Thursday , Mar , 09 , 2006 C.Y. Ellis

Is Nash MVP again?

By Warren Blatt, Sports Network NBA Editor

(Sports Network) – All-Star point guard Steve Nash could walk away with the
hardware for NBA MVP for a second straight year.

The 32-year-old Nash has the Suns on the verge of capturing their second
straight Pacific Division crown. He has teamed up with fellow All-Star Shawn
Marion to make Phoenix a real threat in the Western Conference. One of the
most amazing things is that the Suns have been this successful without forward
Amare Stoudemire, who has missed the entire season with a serious knee injury.

Last season, Nash took home MVP honors as he led the Suns to 62 wins during
the regular season. He played 75 games and finished with averages of 15.5
points and 11.4 assists per contest.

During the 2005-06 campaign, Nash has once again been phenomenal. He has
displayed that rare talent that allows him to make everyone of his teammates
better.

With Stoudemire on the sidelines, the 6-3 Nash has picked up his scoring.
After 59 games, he is second on the team, behind Marion, in scoring (19.4 ppg)
and leads the league in assists (10.8 apg).

The loss of Stoudemire could have turned out to be a season killer for
Phoenix. But, Nash stepped up his already unbelievable play and has given the
Suns even more production. The Santa Clara product is not only a great leader
and playmaker, but he also has the ability to score which makes him an even
tougher player to defend.

Players like Raja Bell, Boris Diaw, Leandro Barbosa and Eddie House are
enjoying solid seasons. They owe a lot of their success to the ability of Nash
to get them the ball in great position to score. Because of Nash’s great
playmaking ability, Phoenix has seven players who are averaging double-digits
in scoring.

During last offseason, Phoenix’ front office was very smart with how it pieced
together its roster for the 2005-06 campaign. Management surrounded Nash with
players who can shoot and play a fast-paced style. Everyone has been a winner
with the Suns’ approach to the season.

Yes, other players are having great seasons and deserve consideration for the
prestigious MVP award. Kobe Bryant of the Lakers, Cleveland’s LeBron James,
Dirk Nowitzki of the Mavericks and Miami’s Dwyane Wade are just some of the
players who have been spectacular during the campaign.

Bryant has been a scoring machine for the very average Lakers, James continues
to shine for the Cavs, Nowitzki is doing it all for the Mavericks and Wade has
proved that he is one of the best guards in the league.

What separates Nash from the other impressive names that were mentioned?

Great players make their teammates better, and that is what Nash continues to
do each and every time he steps on the court.

What the Suns have accomplished without Stoudemire, who is one of the rising
stars in the league, is mind boggling and Nash has been the catalyst to their
success. Sure, Marion is having the best season of his career and is also a
big part of Phoenix’ success. However, it is the crafty abilities of Nash that
has lifted all of his teammates to another level.

Nash is the Most Valuable Player in the NBA!