Coming into the highly anticipated Christmas Day battle with the New York Knicks at the Staples Center, the Los Angeles Lakers are riding a four-game win streak and finally have Steve Nash back running the show at the point guard position.
After missing 24 games with a leg injury, Nash was able to get back on the floor against the Golden State Warriors this past Saturday and helped lead the team to an overtime victory over the up-and-coming Warriors on their home floor. Nash dished out nine assists and scored 12 points in his return while getting Lakers fans excited about the potential of this star-studded basketball team once again.
Although Nash is finally back in the fold for the Lakers, the veteran point guard let it be known that this team needs to head into every game from here on out with a must-win mentality and a sense of desperation via Dave McMenamin of ESPNLosAngeles.com:
“Hopefully we can continue to win,” Nash said after practice Monday on the eve of the Lakers’ Christmas Day showdown with the New York Knicks. “We’ve won four in a row and we can keep this going and put ourselves back in contention, but we should be a desperate team right now.”
Nash’s impact on the team in his return was felt by all, with a more fluid style of basketball being played on the offensive end of floor. However, improvements on the defensive end of the floor is when this team will truly become a championship contender.
As of right now, the Lakers are ahead of the curve since Nash has played well right out of the gate. Whether or not Nash will continue to play at a high level and stay healthy remains to be seen, but it appears the team might be on the verge of a drastic turnaround if Nash can keep producing at the same level as his last few seasons with Phoenix.
Taking a “desperate” approach moving forward can go one of two ways. Either the Lakers will flourish and finally reach their potential or fall even deeper in a hole, while forcing the front office to make more moves to get the team back on track. Only time will tell if this team is truly a legitimate NBA title contender with the star-laden line up of Nash, Kobe Bryant, Pau Gasol, Metta World Peace and Dwight Howard.