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Friday, July 25, 2014

Where would you rank Steve Nash among the NBA’s best players?

So I was discussing the Garnett trade with a friend, and part of the discussion was how KG coming to the East helps change the dynamics a bit of the Top NBA players, most of whom play out West. So we did a quick run through of who we thought WERE the top NBA players, and we differed dramatically over Steve Nash. I happen to think Nash is awesome, one of the best players in the league – but I wouldn’t go as far as to say he’s one of the top five players in the league, which was what my friend was arguing.

So I thought it would be interesting to see what you folks thought. After all, few things are more divisive than what people think about Steve Nash, right? Ever since he won the first MVP, it’s been a big topic (and then he won the SECOND MVP, and then he ALMOST won a THIRD MVP in a row!!!) – so now I put it to you folks – where would you rank Steve Nash among the NBA’s best?

{democracy:13}

188 comments on “Where would you rank Steve Nash among the NBA’s best players?

  1. Josh

    The thing about Nash is along the same lines as Kidd; a spectator could never appreciate what he does too the court and game the way a player can. The change in physics, the change in confidence, the change in leadership push teams above or pull teams below.

    As an analyst, you have to say Top 15, and should say Top 10. Judging simply from Kobe’s tirade after the Lakers failed to get Kidd, I’d say as a player you have to say Top 5.

  2. Matthew

    The people who vote on MVP can appreciate what he does – appreciate TOO much some would say – and they’re definitely spectators. Largely casual ones, in fact.

  3. Gabe

    Top 10 PG, Top 25 overall player. That’s about it.

    If you try to say he’s any better, I’ll remind you of Kevin Johnson, Mark Price, John Stockton, Kevin Porter, Mark Jackson, Norm Nixon, Tiny Archibald, Guy Rodgers, Andre Miller, Norm van Lier, Jason Kidd, and Terry Porter.

    None of whom won a MVP award, much less two. All of whom one could argue are as good as in their prime, if not better than, Nash.

  4. Beige

    Top 5 for a simple reason:

    If Steve Nash were to come over to today’s Knicks, I would instantly back them to go deep into the postseason, as well as give them a fighting chance against any of the West’s heavy hitters.

    Consider how Reinaldo would look with Nash dishing out the dimes. Or Curry, Crawford, RANDOLPH. Freaking David Lee.

    A single player who could make such a huge impact has to be appropriately appreciated.

  5. Mike K. (KnickerBlogger)

    I think Brian meant in today’s NBA, where would you rank Nash, as opposed to where you would rank him all time.

    I would go with top 10, possibly top 5. He’s certainly the best PG in the league. Granted his defense could be better, but really how many PGs shoot 61.3% EFG and 45.5% 3P%? That’s just outstanding. I can live with below-average defense from a PG more than I can with a center. But just as importantly, Nash is in an ideal environment for his talents. If he were on slower team that ran a conservative offense, you might not be getting the most out of him. But you can say that about just about anyone in the NBA (see: Bryant, Kobe; Garnett, Kevin).

  6. Owen

    WOW perspective – Steve Nash is the sixth best player in the NBA according to Berri.

    http://www.wagesofwins.com/RookieStar.html

    Given that there are two point guards in the top 15, you would have to give him a bump up for that as well. It’s much more difficult to be highly productive as a point guard, or more rare I should say. I don’t think there is any question that it’s fair to call Nash a top five player. He led the league in shooting, (he was the guy who beat out Lee), and is an unbelievably prolific passer. He also was, with Nowitzki, part of the greatest offensive team of all time, which gives a sense of where he features historically.

  7. Sunil

    I think Nash is a definate top ten talent.
    But you also have to consider he is in a system that is tailored to his strengths.

    I don’t think he would have as much of an impact on , for example, the spurs.

  8. retropkid

    definite top ten…bryant, james, wade, nowitzki, duncan, iverson probably all better (some of you may take iverson out, okay that’s still five ahead of him)…close to dead heat vs. mcgrady and parker…ahead of anthony, carter, arenas, et al…shaq still a force and certainly a better all-time player, but maybe not right now.

  9. Daniel

    I don’t even think Nash is the best poing guard. If you substitute Jason Kidd into that Pheonix lineup, don’t you guys think they’d be as good or better? They’d be at least better defensively.

  10. Owen

    Kidd was the best player in the league according to Berri’s metric, and having watched a lot of nets games last year, I can see why. It’s amazing how often Kidd would grab a defensive rebound and then fast break for a bucket the other way.

    He is an absolutely phenomenal rebounder. He out rebounded Eddy Curry last year by a rebound per game.

    You can have an argument about it, but Kidd and Nash are in a class all by themselves as point guards, no one in the league can touch them.

  11. Caleb

    I have way too much time on my hands… A few players, like McGrady or Arest, could rank higher if not for questions about health and sanity.
    1. Tim Duncan
    2. Kevin Garnett
    3. Kobe Bryant
    4. LeBron James
    5. Dwyane Wade
    6. Steve Nash
    7. Amare Stoudemire
    8. Shawn Marion
    9. Dirk Nowitzki
    10. Jason Kidd
    11. Gilbert Arenas
    12. Carlos Boozer
    13. Tracy McGrady
    14. Elton Brand
    15. Deron Williams
    16. Paul Pierce
    17. Baron Davis
    18. Chris Paul
    19. Jermaine O?Neal
    20. Marcus Camby
    21. Yao Ming
    22. Shaquille O?Neal
    23. Dwight Howard
    24. Vince Carter
    25. Manu Ginobili
    26. Tony Parker
    27. Chris Bosh
    28. Chauncey Billups
    29. Joe Johnson
    30. Josh Howard
    31. Ron Artest
    32. Ray Allen
    33. Lamar Odom
    34. Al Jefferson
    35. Tyson Chandler
    36. Pau Gasol
    37. Allen Iverson
    38. Carmelo Anthony
    39. David Lee
    40. Luol Deng
    41. Andre Miller
    42. Kirk Hinrich
    43. Richard Jefferson
    44. Andre Iguodala
    45. Rasheed Wallace
    46. Zach Randolph
    47. Ben Wallace
    48. Andrei Kirilenko
    49. Emeka Okafor
    50. Shane Battier

  12. Owen

    Lol, Caleb, I love you man, but that’s a crazy list. You are wading into a mountain of crap on this board posting something like that…

  13. Lisa

    Anyone who tries to rate guards ,forwards & centers on the same list will run into many difficulties. If you want to compare apples to oranges fine but as far as point guards go Jason Kidd is the best in the league, Steve closely follows, then you’d be hard pressed to find another of the same caliber. Maybe Billups or PArker but none can compare to J Kidd when he’s in a high stakes game alongside Vince and RJ. As a loyal Nets fan, I am biased of course but can you honestly say J Kidd falls after S. Marion??? I mean really? Get a grip.

  14. Jason

    I think there are two issues that make people’s opinion of Nash so varied. One, the current rules (or interpretations) are definitely benefiting Nash. If Nash’s peak was the mid 90′s he would not be nearly as valuable. Secondly, the realy good point gurad pool is much shallower than some other positions. After Nash and Kidd the talent drops quite a bit (with the possible except of Williams and Paul), which once again makes Nash more valuable.

    On an absolute basis nash is probably outside the top five, but factor in replacement level and Nash moves up.

  15. Gabe

    TRU Said:
    August 2nd, 2007 at 6:07 am
    ^^ Mark Price? Better than Nash? Holy cow, that?s proposterous.

    Oh really? How so? In Price’s best 5-year stretch (’89, ’90, ’92, ’93, and ’94; he was injured in ’91 for all but 16 games), he averaged 18.2 ppg, 3 rpg, 8.2 apg, 1.4 spg, and 2.6 topg. His eFG was 54.5%, with 41% 3PM and 92% FT.

    Compare that to Nash’s last 5 years: 17 ppg, 3.4 rpg, 9.9 apg, 0.9 spg, and 3.1 topg, on 56% eFG, 43% 3PM, and 91% FT. Remember that Nash is playing at a faster pace (about 96 poss/game versus Price’s Cavs averaging around 93.5).

    So basically Nash scored slightly more efficiently but a few ppg less, had an extra 1.5 apg, but also turned it over more and doesn’t steal as frequently. That’s your MVP???

  16. Caleb

    I’d agree that Kidd was better this past year; I dropped him a bit just because of age – one of these years he is going to drop off. It’s a miracle it hasn’t happened already.

    In general I think the Suns players are hard to rank; it’s hard to separate who helps whom. Remember tho in 2005-2006 they barely dropped off even though Amare missed the whole year. Can’t be all Stevie.

  17. Owen

    I have to agree with what Lisa and Jason said. It’s harder to compare players across position. Bu I think if you look at the top 25 players in the league, probably fifteen of them play center or power forward.

    Berri loves to talk about the short supply of tall people, and he makes a very good point there, or at least borrows a very good point from Stephen Jay Gould. It’s a lot easier to be an oustanding tall guy than an outstanding short guy.

    There are a number of players who dont belong on your list. Joe Johnson, Allen Iverson, Carmelo Anthony, Shane Battier, Rasheed Wallace, and Shaq (if he plays like last year). I don’t really see how Andre Miller belongs there either, although I would put him in there ahead of Iverson. Certainly you can’t put him in there above Igoudala.

    Deron Williams at 15 is a joke. His numbers for the season were not that great. He directed a team with a lot of excellent frontcourt players and looked better for it. And he had some good games in the playoffs. But bottom line, if the Warriors don’t bounce the Mavericks, I dont think anybody would be talking about Deron Williams being a top 15 player or a top five point guard. Honestly, Chris Paul is a lot better better than he is.

    Jermaine O’neal is way too high on your list. 50% ts%?

    Putting Ginobili so low is ridiculous. He may come off the bench, but he is one of the best players in the league, no question about it. Stack his numbers up against anyone you like. The reason the Spurs won has almost as much to do with him as with Duncan.

    Dwight Howard is a monster. I am sorry, but he can’t be in the 20′s. He will be the best rebounder in the league next year most likely.

    My top ten, not in any order, would be:

    Kidd
    Nash
    Ginobili
    Wade
    Duncan
    Garnett
    Boozer
    Marion
    Nowitzki
    James

    Honorable mentions go to D Howard, Bryant, Camby, Stoudemire, and Gasol.

