the three-point line; he averaged just 6.7 assists.

Next season, however, I expect him to orchestrate the offense a bit more and dish out assists more frequently.

Ramneet Singh (@RamneetSingh24): Steve Nash will turn 40 years of age midway into the 2013-14 season, and for the Lakers, that is not good news.

Although Nash has played well despite the age, last season was one to forget for the future Hall of Fame guard. Nash was plagued with injuries from the beginning, and the fact that he’s going to be one year older will not help. I do expect Nash to put up better numbers than he did last season, but it is hard seeing him be that productive point guard he was for Phoenix two years ago.

Still, I can see Nash being a reliable shooter for the Lakers, and of course, an excellent ball distributor. The Lakers can always use a lethal point guard, and if there is one player that can find open teammates, it’s him. However, the defensive end may be somewhere Nash struggles and he will have a tough time against the younger guards. The Western Conference is getting better and better, and there should be a concern about Nash’s ability to defend the elite backcourts.

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Elizabeth Benson (@gobibs): Steve Nash’s 2012-13 season was plagued with injuries, causing him never to fulfill expectations and not play like the two-time MVP that Lakers fans were used to seeing on the other side of the bench.

Since Nash is expected to be at 100 percent healthy when the team enters training camp and the preseason, I anticipate that Nash will start the season with a higher impact.

A ton of his impact for the Lakers starts and ends with his health status, and therefore, his minutes must be managed next year. That is why the addition of Jordan Farmar this offseason is so important. I would hope to see Nash’s minutes decrease to 28-29 minutes per game.

I also think the move of Pau Gasol to the center spot and the addition of Chris Kaman will allow Nash to implement the pick-and-roll game that he executes so well, which was lacking last season. Having Gasol’s skills and IQ as a roll man will open up a plethora of pick-and-roll sets that will be effective.

Will his defense improve? No. In fact, his age will only have more of an effect on his defense. However, I believe Kurt Rambis’ defensive mind is already hard at work finding team defensive sets that will help balance Nash’s defensive liability.

Overall, I expect Nash to have an improved season and to be more effective offensively as long as his health cooperates. His health is the determining factor above everything else.

Ryan Cole (@JustRyCole): What I expect from Steve Nash is that his performance will be very similar to last year, with the hope that he at least can be healthy the majority of the 2013-2014 campaign.

From a production standpoint, Nash didn’t have a bad season in 2012-13 with an average of 13 points and six assists, as well as coming as close as it gets to another 50-40-90 season. If the Lakers can get this exact production from Nash over the course of this entire season, there legitimately should be no complaints of him.

What is going to be key for the Lakers is doing whatever they can to make sure he stays healthy. The addition of Jordan Farmar, along with a healthy Steve Blake should make this possible. Nash has aged, and it’s a bit out of the ordinary to expect him to perform at the level of a top ten point guard in the NBA.

However, he can still be very useful and beneficial in this system if the Lakers take the necessary precautions that would allow the physical toll of an 82 game season to wear him down.

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About The Author

Elizabeth is a graduate from Arizona State University and has her master's from Duquesne University. She is currently an associate editor at Lakers Nation. To read more of Elizabeth's articles click here. You can also follow Elizabeth on Twitter @Gobibs

Number of Entries : 381
  • ra

    Even if Nash doesn’t perform as well as we all would like, he can certainly train Farmar in the nuances of being a Hall of Fame point guard. Farmar may be in the perfect position to learn all the tricks of the trade, and it would be a perfect situation.

    I’m sure Nash would like someone, just about Farmar’s age, to which he would like to pass his knowledge of skills. Every superstar likes a protege – certainly they won’t be exactly like the superstar, but this is a golden opportunity. If I were Farmar, I would be really enthused about this.

    In the meantime, Nash has a ‘much better team’ to demonstrate his own skills. The Lakers are in a better position to be a dynamite team, based on D’Antoni’s system and Nash’s skills. There is a small window, but this is it.

    • ItzMeJake

      guess we just have to trust oour lakers guys…well let them play theyre own way and wish them all good health for this season..

  • Zimmeredge

    If Nash can’t perform as a starter (racking up 12-10 or 15-8) and if we still have trouble with our bench then he’ll be an outstanding second unit leader.
    as for Rambis’ defensive sets… do not expect this guy to mastermind defense next season. he is not McMillian or Ewing. He’ll tweak here n there our transition defense and it’ll help us a lot but nothing more. sets are good but halfcourt defense is focus, concentration, energy, hustle. but they have to do all that together so it’s also about communication.

    • Daryl Peek

      Nash gave us 13/7 last year playing injured while deferring PG duties to Kobe. 13/7 is below his normal standards over the last ten years but not bad all considered, and keep in mind that’s light years better than any PG the Lakers have had since Nick Van Exel.

      With Kobe coming off injury I fully expect a healthier Nash to give us closer to his norm of 14/10, which again is not that much better than he gave us last season.

