Books adjust to Nash trade
July 5, 2012
By Micah Roberts
On Wednesday night the Los Angeles Lakers seemed to increase their chances of reaching the NBA Finals when they acquired point guard Steve Nash from the Phoenix Suns in a sign-and-trade deal that will now pair the two-time MVP with Kobe Bryant. The Lakers finally have a true point-guard, but will they utilize Nash in the way that accentuates all his talents or will he simply be a better shooting Steve Blake?
Immediately after the deal was announced, the LVH Super Book dropped the Lakers odds to win the 2013 NBA title from 12/1 down to 8/1, tied with the Bulls now as the third choice to win it all behind the Heat (9/4) and Thunder (11/4).
The positive for Lakers fans now is that they’ve got a smart point guard who can score. The Lakers current scheme always has their point guard wide open for three-pointers and Nash will be a major upgrade from what they have had during Bryant’s entire career.
The Lakers aren’t exactly a team known for pick-and-rolls with Bryant and Andrew Bynum constantly in isolation, but they’d be foolish not to adapt to Nash’s skills because he is the best in the business at creating easy baskets. And if you watched the Lakers on the road last season, easy baskets were hard to come by.
The only negative of the entire process is that Nash has become a defensive liability and that area won’t be getting any better for the 38-year-old Canadian. Age itself is another factor of just keeping his ailing back on the court for 82 games.
Pau Gasol and Bynum instantly become better if the Lakers let Nash do his pick-and-roll mastery, but how Bryant adapts to it all may be another story. Perhaps Bryant will defer a little bit and slide into a role as a jump shooter and be less aggressive to extend his playing career while letting Nash do his thing.
One thing is for sure, Nash will not take kindly to being yelled at in the same fashion Bryant has done with all his teammates since Shaquille O’Neal departed when the team became Bryant‘s alone.
For this to work, Bryant will have to let Nash be the maestro.
Ramon Sessions is definitely out of the picture now and Blake will be the back-up point guard. Nash is also trying to get his best friend in basketball, Grant Hill, to join the Lakers as well.
There should be plenty of optimism in Laker-land as their one glaring weakness has been got addressed. Other teams that have their odds adjusted are the Brooklyn Nets (20/1) and Houston Rockets (75/1)
LVH SUPER BOOK
ODDS TO WIN 2012-2013 NBA CHAMPIONSHIP