    By position, in no order

    C
    Camby
    Howard
    Chandler
    Stoudemire
    Yao Ming

    PF
    Garnett
    Duncan
    Boozer
    Gasol (put him here I guess)
    Nowitzki

    Honorable Mention – David Lee

    SF

    Lebron James
    Shawn Marion
    Josh Howard
    Luol Deng
    Rashard Lewis

    SG
    Kobe Bryant
    Dwyane Wade
    Manu Ginobili
    Gilbert Arenas
    Andre Igoudala

    PG
    Jason Kidd
    Steve Nash
    Chris Paul
    Chauncey Billups
    Baron Davis

  18. Caleb

    re: Mark Price, that’s an interesting comparison. You could also flip around the comment and say that Price was underrated. I remember him being super-quick – as quick as Tim Hardaway – and a great shooter.

    Part of the Nash-love is subjective – he’s just fun to watch; like Kidd he seems to have complete control over the game, like he’s seeing it in slow motion and pulling the strings as he goes.

  19. Adam F

    In my book Nash is definately not top 5. Some of you have already touched on the fact that the system/players surrounding him really make it easy for him. Having Marion and Stoudemire running the break with you is a luxury that few other point guards can relate too. I think the Suns would be a very good team with another very good point guard other than Steve Nash. Thats not to say they would be the powerhouse that they are, but I can’t see them being very much worse with CP, Kidd, or Andre Miller.

    Another thing, is that its tough to compare Nash to Billups, Deron, and even Steph for example, because they are on the opposite spectrum of point guards, those guys excel in a half court set-up where they can look to make the right pass within the system and score in bunches using their strength. Meanwhile, in Nash’s class are the aforementioned CP, Kidd, and Andre Miller. As I said before I think all of them could have similar success in Phoenix. But also I think all three of those guys have the capability to make unreal passes that no one else sees, whereas Nash has piled up the assists by lobbing it to superior athletes (Amare and Marion), or by handing it off to shooters (which if you watch his games he really does get a lot of assists, literally handing it off to a guy who hits a long range shot).

    Seeing has how, you can make the case for a lot of other point guards to be at least in the same league as Nash, its difficult to argue he is one of the best players in the league when Wade, LBJ, Duncan, KG, and Kobe are such unique talents.

    By the way, remember it was the 02-03 season where Steph led a similar (albeit much younger) version of the Suns to nearly 50 wins and a near upset of the Spurs. That team was shallower than today’s version and significantly less experienced: marion was just 24, JJ was just 21, and Amare was 20. Had you given all of those guys 4 years to improve, that team probably isn’t much worse than the 06-07 team.

  20. dude

    Caleb – actually. it IS all stevie. If you remember the period when he was injured, the Suns were completely lost without him. Your argument that the Suns stayed at the same level when Amare was out proves this point

  21. Caleb

    Owen,
    In general, I think you underrate the impact of defense. That pretty much accounts for our difference of opinion re: Jermaine O’Neal, Battier, Joe Johnson and Deron Williams. That said I’m a little surprised to see the lists so similar.

    Also, I didn’t explain this in the header… but I projected into next season. That gave a boost to young guys like Williams and Chris Paul, even Carmelo Anthony. (But not Dwight Howard. Hell yeah it’s inconsistent, but I just don’t trust his game. He turns it over like Curry, and as we’ve discussed I think WoW overvalues rebounds. But hey, #23 ain’t bad.

    Shaq is hard to figure. If he’s healthy he’s probably higher, even now, but he could easily fall woff the map.

    Ginobili? I dunno – it’s a lot easier to look good if you’re playing with TD and Parker. Not much defensive impact, either. Not knocking him, but I can’t put him top-10. Maybe if he has another year like last, especially if it’s playing more minutes.

  22. Caleb

    dude, i’m a nash fan as you can see but one reason they look terrible when he’s out is that his backup is marcus banks.

    it’s probably a good reason to drop amare in the rankings but i can’t help it, i think he’s going to explode one of these years.

  23. J-Bird

    Owen, i dont Know how Amare didnt make your list of best PF’s. Anyway, Nash is the best PG in the league, and top 5 easy.

  24. Vinay

    Actually Owen, if you’re going to quote David Berri, notice that Nash’s WP48 (wins produced per 48 minutes) is .348, which is 5th behind Kidd (.405), David Lee (.378), Camby (.356), and Duncan (.355) from this past season. The argument can be made that Kidd is great (if you’re a Nets fan), but that hardly makes Nash not a top 5 contender.

  25. Owen

    Nash and Price are reasonable comparisons actually. He was very underrated. Price never led the league in TS% though, and he wasn’t quite as good a pssser or rebounder.

    Caleb – Ginobili is a lot better than Parker. He is also a top ten defender in the league, according to the newly revised defensive composite score. He is the second biggest reason the Spurs are so good. Line his numbers up next to Kobe’s and see what you think.

    J-Bird – Isn’t Stoudemire a center? That’s where I put him. Switch him with Gasol if you like.

    Vinay – I pulled the list of actual Wins Produced, which is a function of minutes played. But I don’t really disagree with you. I do think Nash is a top five player. What he does as a point guard, where it is so much more difficult to be exceptional, is extraordinary. I feel the same way about Kidd. The top five players in the league last year would probably be Nash, Kidd, Duncan, Garnett, and Marion, who I think is given seriously short thrift.

  26. T-MART

    2 nationally televised games on the schedule they just released. That’s better then the zero from last season. Respek!

  27. Frank

    I have to put Nash in the top 5 — probably along with Duncan, Garnett, Kidd, and I guess Nowitzki. It is just so obvious that he is what makes that team run. It’s almost funny to watch the defenders sometimes because they know they’re screwed if they do and screwed if they don’t when they defend him — crowd him too close and he’ll go right around you, then make the perfect pass at the perfect time for an easy layup/dunk. Play off him and he’ll bury you from outside. Play one-on-one at the end of the shot clock? That step-back fadeway J is unstoppable, and if you commit too much to stop it he’ll go right around you and somehow finish over a 7-footer with a lefty scoop. He and Kidd are so far and away the best PGs in the game right now, but they are very different players. Kidd makes his impact on both ends of the court but arguably Nash controls the offensive side much more than Kidd does because he can drive, pass, AND shoot. And has anyone run the pick-and-roll better than Nash and Stoudemire since Stockton and Malone? The system in Phoenix works because of him, and would not work nearly as well with any other player. His defense isn’t great but I rarely have seen it exploited much, so the Suns must have excellent schemes to cover him.

    By the way I am not his agent. Just a fan.

  28. Robin

    PLEASE. Steve is top 3 with Wade and Duncan. KG and LeBron fill out the top 5 with Dirk and Kobe close behind. Even if he sucked as a point guard, Steve Nash would still be arguably the best shooter in the NBA, and he happens to also be the best point guard. He owns the fast break but also is a pick-and-roll master in the half court. And he steps up in big games! Look at him last year vs. NJ, Dallas, then the Lakers and Spurs in the playoffs. Steve won game 4 against the Spurs in crunch time with his creativity, and then wanted to win game 6 so badly that he made every shot he took in the 4th. Don’t ask him to play 48 minutes though, since that obviously hurt his performance late in game 5 and early in game 6. Not many guys over 30 can be effective playing those minutes. But Steve proved in 05-06 that he’s still great without Amare or other dominant scorers on his team.

  29. kjcoral

    jeebus, don’t you guys get it? LBJ is the BEST because he took his team, which has little talent, all the way to the finals by himself! add to the fact that he and the big O are the only two people in nba HISTORY(!!!)to avg 25, 6 & 6 for 3 straight years.

    the fact is kobe, garnett cannot be the best because they did not carry their teams like LBJ did. dirk is almost worse than those two considering the talent surrounding him! wade is a joke because without shaq, wade had the heat at about .500. that is NOT good enough to be considered the best player!!

    it’ about numbers and HOW FAR YOU TAKE YOUR TEAM! thusly, LBJ is best followed by duncan, period.

  30. jon abbey

    jeebus, don’t you get how much worse the East is than the West?

    jeebus, don’t you get that even within the weakened East, LeBron had a really easy draw in the first two rounds?

    jeebus, don’t you get that if the Bulls manage to beat NJ on the last day of the regular season, Cleveland quite possibly loses in the first round to Miami?

  31. Jersey J

    What about adding Parker to that list. After all he did out play Nash in the conference finals!!!!!!

    If Nash was black we would be calling him another Brevin Knight :)

    Something needs to be said about guys being able to hit jump shots. Put him on a team with no shooters and see what happens. Most teams lack shooters so even if you make the great pass the person is still unable to make the shot. Pheonix shoots more 3′s in transistion then any team in the NBA

  32. You Know It All?

    Anyone that does not have Kobe in their top 5 is truly misguided…

    Duncan
    Kobe
    KG
    Nash
    Wade
    ———
    Lebron
    Dirk
    Amare
    Kidd
    Arenas/Melo/Shaq (tie)

  33. Owen

    Kjcoral – The Cavs were fourth best in the league in defensive efficiency. That wasn’t because of Lebron James. People make much of the fact that he did it all himself, but the truth of the matter is that he had a very decent supporting cast and an easy draw. Ilgauskas has to be the most underrated big in the league. Despite being slow, he is a dominant defender. In the new revised defensive composite score, he ranked in the top ten. Drew Gooden and Anderson Varejao are very underrated frontcourt players as well. Donyell Marshall performed decently also.

    You Know It All – Kobe is a great player and certainly one of the three best shooting guards in the league. But a healthy Wade is better than he is, and Ginobili last year was better than him also. His TS% was 3% higher, mostly due to better 3 point shooting. He was better on rebounds, steals, and turnovers, and worse on fouls and slightly worse on assists. Ginobili has the luxury of playing on the better team, but he is nonetheless clearly the better defensive player at this point, although I am sure if Kobe tried he could be as good. Also, not inconsequential, Manu makes half as much money. Kobe is flashy and exciting, but not the best player in the NBA by a long shot.

  34. Peter H.

    i don’t get any list that could possibly put lebron behind nash.

    i would put nash somewhere between 6-15 more in the 8,9,10 area but possibly lower. i would rate him as the best pg giving him a slight edge over kidd but we’re in a dead period as far as good pg’s go.

  35. L. Garnett

    I appreciate Nash’s talents, but he the most overrated player in the league. He only affects one half of the game and is a major liability at the other. Nash hasn’t gotten better since he left Dallas, he has just gotten on the perfect team for his style of play. While he is certainly one of the best players in the league, it is absolute non-sense to say he is tip 5. He is not better than Kobe, KG, LeBron, Wade, or Duncan, all of which should be considered the undisputed top 5 players in the league.