      Offensive execution is what we need to be focused on. Less team turnovers and better shooting percentages will help the defense. Nash running the offense is critical! The deeper rotations will allow Nash, Gasol and Kobe to play less minutes and keep fresher legs for defense. I haven’t been this excited for the season to start in a minute. Change is gonna be good this year IMO. Bring on the long overdue grooming of youth in Laker land…

      • Zimmeredge

        i agree.
        from my point of view, Nash is a huge a player. I really love his type of game, the way he moves on the floor etc it looks really easy, classy and elegant. but if the guy is playing 25-28 mpg and Farmar, Blaker, Meeks, Johnson and Kaman are unproductive off the bench (we’re talking about having a 30-40ppg bench) and if the first unit is still strongly struggling on defense at the guard position (which is likely to happen) then we will have to think about that: put nash as the second unit leader.
        it might sound crazy but it’s a viable solution.
        first unit: Farmar, Bryant, Young, Hill, Gasol
        second unit: Nash, Blake, Meeks, Johnson, Kaman

        • Daryl Peek

          The thing about that is Blake did a good job running the second unit last season. Blake and Pau were the second most efficient scoring duo on the team behind Nash and Howard. Success of the bench mob is more likely this year IMO. Farmar, Johnson, Meeks and Kaman should be positive up grades over last season especially given a full training camp under D’Antoni.

          • http://www.facebook.com/eddie.lazaro123 Eddie Lazaro

            and having Nash running point will create more shots leading to more assist. A double double will be likely, though i expect him to be a little more aggressive on offense in the case of Pau and Kobe’s pass back or absence.

  • Jim213

    For close to $10 mil I’d thought expectations would’ve been higher. However like Liz, given his age I’d expect him to play at least 30 minutes a night. But let’s not forget that if healthy he’s the second best shooter on the team. I’d expect Nash’s contribution next season to be important given many downplay his ability though he has the ability to make ridiculous shots aside of contributing offensively.

    • Daryl Peek

      Why would expectations be higher for 10 mil Jim? Jeremy Lin, Mike Connely, Ty Lawson, Kyle Lowery, Rondo and even a much higher paid CP3 did not produce that much more per average. An injured Nash in 11-12 was right there with the best PG’s in the NBA.

      • Jim213

        Given last season’s expectations and injury prone season for many, expectations fell short. Nash even recently brought up that he wants to give the fans their money’s worth. Many who’ve observed Nash play even as a Phx Sun know what he brings as last season’s injuries further contributed to challenges for the team.

        • Daryl Peek

          Agreed on what Nash can do but he did take a pay cut to be a Laker, and his numbers weren’t that bad last year. I’m just again trying to figure out why you seem to be fixated on salary, like you are with Gasol?

          • Jim213

            It’s likely comes from KB24, he still plays at a high level night in and out. Although he has a different mentality, watching Gasol play in the ring year’s he had a different demeanor. I’d have thought some of KB24′s competitiveness would’ve rubbed off on teammates but everyone is motivated differently.

            KB24 motivation appears to be his desire for a 6th ring as for others they have their own ways to getting motivated. But this is what should drive every player to be the best IMO.

            I know you’ll bring this up in the future too Daryl (Gasol) but like J West and Magic mentioned Dr. Buss wanted to put forth the most competitive team on the floor.

          • Daryl Peek

            LMAO

            I’m just trying to understand Jim. Kobe/MJ types are a different breed and I’m sure you know this. You cannot keep trying to hold everyone to their standards. Their level of competitiveness is what separates them and makes them top 10 all-time greats. Mortals can only dream, perspective mayne. lol

          • Jim213

            Given today’s salary cap and tax this may start to be acknowledged more being whether a player’s play justifies their pay. But given that KB24 has made a lot of $$$ as a player but more so off the court he can afford to make sacrifices to increase the team’s odds of staying competitive.

            I look at it more like a business being does a CEO or high execs deserve bonuses for a businesses stagnant numbers, but what appears to irritate personnel is when cuts have been made that hurt employees which is in their pockets.

            Although, if it’s stated on a contract that higher ups should get bonuses then it’s a written contract similar to NBA contracts though it may piss off many when the business/team isn’t prospering given the salary and cap tax today. Even as others put better numbers and make less. (CONSISTENCY)

          • Daryl Peek

            Again perspective and timing need be considered. Pau and Kobe’s contracts are grandfathered in. And as far as Nash goes, his production was on line with others at the same pay scale in his position. It just seems your a little off base in judging some of our player by what they are being paid.

          • Jim213

            A little off base! so you’re cool with players like Ogden or even Bynum (76ers) getting lucrative contracts and ballin for half their careers. Yet they still moan about how cruel they’ve been treated? WOAH…

            But to put it simpler it’s getting your money’s worth. Yes, Nash put decent numbers but did get injured this past season too. IMO, Pau needs to find ways to stay motivated though with some of his latest tweets he seems determined to make next season a successful one.

