Statement Win over Knicks Proves Streaking L.A. Lakers Are for Real

December 25th, 2012 by Zach Buckley Leave a reply »
With a healthy Steve Nash and Pau Gasol back in the fray, the Los Angeles Lakers are quietly moving back into the championship picture.

After such a rough start to the season, the Lakers (14-14) can't change their fate over night.

But with their current season-best five-game winning streak (including wins over playoff hopefuls Philadelphia 76ers and Golden State Warriors, along with a Christmas day 100-94 win over the championship-hopeful New York Knicks), coach Mike D'Antoni's team certainly isn't wasting any time.

Prior to Nash's return in the team's Dec. 22 win over the Warriors, this was every bit a franchise in disarray.

Offensively, they struggled to find an identity. This wasn't really a surprise, considering the Lakers were already on to their third coach of the season and third and fourth options at point guard (Darius Morris and Chris Duhon).

Defensively, the Lakers had more leaks than structure. They were feather-soft on the perimeter, with a surgically repaired Dwight Howard anchoring the interior.

Given his previous success running D'Antoni's system, the 38-year-old Nash was widely labeled th ...

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