  36. mrjonathan23

    nash is easily a top 10 player. if not actually in the top 5, he is right on the bubble. his ability to run the pick and roll is incredible.

    there is also little doubt that he is one of the hardest players for opposing coaching to plan against. his court vision and ability to finish are nothing short of amazing.

    the only trouble is his lack of defense. historically, bibby and parker have run circles around him in the playoffs. i also believe that his inability to get to the NBA finals should be taken into consideration.

    as a side note, i believe everyone is seriously discounting nowitzki on thier lists. i know there was a serious failure against the warriors, but the guy was MVP last year. the man is a beast and one of those players opposing coaches state is a terror to strategize against. except maybe for nellie.

  37. xduckshoex

    Steve Nash is not a major defensive liablity, and he hasn’t been for some time now. He made huge improvements in the offseason before his first year in Phoenix and has continued to improve.

    And while his biggest influence may only be on one end of the floor, I challenge you to find players who affect the outcome of the game more than he does. There are very few, if any, players who have the affect Nash does on the final score of the game, there is no logical reason to penalize him because most of that influence happens to be on the offensive end.

    Finally…Andre Miller better than Nash? Seriously?

  38. Austin Marshburn

    The thing is, Jason Kidd would not run the Suns’ offense as well as Nash because they rely so heavily on him making jumpers. Yes, their defense would tick upwards if they were to substitue Kidd, but that’s really not what the Suns are about in the first place.

  39. Chapel

    I love steve nash ( no homo), but if you consider the fact that he is playing with two other top 20 guys and the system that he plays in is geared for him to average 12+ assist, How good would he be outside of that system? does any one believe he could do what Kidd did a few years ago and take a coule of bums to back to back finals. How is it that the 2 time league MVP, playing with two bonafied allstars on his six not at least make it to the chip? 3 on 3 game, one spot left, who you picking up Kobe or Nash?

  40. villainx

    Regarding Price, he did for the Cavs what Nash is doing for the Suns.

    I don’t want to underrate Nash, but a decent point guard does 85-90% or so of what he does for that team.

    I think he’s top 10 for sure, might be top 5, but can’t believe he’s twice MVP.

  41. Adam F

    xduckshoex – i didn’t say better, i’d just say that andre miller makes amazing passes more often than nash. That’s not even to say he’s a better passer than nash (although i do think he is), but i do think he’s the most underrated player in the NBA.

    also, interesting question, if Nash retires today is he HOF? I know the 2 MVPs, but he has had such a short period of dominance. Career avgs of 14 points and 7 assists prbably shouldn’t do it.

  42. Owen

    When Steve Nash was in Dallas, he was part of the best offensive team of all time, something I learned recently when I read Basketball on Paper. ITs not just Marion and Stoudemire. Nowitizki is a fantastic player also, but I had to give Marion the nod for being low usage and a defensive genius. Dirk doesnt’ make his team better on defense, which is more important for a frontcourt player than a point guard.

    It’s pretty unique for a point guard to lead the league in TS%, and he definitely carries the weight on that Phoenix team.

    Villainx – I dont know about two mvps either. it’s funny, last year was his best season of the three I think. I don’t know, he’s little, cute, white and wicked with a basketball, they had to give im something…

  43. UNO

    GETTING OFF OF THE NASH BANDWAGON, IF HEALTHY WHY HASN’T ANYONE GIVEN YAO AND TMAC ANY LOVE. TMAC WHEN HEALTHY, CAN TAKE OVER ANY GAME WITH HIS TALENT. I HAVE SEEN IT MANY TIMES. MOST PLAYERS AGREE IN THE LEAGUE THAT TMAC IS ONE OF THE TOP FIVE TO 10 PLAYERS IN THE LEAGUE.

    STEVE NASH, WHILE A GOOD LEADER, IS BY FAR A PRODUCT OF THE SYSTEM. THERE IS NO OTHER WAY TO PUT IT. LOOK AT WHAT HE DID IN NELLIES STYLE OFFENSE WHILE WITH THE MAVERICKS. ABOUT THE SAME THING. JUST NOW HAS A COUPLE MORE “FINISHERS” AROUND THE BUCKET THAN WHAT THE MAVERICKS HAD AT THE TIME. MAVS HAD MORE SHOOTERS THAN DUNKERS SO THERE IS YOUR SPIKE IN ASSISTS SINCE IT HAS A HIGHER PERCENTAGE OF MAKING THE SHOT FROM 2 FOOT THAN 20 FOOT AWAY.

    JKIDD IS THE BEST “OVERALL” POINT IN THE LEAGUE. STATS DON’T LIE, THERE IS A REASON THAT HE IS 3RD ALLTIME IN TRIPLE DOUBLES.

  44. Courtney

    The reason Nash can’t be considered top five is simply because he is a system player. He has thrived in Phoenix because they play to his strengths which are all in the open court and on the run. If he were to play in a style like Detroit’s he wouldn’t be as effective. You can’t rate him ahead of players like Kobe, Lebron, Carmello, Duncan, K.G, and the list goes on and because they can play different styles of basketball as opposed to only full speed ahead not to mention he is surrounded by talent like no one else in the league. The G.M did a great job constructing this team and Nash fits well in it, but if you put Nash on a half court oriented team like San Antonio you would see the truth.

  45. Courtney

    How on Earth can anyone not have Kobe in their top five?! I understand he isn’t the most popular player in the league but lets be objective. He is the only perimeter player in the league on both first team all offense and all defense, and he has led the league in scoring the past two years. He may not be the best teammate but you trying playing with Kwame Brown and Co. and see how you like it. He may not be M.J. but you are crazy if you don’t see a stark resemblance in his game and the great one. I actually read someone put Ginobli ahead of Kobe on a list here. I will put it to everyone like this. Think of any player in the league besides maybe K.G., Duncan, Lebron, or Wade and ask yourself would a straight up trade for any one player and Kobe be better for the Lakers and you see why he is if not the best in the game, he is at least top five.

  46. vcx

    I would say that he is easily the best point guard (no one should debate that actually) in the league and also among the leagues top 5 players (or perhaps the sixth) simply because of his assists, layups and the way he raises the game of his team-mates.
    And if the suns manage to get a championship (especially with this current team) this year I would count him in the top 5 players of all time as well.
    Yes, I’m a fanboy.

  47. xduckshoex

    Nash is not a “system player”; he is doing nothing now that he wasn’t doing in Dallas, the only difference between this system and the one he was in before is that he has the ball in his hands more and is asked to create shots for others more frequently.

    He is a system player in the same way that every player in NBA history is a system player; how much he produces depends on how much his team relies on him.

  48. xduckshoex

    “You can?t rate him ahead of players like Kobe, Lebron, Carmello, Duncan, K.G, and the list goes on and because they can play different styles of basketball as opposed to only full speed ahead not to mention he is surrounded by talent like no one else in the league.”

    1) How can you mention Duncan, while also saying Nash gets bumped down for being surrounded by talent? Manu and Parker are arguably the best backcourt in the League.

    2) Nash has played as a scorer and as a distributor, yet you say he can’t play different styles?

    3) What skill is he lacking that would make him less successful on a slower team?

  49. Z

    To say Nash is made better by Marion and Amare, you have to conceed that Marion and Amare are made better than Nash. The three-headed-dragon (the core of a successful Pacific-division dynasty) is a perfect fit together, and it is hard to seperate the three individually.

    If they take their dynasty to the next level, make a few finals and win some rings, the three of them could be talked about as an all time great trifecta.

    Until that happens, Nash is the only one among them that seems like a Hall of Fame candidate only because he stands out as the catalyst behind the success (only because the team exploded the second he stepped on the court with a Suns jersey on, and the fact that when Amare went down no one noticed). Nash and Kidd transcend their positions. They are like Hakeem, Ewing, and Robinson in the early-90′s. There were other good centers in the league, but those three owned the game.

    I think it is relevant to look at how players play with respect to the league they play in. In baseball: Clemens, Maddux, Martinez, Johnson, and Glavin dominating hitters in the juiced-up, lively ball era that they played in makes them 5 of the most exceptional pitchers of all time.

    Nash and Kidd play in a league that has seen scoring totals as a whole plummet since the 80′s, yet they are able to transcend the tone of the league, and run up-tempo offenses that ALSO lead to a lot of wins. I think the two of them will be looked back on as the protypical players of their generation.

  50. xduckshoex

    “To say Nash is made better by Marion and Amare, you have to conceed that Marion and Amare are made better than Nash. The three-headed-dragon (the core of a successful Pacific-division dynasty) is a perfect fit together, and it is hard to seperate the three individually.”

    It’s actually not that difficult since Nash has played with Marion and Amare. Nash had a similar assist ratio to what he is putting up in Phoenix during his last year in Dallas, so it’s tough to say that Nash has had his numbers improved by Marion and Amare.

    On the other hand, Marion and Amare(as well as most of the rest of the Suns) have seen their scoring efficiency rise by a pretty significant degree. In the case of Amare, it may just be the fact that he is a maturing young player, but that doesn’t explain it away for Marion.

    There is also that leadership quality that Nash and Kidd bring to the table that sets them above their peers. I remember vividly Nash making a dish to a wide open Raja Bell who proceeded to miss the three. His reaction? He apologized to Bell for not making a better pass. His willingness to take all of the blame before he takes any of the credit puts him above most of the players in this me-first generation of the NBA. Outside of Nash, Kidd and possibly Duncan, I can’t even think of any players off the top of my head who are noticeable as the team leaders like that.

  51. jon abbey

    “GETTING OFF OF THE NASH BANDWAGON, IF HEALTHY WHY HASN?T ANYONE GIVEN YAO AND TMAC ANY LOVE. TMAC WHEN HEALTHY, CAN TAKE OVER ANY GAME WITH HIS TALENT. I HAVE SEEN IT MANY TIMES. MOST PLAYERS AGREE IN THE LEAGUE THAT TMAC IS ONE OF THE TOP FIVE TO 10 PLAYERS IN THE LEAGUE.”

    he can, but he doesn’t enough. he has yet to win a single playoff series in his career, and he’s something like 0-7 (off the top of my head) in games that would have gotten his team to the second round.

    if Tim Duncan never existed, I don’t think Parker and Ginobili would have developed into the great players that they are now, although Ginobili would probably still lead the league in flopping. when you’re playing with someone like Jordan or Duncan or Magic or Bird or Shaq or Hakeem, the rest of the team doesn’t have to do nearly as much to win games, and I think it’s a lot easier to develop confidence as a young player.

