Steve Nash return will bring lineup changes to Lakers

Stephen Dunn

With the entire league waiting to see what happens when the two-time MVP returns, the Lakers have some other adjustments in mind for their ever-changing rotation.

The Los Angeles Lakers are finally on the verge of getting healthy with the imminent return of Steve Nash, and that means a potential major shakeup to the lineup, according to Lakers reporter Mike Trudell.

Nash, Jodie Meeks, Kobe Bryant, Pau Gasol and Dwight Howard would likely become the new starters in that scenario, while Chris Duhon, Darius Morris and Metta World Peace would be the primary subs.

With Nash close to returning from the fractured left fibula that's caused him to miss all but two games this season, head coach Mike D'Antoni stressed the importance of giving opponents a different look. That would include bringing Metta World Peace off the bench in order to have him play the power forward position and allow Pau Gasol to play more in the post.

"We have to be able to change our team," said D'Antoni. "For us to have a different team, a different look, Metta has to play the four. If he starts at the three, then once I get him to the four, it's too many minutes for him. I think Metta will be very productive as a four, and our team will be very productive."

The changes come in the midst of a tumultuous first quarter of the 2012-13 season. At 12-14, the Lakers have struggled to find an identity on both ends of the floor. D'Antoni has had to deal with injuries and personnel issues that have seen the team look lost at times.

One bright spot has been in the performance of Meeks. The newly acquired guard has been impressive so far this season, averaging 16.8 points per 36 minutes and shooting 39.3 percent from the three-point line. When Nash returns, the Lakers will finally be at full strength. Whether or not that means better production on the court remains to be seen.

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