Sunday , Nov , 23 , 2008 J.N.

Steve Nash: D’Antoni made his career?


Steve Nash: D'Antoni made his career?For the Steve Nash fans, calm down.

Back when he was playing for the Dallas Mavericks with Dirk Nowitzki, he never averaged 10 assists a game. Some wonder, as I do, how come he didn’t get well over 10 assists a game with outside threats in Dirk and Michael Finley? Not just 10 assists, but an easy 10 assists. Don Nelson was the coach. I’m pretty sure he didn’t place any restrictions with the run-n-gun, no defense style he’s known for. So why was it different under D’Antoni? Both coaches essentially had the same game plan.

Dallas only had two offensive weapons in Dirk and Finley for Nash to utilize. Not much when compared to Phoenix when they had the likes of Joe Johnson, Raja Bell, Boris Diaw, Leandro Barbosa, Shawn Marion, and Amare Stoudamire. Nash was a good point guard in Dallas. He looked like a great one in Phoenix because of the talent surrounding him. The Suns just had more depth.

Enter Chris Duhon of the New York Knicks.

Under D’Antoni, he’s making a mediocre second round Duke point guard perform like an efficient first round point guard. When he was with the Chicago Bulls, he was nothing but a second stringer. He’s a better defender than Nash, but his jumper leaves more to be desired. He doesn’t make many mistakes, but makes crucial mistakes in the clutch. His assist average this season is much higher than he ever had it with the Bulls. Him having a major starter role helps, but D’Antoni’s system helps even more in tallying more dimes. Who does Duhon have surrounding him? Zach Randolph and Jamal Crawford (both recently traded), Wilson Chandler, Nate Robinson, and David Lee. That cast doesn’t scream confidence and yet Duhon is averaging 10 points and 7 assists. In theory, once Duhon gets more accustomed to the system or whenever Donnie Walsh can acquire better talent, Duhon’s assists will go up. I wouldn’t say Al Harrington, Tim Thomas, and Cuttino Mobley are better talent however, but they will not have a problem chucking up shots as well; another possible 3-5 assists. The Knicks are averaging 104 points. THE KNICKS.

So the question remains: Is Nash just a system point guard who had D’Antoni to make him appear great?

Right now, since D’Antoni’s departure, Nash is barely averaging 8 assists. He has reverted back to the Steve Nash of Dallas just without the youth he once possessed. Please keep in mind that he still has Amare, Boris Diaw and Shaq who currently has been playing just fine despite being over the hill. The weapons are still there, but since the system has been slowed down, Nash is once again looking like a good player, not a great one. I’ll go even further and provide more evidence with someone who correlates with Nash.

And that evidence is Shawn Marion. Once after he left D’Antoni’s system, he’s been playing like trash compared to the greatness he once was in Phoenix. Please keep in mind that Marion is playing with Dwayne Wade who is not a ball hog. For a SG, he’s averaging an insane amount of assists so Marion is getting his fair share of looks.

So did D’Antoni’s system have anything to do with it? The evidence strongly suggests that.

I’ll throw in age to complicate things even more.

Fans will say, “Hey man you’re just hating. Nash is declining because he got older.”

Yeah?

Look at John Stockton. Even at the age of 34-35 when he was declining, he still averaged close to 9 assists in a half court set.

All this begs another question: Does this make Steve Nash a Hall of Famer?

Look at what he’s done before D’Antoni and after. He’s a good point guard. That’s all he is; a good point guard who benefitted greatly from a system surrounded with good offensive players. He’s not a GREAT player because his defense sucks. To be a great player, you have to play good D as well.

He didn’t even earn those 2 MVPs. When he was stealing MVPs, he was also leading the league in turnovers. WTF happened here? Then why didn’t John Stockton get one back in the day? The man averaged way better numbers than Nash ever could while playing good hard-nosed defense. Why didn’t Jason Kidd get one? Here’s a triple double machine point guard who plays great defense and he didn’t even get one! Kobe and Jason Kidd earned those 2 MVP awards during D’Antoni’s time in Phoenix.

Yes sir. J-Kidd probably should have gotten 2 because he was robbed when Duncan won it, but that’s a whole ‘nother issue.

I put Steve Nash on a similar level as Mark Jackson. Nice point guards, but not Hall of Famers. The MVP voting selection should change because it’s faulty. It was already iffy when he got his first MVP. When the idiot sports writers handed him another one, Stockton and Kidd should have went to Nash’s house to get those trophies with Kobe as the wheel man.

Just make the MVP selection like how the presidential nominees get voted in; whoever gets the most popular vote in each state gets the electoral votes to win the MVP.

I’ll emphasize it again. Why should Nash win those MVPs when he obviously doesn’t play defense? Just because his team had the best record? C’mon man. He was surrounded with good talent. Amare Stoudamire is a freak and Shawn Marion was a statistical monster. Nash didn’t make anyone better. He just gave them more scoring opportunities. Marion was already good BEFORE Nash arrived and Stoudamire is still a freak after D’Antoni left.

Is Nash a good player? Yes.

Is he a good system point guard? Yes. (D’Antoni is an offensive mastermind).

Is he a great point guard? No.

Is he an MVP-type player? No (I explained why he’s not).

Is he a Hall of Famer? HELL NO. If he gets in, Mark Jackson should get in as well. He’s currently number 2 all time in assists after all.

You still don’t agree with me? Let’s take another look at this. After Nash left Dirk Nowitzki, the Dallas Mavericks finally made it to the Finals WITHOUT him.

Steve Nash. A good all star caliber player.

Great MVP Hall of Famer? Oh hell no.

[image:http://www.flickr.com/photos/bigluzer/2620622251/]


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