  52. Frank O.

    Comparisons like this are so subjective. There is no real criteria for who’s best. Just look at the dozens of rationale offered on this board alone.
    One on one skill – Kobe and Wade
    Simple raw physical dominance – Shaq and KG
    Defense – Bowen and maybe Ben Wallace

    But to me the most important characteristic is a player that can control tempo and make his teammates better by doing almost everything well to great.
    Then the list to me is simple:
    1. Tim Duncan. His team wins championships because he can do everything his team needs and he makes people around him better.
    2. Jason Kidd, again because he can do everything, pass, shoot, defend and rebound and he’s taken his team to championships.
    3. Steve Nash. His ability to control tempo, destroy team defenses, hit any shot with high regularity and he sees angles that I don’t think even Kidd sees. His team collapses without him (which is probably why Horry tried to take him out.) The only reason he didn’t win a championship this year is because the Suns were robbed by the refs and the league. Robbed.

  53. jon abbey

    “Jason Kidd, again because he can do everything, pass, shoot, defend and rebound and he?s taken his team to championships.”

    you simply can’t equate the level of play in the West and the East, Kidd never got past the first round in the West.

  54. oozie

    Hold up. You got Nash (2 time MVP), Stoudemire, Marion – 3 all stars. You have 2 all defense players in Marion and Raja Bell. You have the 6th man of the year in Barbosa, yet the Suns can’t even win a conference championship. Something seems out of wack to me. You can’t compare Nash or any of the Sun’s statistics to the rest of the league. They are inflated due to their style of basketball. (it’s either that or that Nash is so poor a defender that it truly affects their ability to win in playoff basketball) I think the Suns win an NBA championship if you replace Nash with (Wade, Kidd, Paul, Parker, Billups, Miller, Iverson or Baron davis) These guys all play defense, distribute the ball and score. By the way the Mavericks got better when they replaced Nash with Jason Terry. How can you be an MVP if the team you leave gets better after you leave?

  55. Z

    “you simply can?t equate the level of play in the West and the East, Kidd never got past the first round in the West.”

    Just because Kidd plays in the East should devalue what he does on the court. Comparing the East and the West in the NBA is not like comparing the Division I basketball with Division II and III, or AAA ball and the Majors. Both NBA conferences play all the same teams, and the margin of talent in the grand scheme of things is not all that different between the two.

    I think it’s fair to say Cleveland wasn’t better than 6 or 7 teams out west this year and their success was solely because of the conference they played in. On the other hand individual players I don’t think benefit the same way teams do.

    Kidd probably plays against stronger point guards in the Atlantic Division (Marbury, Miller, Ford) on the whole than Nash does in the Pacific (Davis is elite, but the rest are either too old or too young to give Nash great matchups).

  56. Z

    Oh wait– sorry. I just reread Jon Abbey’s post in context to Frank O.’s, and I misinterpreted it, making the post I just made largely irrelevant. Apologies!

  57. california

    steve nash is a system player
    but you have to consider that many teams are built around great players to make sure that teams runs the best that it can; after all, the nets don’t make kidd run up and down the court

    he is surrounded by talent in all his players (leandro barbosa could start in almost any other team) but when nash is out so is the team; he makes the team run as well as it does

    even though nash’s defense isn’t stellar, you have to consider the system again; he needs the emphasis on offense to keep the suns winning

  58. nate the skate

    Come on, we all know steph is the best pg in the league. After all, if it’s raining outside, he’ll let us know that its raining. How can we not trust him?

  59. Mike C

    The problem with judging the “greatness” of Steve Nash is because at the defensive end I wouldn’t be surprised if he had trouble guarding a paper bag (he gets torched by any above average pg), however he is virtually ungaurdable, play him one on one hell either blow right by you or nail a jumper, play good team defense and watch his assists skyrocket as he hits the open man off of the defensive roatation.

    The mans ability to consistently pass the ball is UNRIVALED in the NBA today.

    Add on top of that the hes a goofy looking white Canadian who can’t dunk, and its easy to see why this discussion comes up, the 2 MVP’s are a joke, but if you watch the suns play its night and day when hes in and when hes out. Steve Nash is the suns offense, and saying hes a “system guy” isn’t that valid of an arguement, as the marquee player the system is built around him, thats how you build a team, find a talented player and build a team around him, thats not exactly how it worked out in PHX but the same point still holds.

    a few notes: LBJ is gonna have a really odd career because of the massive media hype, at this point i feel like unless he wins 6 titles by the time hes through people are gonna look at him as a let down which is ludicrous. he will be great but hes not great yet, hes a reliable jumper away from greatness. Kobe is the closest thing we’ve had to Jordan since Jordan. end of discussion.

    If there were no suspensions this year ,(and San Antonio didn’t get EVERY call) does Phoenix win title? IF THEY DID (big ff) where would that put Nash in the spectrum of all time pg’s?

  60. Ben

    Offensively I think Nash is the best player in the game. He instantly makes any team he is on worlds better and also inflates the efficiency of everyone on his team.

    Defensively though to call him below average is being kind.

    Overall I think that puts him in the 8-12 range overall because while defense is very important dominant offense has more impact than dominant defense especially when you are as dominant offensively as Nash.

    This “system” everyone talks about has no effect on Nash’s value. His TS% and assist rate have been fairly consistant for the last eight years. He has seen a small lift since coming to Pheonix but his assist rate his last year in Dallas is only 2% lower than his three years in Pheonix, and the only reason his TS% has gone up is because he is taking more three’s a game.

    Also for all the talk about his teammates I think he is the one making them better not vice versa. Both Marion and Amare saw their TS% take huge lifts when he joined the team. In the two years before Nash joined the Suns, Amare had a TS% of 53.0% and then 53.6% in the two season since (not counting 05-06 because Amare sat out all but three games) Amare has had a TS% of 61.7% and 63.7%. For Marion his TS% also took a major jump going from 52.2% the five season before Nash to 58.0% the three seasons since.

    If anyone is benefiting from the Sun’s system it is Marion and Amare not Nash.

    Amare by the way is one of the most overrated players in the game. He is a pretty good PF but nowhere near the top of anything. When he missed season before last Pheonix barely missed a step and his gaudy shooting numbers are all due to Nash.

  61. Port Diggity

    Anyone here arguing that Nash is only successful because he’s surrounded by all-stars, and guys that can knock down shots isn’t really thinking it all through. A couple of posts ago, OOZIE said,

    “Hold up. You got Nash (2 time MVP), Stoudemire, Marion – 3 all stars. You have 2 all defense players in Marion and Raja Bell. You have the 6th man of the year in Barbosa, yet the Suns can?t even win a conference championship. Something seems out of wack to me.”

    I’d like people to think some things through a little bit. First of all, ask yourself why these guys are getting all-star recognition. Maybe ask yourself why Barbosa won the 6th man. Ask yourself why can all these Suns players knock down so many 3′s. Is it because, damn, these guys are unreal talent, and the suns are blessed with all these amazing shooters who seem to be having coincidental career years recently. And damn, Amare and Marion sure are scoring easy buckets, they’re so good they’re making their defenders look stupid by how easy they’re scoring on them…they must be all-star calibre just with the ease at which they score.
    And after considering all that, imagine if the Suns had someone running the point that was so good, they could give these players wide open shots that even a granny could hit with 5 seconds to take her time to set up her shot and shoot it. And imagine this same point guard was so good that these all-stars could get easy dunks and scores…even on top of what they do already. WAIT A SECOND……maybe Nash has something to do with their success????

    Let’s see here, Joe Johnson is now playing in Atlanta with an ENORMOUS contract, because WOW could he ever hit that wide open 3-ball for the Suns that year…..but how’d he get so wide open for that long?????
    Let’s see here, are Amare and Marion getting these easy dunks and close in looks because they’re making great moves down low, or speeding past their defenders like they’re not even there…..or is someone dropping dimes like they didn’t care about money??
    Let’s see here, would Barbosa even be a recognised name in the NBA as 6th man if it weren’t for a special teammate and leader???
    Lets’ see here, why are all these guys that I’ve never heard of in past years having career years all of a sudden…and hitting all these shots…..must be coincidence???

    Hopefully you see my point. If not, open your mind and your eyes a little bit.

    On the topic of Nash not being as effective in a different system, and the other mega-stars could be…..let’s look at this a second.

    First, are people saying that Nash couldn’t be effective on a slow down team? Howd the Jazz do with the pick and roll (perhaps the most boring amazing team ever)? Can Stevie hit shots and make passes?? Can he run an offense?? Is he a good leader?? Good, yes, yes, yes. Therefore, you do the math.

    Second, for those saying the other mega-stars, like Duncan, for example, would be just as effective in other offenses, and Nash wouldn’t….let’s examine.
    Put Duncan on a run and gun team. Does that fit his game like it does in san antone? Is he a non-stop fast-breaker, or more of a post-up, fundamental slow down player, who needs to set up shop both on defense and offense?
    Put Jason kidd on a slow down offense. I’d agree he and Nash are the best PG’s in the league, but what makes Nash more effective in the half court slow down offense, all other things being equal, is that he is a deadly shooter….set shot or pull-up…unlike kidd.

    Finally, when it comes to arguing whether he deserves his MVPs, for those who say he is nothing close to a top 5 player, I won’t even disagree with you…even though it’s obvious i’m a big supporter of him. However, just because Kobe and Lebron and all these unbelievably skilled players may be the guy you’d pick before nash at the outdoor courts for 3-on-3, the MVP isn’t automatically given to the super-dunking, endorsements-overflowing, megastars……..it’s given to the MOST VALUABLE PLAYER IN THE LEAGUE….emphasis on VALUABLE!!!!! HE MAKES EVERYONE BETTER!!!!!!!!!

    As I welcome any stupid, inferior rebuttals to this, I’ll finish by saying that the proof will be in the Shawn Marion pudding, as soon as he’s traded. We’ll all see how good Nash really was.

  62. Port Diggity

    Hey Ben,
    Thanks for ruining my thunder 3 minutes before i went there…..ahhaahhahaa. I just read your post after i published mine.

  63. xduckshoex

    Nash is not a system player; he is a system all by himself. He is the only guard in the League that can join any mediocre team and instantly make them 10-15 wins better. Guys like Kobe and Wade are probably more talented than Nash, but Nash is easily worth more than any volume shooter in the League today.

    In the last 3 seasons, Nash has been in Magic Johnson/John Stockton territory on offense. I don’t think any other PG in the modern era has reached that level.

  64. Alun

    I would rate Nash 5th best, just over Nowitski because Nash would never choke like Dirk did in the playoffs this year, and he makes his teamates better and instills confidence in them, not fear.

