- Beckley Mason, NBA
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David Thorpe's breakdown (Insider) of how Andre Drummond can become a great player includes this note: "The conditioning aspect of the game is typically as much a mental hurdle as it is a physical one. Being able to run, spring, push, pull, jump and shoot for three quarters of the game and still have the energy to produce late in games certainly takes a finely conditioned athlete. In time, Drummond can get to that level. But he must be able to think for that amount of time, too. And that is more often the problem with young players, and possibly a reason why he averaged only 22.2 minutes in January."
Nash's role and time with the ball has decreased significantly with the Lakers. But Amin Elhassan, who worked for the Suns while D'Antoni was there, says the Lakers have stuck with D'Antoni's playbook (Insider): "Against Oklahoma City and New Orleans this week, the Lakers ran a D'Antoni staple known as "Fist Up Short" numerous times, where Bryant and Dwight Howard go into a high pick-and-roll and Pau Gasol moves from the weak side to the strong side of the lane as Nash fills in on the weakside wing as the shooter, creating the space necessary for the play to develop in the middle of the floor. As Howard rolls to the basket, Bryant passes to Gasol, who can hit the rolling Howard or pass it to Nash on the wing if his defender has sagged to help."
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Two-man lineup data is by no means conclusive, but these numbers provide food for thought when it comes to how the Lakers should apportion their stars' minutes. Lineups featuring Steve Nash and Pau Gasol have minus-2.1 plus/minus while the Kobe Bryant-Gasol pairing is plus-6.5, Nash-Dwight Howard is plus-6.6, Bryant-Howard is +4.6 and Nash-Bryant is minus-0.4 (from NBA.com). Do the Lakers need to separate Nash and Bryant more?
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David Thorpe's breakdown (Insider) of how Andre Drummond can become a great player includes this note: "The conditioning aspect of the game is typically as much a mental hurdle as it is a physical one.