2. Steve Nash and Pau Gasol will thrive together
On paper, this always seemed like a match made in heaven. A versatile big man who can run the pick and roll with a point guard who excels at facilitating. But on Sunday, Nash and Gasol showed how they played on the court, and it was intriguing. While neither saw extended minutes together on the court (they played just 23 minutes in total), the glimpses were there. Gasol was his usual, lethal self in the high post. With teammates cutting to the rim and spotting up across the perimeter, Gasol found openings and, despite finishing with just 2 assists, he was let down by teammates often. Still, the signs were there of a potent offense.
Nash also showed some glimpses of young-Nash. One of the more memorable plays saw Nash come off a screen, round the corner, then hit Steve Blake wide open in the corner with a nifty behind the back pass. It’s what Lakers fans hoped for last year and, barring injury this year, it’ll be what the Lakers will be doing this year. This duo will be featured early and often with Bryant’s injury and they’ll succeed.