    My top 40 (No Shaq based on last years form):

    1. Kobe
    2. James
    3. Wade
    4. Duncan
    5. Nash
    6. Nowitski
    7. T-Mac
    8. Melo
    9. Garnett
    10. Stoudemire
    11. Yao
    12. Arenas
    13. Iverson
    14. Kidd
    15. Bosh
    16. Carter
    17. Pierce
    18. Allen
    19. B.Davis
    20. Boozer
    21. T.Parker
    22. D.Howard
    23. Redd
    24. Brand
    25. J.O’Neal
    26. Marion
    27. Gasol
    28. Deng
    29. J.Johnson
    30. D.Williams
    31. J.Howard
    32. Ginobli
    33. Billups
    34. Jamison
    35. Butler
    36. R.Lewis
    37. Artest
    38. Hamilton
    39. Gordon
    40. Paul

    Odom and Iguadola just missed the cut, E.Curry and Randolph too fat to be included and Marbury’s one of my favourites – definitely top 40, even top 25 on talent, just not this year.

    Did I leave anyone out?

  65. oozie

    So hold up. You don’t think AMare wouldbe an All Star on any other team? Do you think Minnesota would have traded Garnett for Nash? Come on?

    Wasn’t Marion a borderline all star in his 2nd year with Stephon at Point?

    Don’t you think any GM would give up real talent for Barbosa.

    Don’t kid yourself Phoenix has more talent then any team in the league. More so if you really think Nash is top 5 player.

    There own GM thinks so that is why they keep trading away their draft picks for money.

  66. Owen

    “You got Nash (2 time MVP), Stoudemire, Marion – 3 all stars. You have 2 all defense players in Marion and Raja Bell. You have the 6th man of the year in Barbosa, yet the Suns can?t even win a conference championship.”

    The Suns’ efficiency differential (7.5) was worse than the Spurs’ (9.1) this year, so it wasn’t actually surprising that they lost to the Spurs. The latest WOW post sheds some interesting light on this issue. It’s actually really fascinating, he relates Pareto’s 80/20 rule to the NBA. He concludes the Suns do have the best trio in the league. Berri calculates that Marion/Nash/Stoudemire were collectively worth 52.3 wins last year. This is much more than the top three for either San Antonio (44.4) or Dallas (39.8). But the supporting cast does matter, and it isn’t as good in Phoenix. Raja Bell is not very good. Barbosa is basically average. The “rest” of the Suns only accounted for 8.5 wins, while the “rest” of the Spurs accounted for 19.1.

    Vis a vis the new Celtics, he thinks they look like a 50-54 win team, in the best case, which assumes that the stars dont continue to decline as they have shown signs of doing over the last few years. But apparently he is going to post again on this topic.

    http://dberri.wordpress.com/2007/08/02/the-pareto-principle-and-the-new-boston-celtics/

    BTW Alun, you love scorers don’t you. Do you honestly think Carmelo Anthony is better than Kevin Garnett,or Allen Iverson better than Jason Kidd. Really!? Michael Redd better than Shawn Marion?

  67. brian

    Imagine if there was a five on five with the two best nba coaches picking the team. Every player in the league is standing there. Pick your teams and you dont have to pick by position. How many of you pick Nash in the top 10? Kobe, LBJ,Timmy, DWade, KG, Dirk, AI, Melo, Gilbert…..MVP is a popularity contest!!!!

  68. Z

    “How many of you pick Nash in the top 10?”

    About 1,500 of us, going by the poll at the top of this page (and the 80 or so entries explaining why).

  69. spursfan

    Ok so Steve Nash is a terrible defender. I think any bball fan will tell you that. Defense accounts for 50% of the game!!! Hello thank of the of the last 10 champs good defensive teams. Also how many wide open 3′s does Tim Duncan create for his shooters? Getting players open shoots does not make you great!
    The suns spread you out and let Steve Nash penetrate, good stratergy during the regular season but during the playoffs the suns cant adapt they run run run. The playoffs are all about adjustments, the suns cant adjust because they have no one who commands a double team. That includes your 2-time MVP.
    If you replace Nash with Kobe and run the triangle thru KB he demands a double team equaling open shoots for team mates. U put Nash on the spurs the lose because he is a defensive liability! Replace Nash with LBJ a great passer who commands a double team now how good is PHX wit the KING!
    No one in their right mind would argue that nash is not a good player but top five??? The “FIVE” TIM DUNCAN, KOBE BRYANT, LBJ, DWADE, DIRK…ALL OF HAVE LEAD THEIR TEAMS TO FINALS…..SORRY NASH
    Dont tell me that the suns got robbed sure its a stupid rule but so are speed limits when every car thats made can go 160. We know the rules and abide even when we dont agree….HOLLA BACK

  70. Frank

    Very interesting discussion. this is like the opposite of the David Lee discussion. Everyone wants to make out David Lee to be better than he is, and now everyone wants to cut Steve Nash down. C’mon people — you take Stoudemire off that team for the entire year two years ago and what happens — Phoenix is awesome. You take Nash off that team for 3 minutes during the game and Phoenix falls apart.

    The truth is, everyone is a system player to some extent. But I think it’s crazy to think that Nash couldn’t succeed in a halfcourt game. For pete’s sake, the SA-PHX series this year wasn’t exactly a track meet, and if not for Robert Horry PHX would’ve won the series and the championship. And losing to a dynastic team like SA should not lessen our view of Nash — SA is just really good.

    So whereas with David Lee I come down on the side of he’s not quite as good as some people think, I come solidly down on the side that Steve Nash is just awesome. His ability to get guys the ball exactly when and where they want it is truly amazing. His ability to run the pick and roll to perfection even when the entire other team knows it’s coming is just ludicrous. And he might be the best jump shooter and FT shooter in the league. And he’s clutch. And he finishes drives well despite no hops and being 6 foot nothing. And for you 1-on-1 guys out there — no one ever blocks his shot and he seems to shoot a very high percentage no matter who’s guarding him. And remember, no one is setting him up for easy buckets like he does for all his teammates. He’s not a great defender but honestly, neither are Dirk, Melo, Arenas, Stoudemire, Yao, etc. etc. that are on people’s top 10 lists.

    So as much as Kobe can jump out of the gym, I’d say this about their offensive abilities —

    Shooting – Nash
    FT shooting – Nash
    Driving – close but probably Kobe
    Passing – Nash by a mile
    Finishing – Kobe but Nash is good too — different offensive styles
    Intangibles – hmmm.. does anyone want to play with Kobe?

    Score in my book = 4-2 Nash. Maybe 4-1 because Kobe should get a -1 and not a 0 for intangibles.

    Kobe is a lockdown defender when he wants to be which is why in my book they are close in ranking. So if you look at this way, Nash as a top5 is very plausible.

    By the way – if age were not a consideration — I think without a doubt Nash would be picked in the top 6-7 by coaches, right around KG and DWade. And way ahead of Nowitzki — who is not clutch, doesn’t pass well, and basically is just taller and not as good on offense and nearly as poor on defense.

  71. Dave

    Caleb, WTF!!!!!!!!
    that is a very opinionated list. some of your out-there choices I could maybe go along with, such as Boozer being better than T-Mac.

    Tony Parker at only number 26? Tony Parker right now has more value than Chris Paul, Jermaine O’Neal, Vince Carter, Marcus Camby, so that’s 4 spots he would jump.

    But Deron Williams at 15 is what really got me.
    Yao at 21
    And Chris Bosh at 27.
    Deron Williams is 6 spots better than Yao and 12 better than Chris BOSH?????
    lmao. Deron Williams is the new overhyped player in the league it seems.

  72. Dave

    OH yeah, this is about Nash.
    Nash = the best passer BY FAR in the league and the best free throw shooter in the league. That right there should tell you he’s in the top 10 talents.

  73. retropkid

    I have Nash as number 6 in the league — but don’t knock Dirk too much…the Mavs have folded up in playoffs, but won a bunch of games without Nash, and Dirk is their leader…even Nash would tell you Dirk is a stud.

    Where do you put Nash vs. all time guards (where early posts thought this was going to be..). Here he doesn’t compete quite so well — don’t think he is top twenty, which maybe tells you something about league-wide talent, if two-time MVP today doesn’t stack up at his position vs. all timers…

  74. Owen

    Nash is probably a top ten point guard all time.

    I would go with

    Johnson
    Frazier
    Robertson
    Stockton
    Payton
    Cousy
    Nash
    Kidd
    West
    Isaiah

    But the truth is that there are fewer impact players at the point guard position generally.

  75. Allen

    Did anybody bother to pull Marion and Amare’s numbers from before Nash came and look at the success they had without him with Marbury and Howard Eisely at the point?

    All three of those players benefit from playing with each other. Nash wasn’t as dominant offensively in Dallas and Marion and Amare didn’t get as many easy buckets before Nash came. All three of them look better playing with each other and playing in D’Antoni’s system. And pointing out that the Suns fell off when Nash was out is stupid if you don’t mention that they don’t have a single pass first point guard on the roster outside of Nash and the whole offense is predicated on having a pass first point. Banks and Barbosa have their own talents, but those talents aren’t suited to running the Suns offense.

  76. Frank O.

    A assert again, the Suns were robbed. They would have defeated the Spurs in that series had they not lost key players to a thuggish play.

    One other point, I really think it’s silly this accusation that Nash is a system player…
    One of the great problems with the NBA, one of the reasons European players are becoming more and more coveted, one of the main reasons the NBA players do not dominate international play is that when they run into a team with a system, their And One philosophy of play gets beaten.
    Does anyone believe Patrick Ewing didn’t play in a system designed for him? Was he an individual talent that could do it himself?
    Hell no. Patrick needed the offense to run through him and needed the ball to be placed in his hands in certain circumstances.
    No one derisively calls him a system player.
    Was Karl Malone a freelancer? Hell, no.
    He was a system player, playing within the rigged confines of the pick and roll. Malone needed Stockton.
    Can anyone say Jordan didn’t benefit from playing within the triangle offense implemented by Phil Jackson? Jordan was a supreme talent, but he and Pippen ran that system to perfection.

    Great players in the NBA, or any sport, are great when they play in a team system.
    Remember, at the NBA level or any elite professional level, the athletes are freaks by any normal standard, but they are playing among freaks: which is another way of saying they’re average among their peers.
    What makes a player like Bill Russell, Bill Walton, Walt or Reed transcendent is their ability to operate within the respective team framework to succeed.

    So before you get so disdainful of supreme talents like Nash, whose success is even more astounding because he can’t dunk, and yet can dominate a game with absolute physical freaks, is his ability to play fundamentally sound basketball as a teammate within a system design to maximize its players.
    The Spurs are successful because they have a system that maximizes Tim Duncan’s and Tony Parker’s talents and strengths.
    There have been many freakishly physically talented basketball players to come into the league, but have enjoyed little overall success.
    Stephon Marbury, Dominique Wilkins, Bernard King, and any number of other scorers and highlight reels. They didn’t play as well within a team structure or didn’t have a system that worked to maximize the team successfully, and so they didn’t go far…
    Now, I’m sure there will be people who will pick nits about whether or not such and such player was successful…but the goal is to win championships, not to make and ESPN highlight.
    If you’ve been to some of the courts I have to watch street ballers in NYC, you know there are plenty of highlight reel talents, but few players that can transcend the NBA-level of talent.

