Originally written on Laker Nation  |  Last updated 11/16/14
Victor Decolongon/Getty ImagesWhat a Merry Christmas it was at the Staples Center as the Lakers extended their winning streak to 5 games and defeat the New York Knicks. This was the second game back for Steve Nash and experts who predicted he would not make much of a difference were dead wrong. Nash has made this Lakers team gel perfectly on the offensive end as Dwight Howard is slowly getting back to his old defensive prowess.The Lakers look to continue their strong play when the team travels to Denver on Wednesday night to face a Nuggets team seeking revenge after they got embarrassed by the Lakers less than a month ago. Dwight and Pau have been developing better chemistry while playing together which is exactly what the Lakers must have if they are going to contend for the title in June. Here are the grades for the Lakers’ Christmas W:Steve Nash: ACan’t say enough about the leadership and poise that Nash brings to this team. When the game is tight, Nash should have the ball and decide what the team will do instead of Kobe simply because Nash will make the best play instead of look to score. The best part is that the Nash/Howard and Nash/Gasol pick-and-roll will only get better as the season progresses.Kobe Bryant: A- Kobe took 10 shots in the first quarter and it seemed like he was going to get trigger happy like he did in Golden State on Saturday, but he stayed efficient and played his role well down the stretch. Kobe has now scored 30 points in 9 straight games and is quieting the doubters who believed the team could not win with Bryant scoring so many points.Metta World Peace: A-Even though Carmelo Anthony scored 34 points, they were some of the toughest 34 he has had to score in his career. Metta was challenging Anthony on every trip down the floor and set the tone for the Lakers early and often. After getting torched by Melo in MSG the last time these two teams played, Metta bounced back with a vintage Ron Artest defensive showcase.Pau Gasol: B+Solid day for Pau as he put the nail in the Knicks’ coffin with his emphatic dunk that put the Lakers up by 5 with under 10 seconds left in the game. That strong finish was exactly what Laker Nation has been begging to see more of from the Big Spaniard for the last two years. When Pau is aggressive and attacks the basket, he is a force to be reckoned with.Dwight Howard: A-The stat sheet won’t show it, but Dwight was awesome on the defensive end all game long. Not only did Dwight protect the rim, but he also boxed his man out right after, which has been a problem for the Lakers all season long. While Dwight did not get many shots up, he did go 6 for 9 from the free throw line and that is what he must do in order to prevent teams from trying to “Hack-a-Howard”.Jodie Meeks: CTough shooting night for Jodie, but he brought the defensive intensity as usual and helped turn the game around for the Lakers in the 3rd quarter. It’s good to know that when his shot is not falling, the team can still rely on Jodie to play solid defense all game.The post Report Card: Knicks @ Lakers appeared first on Laker Nation.
GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Kentucky seeks one kind of history, Coach K makes another

Matt Stafford's fiancee rips newspaper over article

Craig Sager's leukemia has returned

Frozen Four: Providence earns first bid since 1985

Report: Discussions to bring NFL team to L.A. are progressing

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Report: Chris Mullin expected to take St. John's job

Michigan State beats Louisville, punches Final Four ticket

Ex-NHL player viciously attacks opponent before game

Rick Barnes a possibility for Tennessee coaching job?

Report: NFL looking into Bill Belichick's camera ideas

Saints CB Brian Dixon arrested in Miami

Five soon-to-be NBA free agents with a lot on the line

WrestleMania 31 results: Rollins cashes in, Rousey appears

WATCH: Russell Wilson hits home run during Rangers BP

Hooked 'em: Why Texas had to fire Rick Barnes

Adam Morrison trolled fan who made JJ Redick comment

Jim Harbaugh finished fourth in student government election

WATCH: Notre Dame gets warm reception upon return home

WATCH: Kris Letang hospitalized after hit

Aaron Rodgers, sports writer get into it over on-court access

Sam Dekker's hot shooting sends Wisconsin to Final Four

Jim McElwain complains about Florida roster

Mark Few: I put Coach K up there with John Wooden

NBA News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
the YARDBARKER app
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

Full WrestleMania 31 recap and results

Why Texas had to fire Rick Barnes

Craig Sager's leukemia has returned

Report: Chris Mullin to take St. John's job

Report: NFL looking into more cameras

CC Sabathia goes off about spring stats

John Fox: Cutler will have to earn job

Texas eyeing Shaka Smart, Gregg Marshall?

WATCH: Brady jumps off cliff in Costa Rica

WATCH: 2 Chainz beats Nique in HORSE

NFL owners chose cost over game integrity

Be careful how loudly you cheer on Mo'ne Davis' olive branch

Today's Best Stuff
For Bloggers

Join the Yardbarker Network for more promotion, traffic, and money.

Company Info
Help
What is Yardbarker?

Yardbarker is the largest network of sports blogs and pro athlete blogs on the web. This site is the hub of the Yardbarker Network, where our editors and algorithms curate the best sports content from our network and beyond.