Dwight Howard, Steve Nash make cover of Sports Illustrated NBA preview issue

Jayne Kamin-Oncea-US PRESSWIRE

The two biggest offseason acquisitions for the Lakers landed on the cover of Sports Illustrated.

Steve Nash and Dwight Howard made the cover of the NBA Preview issue of Sports Illustrated, with a headline reading "All 30 Teams, One New King of the West".

It was the Lakers center's third appearance on the cover of Sports Illustrated. Howard last appeared on the cover back in 2009 as a member of the Orlando Magic.

The Lakers were rated second in Sports Illustrated's preseason NBA rankings, revealed on Tuesday. Much has been made of the improvements the Lakers made in the offseason, as they added Nash and turned Andrew Bynum into Howard.

"The Lakers now sport the best Big Four in the league and represent the biggest threat to the Heat. Said Sacramento's Chuck Hayes after playing down low against the new duo of Howard and Pau Gasol in the preseason: "They're like the Avengers out there. They're huge."

The Miami Heat are ranked at the top of SI's rankings, citing the fact that although the Lakers are considered the offseason's biggest winners, the Heat won the NBA title last year. The big three also saw the addition of Ray Allen to compliment the team.

Hopefully for Lakers fans, the SI rankings are more indicative than the preseason has been for Los Angeles. The Lakers are the only winless team in the preseason right now.

SI.com also had a behind the scenes look at the cover photoshoot of Nash and Howard that can be seen here.

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