    This long speech, I guess, comes from a purist in me that finds the And One philosophy damaging. There has been so much effort to sex up basketball, that these players can’t pass, can’t hit a 10-foot jumper, don’t understand how to avoid picks, don’t talk on defense, can’t defend a pick and roll or run one, and for crap’s sakes, can’t hit open free throws as consistently as a local prep school kid that stands 6 feet tall.
    So please stop criticizing system players that are hugely successful and put up gaudy numbers.
    Jordan’s success, the reason he had the chances to do what he did with his talent was in large part because he played within a system designed to leverage his and Pippen’s ability.
    How is Nash any different?
    He’s a short guy, with limited leaping ability, but with an uncanny knack for beating his defender, seeing the court like no one can, and not just seeing, but being decisive under extreme pressure to make the right play or the right shot for his team.
    He’s extraordinary, and the fact that he doesn’t have Robinson-like hops, or Kidd-like power, makes it all the more extraordinary that he succeeds.
    Fans have gotten so shallow in the past decade.
    But New Yorkers are supposed to be different. They’re supposed to be smart about the game they love.
    And before you are critical of a “system guy,” I ask you to think back and ask yourself:
    How many times have you said to your buddy that you wish, just wish, Marbury really embraced a system and ran an offense, rather than trying to simply and dumbly exploit his physical talents?
    You see, it’s easy to be physically talented. You’re born with that.
    It’s the brain and the will that defines people.
    Jordan was a physical freak, 6’6, stronger than most, and he could float like no one I’ve seen before or since. But what defined him was his smartness and his god-aweful will that just would not let Charles Smith, a man four inches bigger and many pounds heavier, put a ball in a basket from point blank range.
    Nash is great BECAUSE he knows how to run his system and allows it to exploit his and his teammates talents.
    As soon as the NBA figures this out, we’ll stop seeing uneducated thugs running the courts and destroying the game, and start seeing smart, skilled athletes playing angles like Duncan, seeing angles like Nash, and playing sound fundamental hoops that is far more exciting than some of the freelancing we see today nightly.

  77. retropkid

    sorry for the double post…maybe he is top ten all time or at least close vs. point guards, I stand corrected by myself:

    in no particular order: Stockton, Magic, Oscar, Isiah, Kidd, Cousy, Archibald probably all better…Payton, KJ, Guy Rodgers, may be a few others probably in the mix.

    I wouldn’t mind Jordan at the point for my all-time team either, but technically let’s call him a #2 not a point.

  78. Allen

    And Oozie, actually Marion was a great player for several years without Nash. By his second year in the league he was putting up 17 and 10.

  79. Munch

    You guys are missing the point about Nash. His stats are fantastic and at some point (esp with PG’s) stats are more a reflection of the style of offense and coach then the player themselves. The reason Nash is top 5 is because you can build a franchise around him and trust him to that franchise. Whoever talked about the knicks is right. If Nash went to that team, they would contend to make the finals and for a championship. JKidd is great, but he’s never had that ‘flip a team that can’t play’ quality and has always depended on someone else to provide that leadership. Its why Nash is ahead of Lebron (though maybe not for long considering that pistons game).

    When Nash is on your team, there really are no chemistry problems, which puts him in very rare company. TD, maybe Wade. Is there anyone else??? Lebron is not there yet. Kobe will never be there Sorry to say KG is not there. AI is not there. Nowitski is almost there, but misses Nash doing this for him. Bosh is learning and might make it. Baron Davis is for sure there, but has been hurt too much to be acknowledged for it. Either way, there are about 3-4 guys in the L who can even be compared at Nash’s level of leadership and he’s had the opportunity and adversity to prove himself. Thats why he gets the cred. Thats why he’s the two time (and should be three time) MVP.

    Look at the egos on the Suns and consider that they play as a team and theres no beans about it. Thats all because of Nash. And who cares about season averages? When the Suns are about to break down and lose a big game, its Nash who bombs a couple of threes to lead by example.

    Forget percentages, if you look at NBA.com’s heat maps showing the percentage people shoot from different areas of the floor, Nash is one of the only people who essentially shoots the same from anywhere. No weaknesses.

    Also, you hear about weak defense. I don’t get this at all. Nash plays solid defense by funneling people into Marion/Amare, draws loads of charges (not flops) and gets his share of steals. He’s not a stopper, Billups is a better defender, but Nash’s defense is under rated (just like the Suns’ defense is) because of 1. pace factor and 2. the hype about him being a horrible defender. I’d say he’s an above average defender for the NBA (average is pretty meek guys).

    Anyway, its not like teams beat the suns by exploiting the steve nash weakness cuz he’s learned to be a role player within the team’s defensive scheme, not to mention learned how to ‘perfectly’ transition from that defense to create offense. Good offensive teams ‘always’ play good defense because its good D that starts all your fast breaks. People just have tunnel vision and think good D’s purpose is to lock down the other team and hold them to 80 points.

    Anyway, sorry for the book, but its just sad the way people constantly claim Nash is not a special player. Someone suggested Mark Jackson and Andre Miller? My god. They are so not even close to Nash’s league.

  80. spursfan

    Frank are crazy…Kobe has 3 Rings not 1 not 2 but 3!!! My goodness are we all drinking the cool aid or what? Nash is good he can pass and shoot and all that but the game is played at both ends. Stop point out what he can do offensively and tell me what kinda defender he is. Hell even Dirk’s height is a factor and his ability to rebound on the defensive end helps. U can debate all-time this or that but today when it counts he is NOT clutch clutch players find ways to win ask Manu, KB, C-Bills, Tim Duncan DWADE…its like the same comment Charles Barkely says there are only a few player in the league who should be max guys TD, KB SHAQ why? Because they are winners.
    A couple MVPS and some flashy passes does not make you a hall of famer or top five!! Question does Steve Nash have more of in impact on a game than Tim Duncan, Jason Kidd, KB, Dirk, Shaq, KG? Before you answer remember Steve Nash is a one trick pony even though the trick is good its still only one trick “OFFENSIVE”

  81. Caleb

    The list was mostly off-the-cuff, but I’m not buying most of the criticism. McGrady is fantastic when he’s healthy, probably a top-5, but he’s awfully fragile and over 30 it’s only going to get worse. That’s why I put him where I did.

    I’d also say there’s not a whole lot separating, say, #15-30. I do think Chris Paul is already better than Tony Parker, and could easily hit the top 10 this year.

    I think I actually might have Yao too high. Rockets played better when he was hurt and Mutombo filled in, not that it means Deke is better but it doesn’t suggest that Yao is the key guy on the team…

    I am second-guessing myself about Deron Williams. I listed him high – higher than Chris Paul, even – largely on the strength of youth, durability and defense. As Owen pointed out, Williams’ composite defensive rating on 82games is actually way below average.
    http://82games.com/nichols1.htm

    Most of the ratings make gut sense, but that one spins my head. He looks like a good defender whenever I’ve seen him, he was drafted on his defensive rep and Utah is a pretty good defensive team. I can think of a few reasons why he comes out badly: +/- suffers because his backup, Fisher, was also a good defender; also defensive stats in general have trouble crediting off-ball defense, where Williams excels. But neither of those things really accounts for Williams having one of the worst defensive rankings in the league. (better than Marbury, tho!) Until I take a closer look at that whole system… I’ll take him off the board, or at least give him an incomplete.

  82. retropkid

    Munch, are you saying if you were drafting from the NBA right now, you would take Nash ahead of LeBron to build around?

    Really? Not me —

    Wish we had Nash instead of Starbury, but with Curry at center we just don’t contend either way. Nash isn’t good enough to make that happen, not even Magic would be I’m afraid…Bobcats will be better than Knicks this year…we could’ve gotten Garnett in a three-team trade by moving Curry out, but Zeke’s die has been cast.

    As a total aside, one of the best point guard matchups I ever saw in person was Strickland against KJ at a game in phoenix (yes, that Strickland, believe it or not)…I was under the basket, and those two guys played great…just one game, but it was tremendous to see them compete against one another.

  83. Caleb

    p.s. I guess I need to add a Nash comment – for all the heat in the debate it seems like virtually everyone ranks him as a top-10 player. I call that consensus.

  84. David

    Kobe is the most overrated player of all time. He has never even won a single playoff series as “the man” or go to guy on his team. On top of that the choke job after being up 3-1 over the suns, where Nash willed his short handed team to victory says it all.
    Nash makes everyone better, Kobe makes everyone worse. If you switched Kobe and Nash the suns would get worse and the lakers would be at least as good.
    To be a great player you have to do it in the postseason when you are the man on your team. Kobe had the luxury of playing with Shaq is his prime. During the period you could’ve replaced him with Mcgrady, Carter, or Pierce and the Lakers still would’ve won 3 championships.
    Kobe is a great regular season scorer. A good player.
    Pippen was a better player than Kobe. Pippen got his to the conference championships the year after MJ retired. Pippen led a great trailblazers squad. And Pippen did not run Jordan out of town in lieu of his own ego. He got 6 championships out of Jordan, Kobe should’ve got at least 6 out of Shaq. Nash would’ve.
    No one can score like Kobe can, while shooting 33%, during games that don’t count in January. But he is not a top 5 player today.
    1)Duncan
    2)Nash
    3)Lebron
    4)Wade
    5)Dirk

  85. Frank

    OK Spursfan– gotta defend myself a bit. When you say Kobe has 3 rings, don’t forget that he got them with Shaq in Shaq’s prime. As good as Kobe is (and he’s great), Shaq was so dominating that he should have won the MVP unanimously every year he was in LA. it’s only because he was so mind-numbingly good all the time and was physically so dominating that for whatever reason the writers gave him no love.

    When I say Nash is top 5-6 in the NBA, I mean that as in today’s NBA. When I say Shaq was dominant, I mean Shaq is probably one of the top 2-3 players of ALL TIME, in Jordan, Wilt territory. So as good as Kobe is, Kobe minus Shaq has exactly the same number of rings as Nash does = zero.

    And as much as I think Kobe’s a great player– I wonder what would happen if you took him away from the Lakers right now. Would they collapse? Or would they be like the Sixers without Iverson (about the same, maybe better)?