            It’s like someone getting paid for 8 hours when putting 4 hours of work. WHAT DID THAT PERSON DO IN THOSE 4 OTHER HOURS? but an injury is an injury and a player shouldn’t be faulted for this though if Ogden or Bynum that’s a different story as it’ll have to be factored into their contract. I’d wish they factored performance into contracts otherwise ex. out of the Big 3 (Heat) only Lebron should be getting paid a max deal. lol

          • Daryl Peek

            First thing, it’s not my money Jim. Secondly sports owners are willing to pay it so why should I be mad about that? Philly paid Bynum, Cleveland paid him. Kwame Brown is still in the league getting paid. Just the same, Scottie Pippen’s never got their earned wage based off on the court performance.

            Pau needs to be more physical IMO but he also needs to be used right. Last season was the first worst of his career. Gasol was traded just like LO, did he flip his wig over it? This is the perspective I’m talking about. Pau produces. Players will always over or under perform contract salaries. It’s no different then union contract in the regular world. One way or another someone is gonna be unhappy.

          • Jim213

            Agree with you here but without consumer’s and most importantly loyal consumers businesses wouldn’t be what they are today. Ex. Last year’s NFL referee strike that lasted into the season. Although, the NFL big heads were more concerned with saving a few millions the quality of the game suffered given the bad referee calls that came from the temps inexperience in NFL play.

            Things boiled over after the Packers and Seahawks game that resulted in many disgruntled fans. As a result of consumer backlash $$$ big heads were forced to take action to appease consumers and stabilize the situation. Sure we don’t pay their bills directly but without consumers/fans they’d be no business aside of revenue (though you’re aware of this).

            Union contracts sound more like the NBPA. Agree that Pau needs to toughen up more too but given today’s times along with CBA blah blah I believe more teams will take player consistency into account. Thus, given Lamar’s issue I don’t see him playing next season as he’d like have to take a vet contract in the future after coming off the D league if he returns.

          • http://www.facebook.com/eddie.lazaro123 Eddie Lazaro

            We are so spoiled by Kobe for years and we are forgetting that the standard he has given us is way up there for another superstar to meet. He just elevate the competition not just the Lakers but the entire NBA on how GREATNESS should be viewed and idolized. They only come once in every 15-20yrs and there is no denying when will be the next.. While only very few have done it, the others can only dream.

          • ra

            AHA! So, you’re really Pau Gasol, Mr. Peek. Good to have you on this forum. Thanks for figuring it out, Jim. I knew it was an insider.

            (and don’t give me that ‘I just do my homework’ bit).

          • Daryl Peek

            You killing me Ra, lol

  • vdogg

    i agree with elizabeth benson’s take. with a full training camp under mike d and kobe coming off major injury, i expect nash to have the ball in his hands much more often this season. it will also help him to have younger legs — nick young, wes johnson — running alongside him to finish off plays. in the half court, nash/gasol, nash/kaman and nash/hill should be pretty potent in pick and roll sets. the key is for nash (and all the other lakers) to stay healthy! it doesn’t look like the lakers are gonna bring back odom, especially in light of the most recent news. who is gonna get the last spot? it should be interesting. i also wonder if the lakers are still interested in mike beasley at all. yeah, he is a mess right now… but still awfully talented. rumor has it that the suns will release him by sept. 1.

    • http://www.facebook.com/eddie.lazaro123 Eddie Lazaro

      you’re forgetting about Nash/Kobe/Nash & Nash/Young, Nash/Johnson

  • vdogg

    oh, and one more thing — i think nash should grow his hair out again. seems like he plays better with long hair. this may be a pointless comment, but hey.. i’ve had a beer or six.

  • http://www.facebook.com/eddie.lazaro123 Eddie Lazaro

    Like in every sports, it begins with a healthy roster. With the aging Lakers stars, it is a must for them to have that to be able to make a run. There is no question about our talent, the athleticism had been upgraded. I’ll say the defense is better this year and so is the offense. We can match any team all the way to the reserve even if we have players of unheralded names. Like playing Chess, this team now have all the pieces. It is a matter of having a strong link among each other to be successful on both ends of the floor, have a wonderful and potent game on the nightly basis. Baring injuries, we are ready for training camp to work on Chemistry and team cohesion. Intensity will be stronger, a lot more this year since players joined with their own accord and reasoning. That comes with motivations (to prove) in attaining the goal, and that is to Win Championship!

  • Stan Humphries

    One thing you can be sure of when it comes to Steve Nash: his defense at the point guard position will be the worst in the league. No worry, though, he’ll have the intimidating presence that is Chris Kaman to protect the rim.

    • hookedonnews

      I don’t know if you read the article not long ago which ranked the defense of PGs in the league. Steve Nash was far from the worst. There are only a few PGs who can guard the top PGs (including Nash) one-on-one. The Heat had LeBron on Tony Parker. That ought to tell you something. Nash was not the Lakers biggest problem on defense this season if you were watching the games. His value on offense far exceeds any defensive liabilities.

      • steve

        You’re right, man, Nash is a true defensive stopper.

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