When the Los Angeles Lakers fired Mike Brown and brought in Mike D'antoni, Lakers fans couldn't have been more excited. Gone was the boring, defensive oriented Mike Brown, and in was the offensive genius Mike D'Antoni. Steve Nash was still out with his leg injury, but was coming back. Lakers fever was in the air!And then D'Antoni happened.The Lakers were 1-4 when Brown was relieved of his duties. The Lakers are now 15-16, so there has been improvement, by maybe not at the rate people were expecting. But now Steve Nash is back. All hail the small Canadian point guard!The Lakers are 3-2 since his return. A small sample, indeed. The game changer for the Lakers though, may have come a few weeks ago. On December 14th, the Lakers snapped a 4-game skid, by holding off the hapless Wizards. Since then, the Lakers have gone 6-2, and are within one game of 8th place in the West.But this is about Steve Nash. Even with only a five game sample, Nash is already paying dividends. Right now, the Lakers are 19th in assists per game, with 21.3. But since Nash has been inserted into the lineup, the Lakers are averaging 26 assists per. That is a noticeable difference.Coming off a loss to Portland, the Lakers need to get back in the win column. This Friday is a showdown which could turn their fortune. They play the Clippers, who had a 17 game winning streak, but have since lost their last two. It's going down Friday night at the Staples center.