    And to your question:

    “Question does Steve Nash have more of in impact on a game than Tim Duncan, Jason Kidd, KB, Dirk, Shaq, KG? Before you answer remember Steve Nash is a one trick pony even though the trick is good its still only one trick ?OFFENSIVE?”

    Simple answer: YES or at least comparable.

    Probably minus Shaq in his prime and perhaps Duncan. But certainly on par with Kidd, KB, Dirk, KG.

  86. spursfan

    Munich’s wrong. Defense win championships. Nash is good and yes sometimes its hard to measure his effect. But switch nash and LBJ. Does nash score 25 in a row to beat detroit? Who does Nash guard in the east conference where the games are played a a snails pace? RIP, CBILL, the palace prince? Ask J Kidd if having finishers and spot up shooters makes a difference? Ask Steve Nash to make Vince and R Jeff better when one cant shoot and the other wont drive! And yes he is always exploited on defense Parker killed him, they switched Marion to Parker which drove Marion’s numbers down tell me that didnt factor in. Tell me what happened when MJ faced the bad boys he lost but came back different each time better more hungrier. What is the difference between Steve Nash in Dallas and in PHX. And of course he is a system player. What would happen if we took TD off SA they would crumble there is not player who could replace him. What happened when Nash left Dallas they replaced him with “Jason Terry” and did not miss a beat. Nash on PHX run run run JKidd would be the same Chris Paul or Hinrich all could play in a wide open run and gun system every baller in the world grows up playing that way. He works for their system but their system does not work for winning championships. And please tell me how they were robbed everyone knows that if you leave the bench you will be suspended. So they team that doesnt keeps its composure and doesnt follows the rules should be rewarded? Please enlighten me…..

  87. retropkid

    If J Kidd could shoot…imagine…he’s an all-time great point guard in every facet of the game except shooting…

  88. spursfan

    Frank remember that every great team has a closer was Shaq that closer when he was in his prime? Do you remember KB finishing the Pacers in game five when Shaq fouled out? For the Spurs Manu has been there closer twice and TD was the closer the other two rings. Tell me who is the suns closer? When we beat you guys a couple years ago when you were 100% were you robbed? When Amare destroyed us for 37 a game but they lost 4-1, what happened.
    There isnt one player on the suns that has developed anything that he didnt have b4 nash got there and nash himself hasnt add anthying. Dont tell me that the matrix could run and jump and that stat was dropping hammers on cats! I think if you all were able to keep Joe Johnson then maybe a ring cuz he could have developed into a player who could demand a double team.
    I get the feeling you know something about bball, so please tell what nash added to his game since he arrived in phx?

  89. retropkid

    Pretty funny that there is consensus about Nash being a top ten guy, but there is still so much to dispute!

  90. oozie

    Nash has better talent around him than:

    1. Iverson with Sixers (Conference championship)
    2. Kidd with Nets (Conference championship)
    3. Billups with Detroit (NBA championship)
    4. Wade with Miami (NBA championship)
    5. Payton with Seattle (Conference Championship)

    The reality is that defense counts. The NBA playoffs is all about exploiting weaknesses and tendencies. If you have a weakness it gets amplified in playoff basketball. If you are the star of your team and you have a hole in your game it is almost impossible to win a championship no matter who you are surrounded with. That is Nash’s problem. It doesn’t matter who you surround him with. If he is the best player on the team, that team will not win a championship because his weakness will be exploited at crunch time.

    The reason why the guards mentioned above (throw in Tony Parker) would more likely win a championship if put on the Suns is that their games are more balanced. They are more complete as basketball players.

    I would agree that Nash is a top 5 offensive player, but a bottom 10% defensive player. Unfortunately, most fans underestimate the importance of defense and as a result over estimate his value on a team.

    The only players with real flaws I can think of who have one championships while being the best players on their teams are Shaq and Wilt. I can think of no point guard with a serious flaw (who was best player on his team) who has been able to even win a conference championship.

  91. Adam F

    I really don’t think Nash is “by far the best passer” as he has been referred to on this board. While his assists numbers are unbelievable, the more phoenix games you watch the more you see that a really high percentage of his assists come from lobs to Amare and Shawn, and not too many guys can outjump those two so those are almost automatic assists, and then he gets a really high percentage from using his speed (which to me is probably his best asset) to get to a certain area of the court and hand it off to a shooter (bell, leandro, etc.). I think Kidd, CP3, and a few others might be better passers.

  92. retropkid

    As good as J Kidd is, I don’t agree he makes Phoenix better than Nash makes them. Sure, his defense is much better than Nash, but his shooting is deficient, allowing opposing defenses to take Kidd’s teammates out of their comfort areas, especially in half-court play-off basketball.

    Kidd’s inability to drain consistent jumpers in the half-court game is why he will never have won a title…as good as he is as a defender, a rebounder, a fast break point guard, his lack of a shot is a major Achilles heel in the NBA.

  93. Munch

    Ozzie is 100% wrong… allow me to show you his failing with a few choice edits in caps…

    1. Iverson with Sixers (EASTREN Conference championship)
    2. Kidd with Nets (EASTREN Conference championship)
    3. Billups with Detroit (NBA championship COMING OUT OF THE EASTREN CONFERENCE)
    4. Wade with Miami (NBA championship COMING OUT OF THE EASTREN CONFERENCE)
    5. Payton with Seattle (Conference Championship WHEN THE WEST WAS WEAKER THEN THE EAST)

    Nash essentially made it to the NBA finals the past few years, they were just mis-labeled the West Finals and the second round. If you’re not conceding that, you’re not a fan of the NBA.

  94. spursfan

    Munich that senseless. The west was strong and has not dropped off much since before the lakers moved to LA. They dont give out banners for making it to the second round. Oozie right and you know it you cant hide in the playoffs. Imagine if your favorite player was right handed and couldnt go left. You could hide him to some degree during the season cuz coaches dont game plan for each game the way they do in the playoffs. Now imagine that player in a 7 game series how would you attack that player? The same is true about phx they have a hole at pg cuz it over extends there team defense. It doesnt matter how many points you score or how many assist you rack up in crunch time it comes down to you stopping the other guy. Now we all know that you Nash lovers would let him take the final shot but would you want him to be the stopper on the other teams final possesion?

  95. oozie

    So let me get this straight. Nash has had the misfortune of playing in the West his entire career, and that is why he hasn’t won a conference championship?

    The excuses you guys make for Nash amaze me.

    Magic
    Frazier
    Oscar
    Stockton
    Payton
    Cousy
    Kidd
    Jerry West
    Isaiah
    Tiny
    Tony Parker

    These guys don’t need excuses like “it’s the Eastern Conference”, or “if Amare wasn’t suspended”, or “the ref’s gave every call to the spurs”

    They simply lead their teams to multiple Conference and in many cases NBA championships. There was no need for excuses.

    If you have to make excuses for an athelete then he can’t be considered truly great.

  96. RCS

    Gabe said:

    “If you try to say he?s any better, I?ll remind you of Kevin Johnson, Mark Price, John Stockton, Kevin Porter, Mark Jackson, Norm Nixon, Tiny Archibald, Guy Rodgers, Andre Miller, Norm van Lier, Jason Kidd, and Terry Porter.”

    And

    “…In Price?s best 5-year stretch (?89, ?90, ?92, ?93, and ?94; he was injured in ?91 for all but 16 games), he averaged 18.2 ppg, 3 rpg, 8.2 apg, 1.4 spg, and 2.6 topg. His eFG was 54.5%, with 41% 3PM and 92% FT.”

    Gabe, first off, you are smoking something seriously strong if you think guys like Kporter, Mjackson, Nnixon, Tiny, Guy, Andre, Norm or Tporter are in Nash’s league. I know all of these guy’s game well except for Mr. Rodgers, and they can’t even touch Nash. Terry Porter, better than Nash? Come on, it isn’t even close. This is a ridiculous list, only Stockton and Kidd are clearly better PGs than Nash, and could ultimately become a better one than Kidd if he keeps it up.

    You cite some good stats on Mark Price and he was good during those years, no doubt about that.

    However, I think you are sticking too closely to the stats and not recognizing the intangibles. The entire offense is built around his ability to pass the ball, even out of double teams. Have you noticed that teams don’t double team him that much because he burns them all of the time as soon as the double team comes. The fact that they know what is coming and many times can’t do a thing about it demonstrates the game changing-abilities he has. Oh, and if you leave him alone, he just drills 3′s with the utmost of efficiency. Because of that, Price’s team were never THAT good. Nash’s team is, even without much commitment to defense.

    He has basically made Amare a 1st team All NBA, even though he didn’t deserve it. All of Amare’s game comes from setting a pick and catching a great pass from Nash (although Amare is the best finisher in the game around the rim). However, finishing off a great pass does not a 1st teamer make. This is called making a player more valuable and Nash is totally responsible for this. None of of those guys you list above, not even Stockton, have done this. I like Stockton a lot and respect his abilities a lot, but he got to throw the ball to Malone who could push aside anyone he wanted to for a bucket. Useful, but my grandma could get 6 assists a game doing that.

    Now if you want to talk defense, then we have a more interesting conversation, as clearly Nash is substandard. Stockton and Kidd are miles ahead of Nash in this regard.

    Any reason why you didn’t include a more prominent list of PGs, like Magic, Cousy, Isiah, Frazier, etc? Chauncey Billups, Sam Cassell and Maurice Cheeks and are better PGs than Terry Porter.

  97. Munch

    Whats senseless is suggesting that these east teams Ozzie is talking about are better then Nash’s teams that have made, been robbed of, and come incredibly close to winning the ‘real’ finals something like 4-5 times out of the last six years. Lets examine what the ‘fake’ (aka official) finals were like for all these people so obviously better then Nash is.

    Iverson – 4-1

    Kidd – 4-0 and 4-2

    Billups/Pistons were the real deal, but still faced incredibly weak competition. The lakers should not have even made the finals as well as the Kings got robbed.

    Wade – Ref fix for the freaking MOB, they were beaten by Dallas and I do not count this, Wade was also lucky to get Dallas, who were lucky to beat SA, who would have destroyed Miami.

    Payton 4-2

    Not to knock Payton, I think in his prime he was on Nash’s level for sure. He’s maybe the most under rated PG of all time.

    Anyway, as this logic follows they don’t give out banners for making it to the second round, so obviously what you’re saying is that having a banner means you’re better then another team, right? Do I have to get into the details of how stupid this is? I mean, you have to ignore how the league robbed the suns, or deny it with a lame excuse.

    But think about it. You’re claiming that Kidd/Iverson are better on these grounds, dispite a combined 3-12 record in the finals. Are Lebron’s Cavs better then Nash’s Suns too?

