Overthinking things, you say? Well, that’s certainly one way to look at the Los Angeles Lakers’ ineptitude on both ends of the floor during their season-opening loss to the short-handed Dallas Mavericks. Steve Nash and head coach Mike Brown did their best to explain. Per the OC Register and SI: “The more energetic Dallas Mavericks took it to the Lakers on Opening Night 2012 at Staples Center, scoring a 99-91 victory behind Darren Collison’s 17 points. Collison’s point-guard counterpart, Nash, looked tentative in the new equal-opportunity offense, and Howard shot a demoralizing 3 for 14 on free throws. ‘We’re thinking too much instead of just playing,’ Nash said. […] The problem is not that the Lakers went 0-8 in the pre-season or even that they dropped the opener. More troubling is the way they used Nash — or failed to use him — in the new system. Instead of maximizing the point guard they waited so long to obtain, the Lakers treated him like a new incarnation of Fisher, watching him dribble the ball up the court, launch a few 3-pointers, and do little else. Nash finished with seven points and four assists, a stat line that would have been unheard of in Phoenix. The Lakers tallied seven fast-break points, a total that would have made Mike D’Antoni shudder. Steve Blake, Nash’s backup, had more assists. So did Pau Gasol, a seven-footer. It was as though Mike Brown slipped lead weights into Nash’s sneakers. ‘Steve has the ability to do Steve,’ Brown said. ‘Every time down the floor in early offense he has the ability to play pick-and-roll with Dwight. He can do that whenever he wants or he can get us into offense….He’s thinking some. He knows he can come down and go get his, but he’s got Kobe here and Metta (World Peace) here and Dwight here and Pau here. He’s trying to find the balance of what to do and when to do it. His job by no means is easy. He’s an intelligent enough guy and a good enough leader where he’ll figure it out.’ […] ‘I’m caught trying to get the ball moving and get us into different sets,’ Nash said. ‘Tonight I didn’t get a lot of pick-and-roll. There are growing pains and there will probably be more.'”
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