In recapping the Los Angeles Lakers' fervent first week of the season that included four games in six days, it's pretty hard to draw any conclusions and feel confident those same observations will ring true in a week or two. Pau Gasol has looked re-energized from a season ago, but then again coach Mike D'Antoni benched him from the 6:29 mark of the third quarter to the 5:40 mark of the fourth quarter Sunday because he thought Gasol "lost his steam." Xavier Henry has looked like a hidden gem, scoring 22 against the Clippers, 14 against the Warriors and 18 against the Hawks, but then again there was that 0-for-6 night against the Spurs and that wild offensive foul with 2:39 left in the fourth quarter against Atlanta in a four-point contest that could have cost L.A. the game. The Lakers' deep rotation has looked harmonious, with all 11 players who got in against Atlanta contributing three points or more; then again after the Hawks game, Chris Kaman said, "I want to be patient but it is frustrating when you play 13, 12, 18 [minutes]. I want it to be consistent." No, maybe the best way to make some sense of how the Lakers' 2-2 season has gone so far following their 105-103 win Sunday -- in a game they once led by 21 points -- is to compare it to how Steve Nash has developed in the early going. Much like the Lakers, the expectations for Nash, a former two-time league MVP, have been lowered so much that there's an ever-growing faction of Lakers fans who feel like the team would be better off if the 39-year-old simply hung it up and retired. Odds are many of those same people are the ones calling for the Lakers to tank the season, already writing off any chance of success in 2013-14. There's no arguing that Nash has been underwhelming so far. His first three games of the season went three points, five assists, three turnovers in a win; DNP; and five points (on 1-for-8 shooting), five assists and two turnovers in a loss. And in the two games he played, he wasn't on the court during the fourth quarter at all.
Nash's guarded optimism mirrors team's
ESPN | Nov 4