The Lakers finished off the Knicks on Christmas day, silencing most of the critics who have been quick to react.
Steve Nash's presence was a game-changer. His 11 dimes and big shots in the fourth quarter were the difference in a game decided by just a few buckets.
As long as he is in the lineup, expect Dwight Howard efficiency to rise, and Pau Gasol's production to increase.
Let's check with Twitter to see what the rest of the country thought:
Just finished LA-NY in my X-mas catch-up. Lakers still have lots to figure out, but it finally feels like they've started the process.
— Zach Lowe (@ZachLowe_NBA) December 26, 2012
Rarely do I agree with D'Antoni, but he has a point here. Nash's presence will reduce Kobe's responsibilities as a ball-handler and creator, and should keep his legs fresh and likelihood of injury down.
How important is a healthy Nash? "I think [Kobe] will play another 5, 6 years becasue of him," Lakers Coach Mike D'Antoni said.
— Mike Bresnahan (@Mike_Bresnahan) December 25, 2012
This is for everyone who wrote the Lakers off a week ago:
Just like that the Lakers have the league's second longest current win streak.
— chris palmer (@ESPNChrisPalmer) December 25, 2012
Could not have said it better myself:
Kobe on @stevenash running end-game Lakers show: "It puts everybody in position to do what they do best."
— KEVIN DING (@KevinDing) December 25, 2012
This had to be the first time Pau Gasol has ever used two dribble before a dunk in a long, long time.
Pau Gasol: “I don’t dunk as often as I used to so it felt good to go to the hole with some explosiveness.” #GoLakers
— Los Angeles Lakers (@Lakers) December 25, 2012
No doubt about this one. The Gasol dunk was big for the team, and Gasol's confidence.
We may look back on that play as a turning point for the Lakers and Pau Gasol this season.
— Arash Markazi (@ArashMarkazi) December 25, 2012
I do not think anyone wanted this win more than D'Antoni.
Lakers are obviously a different team w/ Nash at the point. D'Antoni gets a measure of revenge for his embarrassing visit to MSG 2 weeks ago
— Adam Zagoria (@AdamZagoria) December 25, 2012
How quickly things change:
The whole "The Lakers were 1-11 when Kobe scores 30+ points" thing is dying. They've now won 5 straight in which he scores 30.
— Mike Trudell (@LakersReporter) December 26, 2012
Mark Cuban usually tweets with purpose. I would also like to know what the referees saw when reviewing that out-of-bounds play.
Hand is part of the ball. OOB call is same as happenedin Lakers/Celts final. ? is will NBA explain the rule to fans ?
— Mark Cuban (@mcuban) December 25, 2012
Metta World Peace's second quarter and overall intensity played an integral role in the Lakers' win. They'll need this long-term.
Metta gets fiesty when tied up with Chandler. The crowd wakes up. Nash rubs MWP's head. Kobe daps Metta up. Earning his pay
— Dave McMenamin (@mcten) December 25, 2012
The Knicks' players and fans both shared similar expressions. Trust me.
The expression on the @nyknicks players' collective faces when Pau took it down the lane for that dunk was absolutely priceless.
— Jabari A. Davis (@LA_SportsTalk) December 26, 2012
Crazy how much better the Lakers are with Nash. Actually, not that crazy.
— MG Siegler (@parislemon) December 25, 2012
Pau Gasol just gave two middle fingers to all of 2012.
— Kelly Dwyer (@KDonhoops) December 25, 2012
The face of relief:
— NBA Memes (@NBAMemes) Decembe26, 2012