    Ha, I guess you’re name is spursfan, so you have to take your token soulless cheaters victory when you can. GO BRUCE BOWEN! I mean, how does it feel to celebrate a championship you don’t deserve and have your team represent everything that is wrong with the NBA? Maybe you should move to LA!

  98. spursfan

    Well well Munich. Great post! Bravo!!! Tell me this every year when the Suns lose do all of their fans get together at your place to decide what excuse to go with? 04 what happened? O5, 06, 07 hmmm?
    Call it what you want! What happened in game 6? What was the excuse? Bad lighting, hard water, bad moon, dems in congress, michael jackson, war is iraq, oil prices,??? Whats your answer? Did they lose? Doesnt everyone know that if you leave the bench during any kinda of altercation you will be suspended?
    Look on youtube and watch what happens to Rudy T when he was trying to be a peace maker Kermitt knocks him out! Why cuz someone is running at you full speed how do you know what their intentions are?
    Nash is good but top 5? Should the top 5 be well balanced? Tell me where you rate Nash defensively? Tell me what has he added to his game since he arrived in PHX? Tell me how Dallas replaced him with JT and won more games and made it to the final? Tell me why he has been able to get his team over the hump? Questions Question Question…..

  99. Munch

    “These guys don?t need excuses like ?it?s the Eastern Conference?, or ?if Amare wasn?t suspended?, or ?the ref?s gave every call to the spurs?

    They simply lead their teams to multiple Conference and in many cases NBA championships. There was no need for excuses.”

    I agree, but losing your first team finisher in a highly contested series to a bogus rule interpretation is not an excuse, its a valid reason. Do you think losing Ewing before the finals is an excuse why the Knicks didn’t put up any fight vs. two of the premier big men of all time, or a reason. I think its a reason.

    I dunno why I’m continuing really… your logic suggests that the Nets that made the finals are better then the Blazers who were one Ref fixed quarter from making the finals and trouncing the nets, who were swept. I don’t know why you need excuses like banners to hide your weak arguments behind.

    Hhahahah, and you put Tony ‘I can’t score a single point in the close out quarter of my MVP series’ Parker on that list of PG’s??? As if TP to the spurs is Nash to the suns. :) Maybe I should just post full quotes of ya Ozzie cuz your posts make the argument for me. ;)

  100. Ben

    Shaq from age 21-30 was the most dominant player not named Jordan in the last 20 years. His TS% despite having a horrible FT% was great even with a usage that was off the charts. Top that with his low turnover rate and great rebounding and defense and you have the best big man since Kareem, maybe even better. If Shaq could have gotten his FT% into the low 70% range he might have been the greatest player of all time. Since he didn’t I would put him top 10 all-time. Replace Kobe with any one of the top ten wing players in the league and Shaq still wins his rings.

    “And Oozie, actually Marion was a great player for several years without Nash. By his second year in the league he was putting up 17 and 10.”

    Marion before Nash was a good player not a great one. While his defense and rebounding were great, his shooting efficiency (TS% 52.2%) before Nash was merely average. Since Nash his shooting efficiency (TS% 58.0%)has been great to go along with his great defense and rebounding.

    “All three of those players benefit from playing with each other. Nash wasn?t as dominant offensively in Dallas and Marion and Amare didn?t get as many easy buckets before Nash came.”

    In the last six years Nash has been on the best (most eff.) offensive team in the league five times, the one time he wasn’t on the best he was on the second best. Before Nash went to the Suns they were a below average offensive team (19th in 01-02, 18th in 02-03, 22nd in 03-04) in the three years since they have been the best overall offensive team in the league. (1st in 04-05, 2nd in 05-06, 1st in 06-07)

    ?You got Nash (2 time MVP), Stoudemire, Marion – 3 all stars. You have 2 all defense players in Marion and Raja Bell. You have the 6th man of the year in Barbosa, yet the Suns can?t even win a conference championship.?

    The reason why the Spurs do better than the Suns is because Duncan, is probably the best player in the game and Manu is in the top ten. Add a good player like Parker (who I would take over Amare any day) and you have the best “big three” in the league. Dallas has probably the 2nd best player in the league in Dirk, a great complimentary player in Howard (who is at least as good as Marion) plus the deepest team in the league. I think with Nash the Suns are the third best team in the league (behind SA who beat them in 04-05 and 06-07 and DAL who beat them 05-06). If Nash keeps playing at his current level they will eventually win a championship, because the Suns are close to the other two. (unfortunatly Nash is 33 so it is only a matter of time before he, and the suns with him, start to decline)

    Also take Nash off the Suns, and they fail to even make the playoffs, take Duncan off the Spurs and they still win 50+ games, same with Dallas and Dirk.

    I had Nash as a top 10/15 player before really delving into the stats because his defense is mediocre, but since really looking at it I have to put Nash top five even with his defensive shortcomings.

  101. oozie

    RCS

    If Nash is a better point guard than Tiny you do not know basketball. Tiny lead the league in points scored and assists as a 6’0 point guard. In addition he lead the 81 Celtics to a Championship as a 33 year old point guard. Like Nash, Tiny wasn’t a good defender, but he could at least stay in front of the opposing teams point guard.

  102. Munch

    No, they don’t come to my house every year. I just find morons on the internet entertaining. Lets review a few of your finer moments of bball logic moronisy here.

    1. losing your leading scorer is an ‘excuse’ for losing a game

    2. losing your leading scorer for an entire season, but almost winning the conference finals/NBA championship with your reserves is a sign of individual weakness

    3. Lebron’s cavs who got swept by the spurs are better then Nash’s Suns who got robbed by the NBA but still took that same spurs team to 7 games and out played them, because they beat the wizards without their top two players, and they beat the nets without a center, and the pistons without a real coach. (Bron’s game gets full props, but Flip still sucks)

    4. its a myth, the eastern conference is on par with the west, so comparing the playoff results from each conference is a valid form of evaluation

    Should I go on? Do you like sounding stupid?

  103. spursfan

    I think everyone keeps missing the point BEN the stats are offensive numbers but thats only half the game. Offensive is sexy! Dunks, sick passes, and 3 point shooting is awesome but they are only 50% of what it takes. The Spurs would be trash with no time Duncan he provides all of the open shots without him Manu or Parker would be double teams every possesion! Dallas is deep but they are built to play with out Dirk. He creates mismatches all over the floor. PHX with no Nash still have Bell, Barbosa, Diaw, Marion and Amare if the lakers can make the playoffs you mean to tell me this crew couldnt make the playoffs!!! Put those guys in a half court set motion offense and change their defense philosphy they would be very effective not champions but a quality team! Put Sam Cassell or just go back to when they had Steph. Nash is good ok everyone knows that but top 5 and was basically let go of by Dallas??? Why cuz insiders know defensive is the key! No one values defense, how come? The bulls lakers spurs….that basically all the champs for the past 15 years all good defensive teams!

  104. xduckshoex

    I thought the “defense wins championships” notion had been debunked in basketball fans by now, I guess I was wrong.

    Defense does not win championships. Winning basketball games wins championships, it doesn’t matter how you win those games. It doesn’t matter if your teams are great offensive teams and average defensive teams or great defensive teams and average offensive teams…as long as you are great at one and good enough at the other you can win a title.

    And the Nash detractors are right…the Suns have failed to win a championship because Nash has only averaged 21 ppg and 12 apg over the last 3 postseasons. It’s not because his teams have no depth and are fundamentally flawed…it’s all because of Nash.

  105. Ben

    Making the Finals is not the goal, winning a championship is. Nash has never won it all, but he has been on the 2nd, 3rd or 4th best team in the league for the last seven years. Saying that all the Eastern conference pretenders over the last deacade have been the 2nd best team because they won a conference championship is absurd.

    Since Nash became a starter in this league Duncan or Shaq have accounted for all but one of the NBA championships. Nash is not as good as Duncan or Shaq but that does not preclude him from being a top five player.

    On other people’s top five lists, where are Garnett’s, Kidd’s, LeBron’s, etc, etc. championships. It is an unfair argument. No one is saying he is the best but why does not winning knock him down the list while it does not knock down others.

  106. xduckshoex

    “The bulls lakers spurs?.that basically all the champs for the past 15 years all good defensive teams!”

    Do you know why?

    It’s very simple and obvious; it is easier to assemble a bunch of role players willing to pound the opposition to win that ring than it is to assemble a talented cast of complimentary offensive weapons. That doesn’t mean that defense is more valuable, just that it requires less talent so it’s easier to build a team that way.

  107. oozie

    This is my last post on this topic. For Ben who posits that if Nash were to be removed from the Suns they wouldn’t make the playoffs. That is conjecture. Why not examine a fact. When Nash left Mavericks, what happened?

    2003/2004 Mavs Nowitzki, Jamison, ANtoine Walker (Howard), Finley, Nash
    Record 52 – 30 Lost in Round One to Kings

    2004/2005 Mavs Nowitzki, Dampier, Howard, Finley, Terry
    Record 58 – 24 Lost in 2nd Round to Suns

    The fact is that when Nash left Mav’s, The Mav’s had a better record with Terry at the point than with Nash. Oh, and by the way they also went further in the playoffs.

    I do agree that the Suns improved drastically with Nash, and I give him props for making Marion and Stoudemire better. But even then his value to the SUns becomes overstated when you realize that there was no competant backup point guard on the team, so if Nash was out they couldn’t get into their offense.

    I must reiterate, that great players are obviously great players. They don’t need excuses or “what if” conjecture to demonstrate their greatness.

    By the “if he wasn’t on the team logic” then you would have to say Paul Pierce was last year’s MVP, cause when he got injured Boston couldn’t win a game!

  108. Spursfan

    Munich you still didnt answer the questions? So how did the NBA rob the Suns? How important is defense? Where do you rank Nash defensively? If Nash is so valuable why was Dallas so willing to let him leave? If Dirk is crap how did he make it to the finals? Injuries are a part of the game, when players make bad decisions its part of the game. You never hear Popvich make excuses! But the spurs missed a few chances so what thats the game suck it up and keep moving! No reasons no excuses JUST WIN BABY! We can debate all day whether Nash is top 5, but Munich you know what topic we cant debate? Whether he is a loser check the facts no rings no finals! I hope those MVP trophies keep him warm. But we can start making him a bust for the All Most Made It Hall of Famers. Charles Barkely another phx great could be MC along with Karl Malone, Stockton, Ewing, Reggie Miller, and a host of other bums!!!Since you already throw the best pity parties I think we should have the ceremony at you house!!! what do you think???

  109. xduckshoex

    “The fact is that when Nash left Mav?s, The Mav?s had a better record with Terry at the point than with Nash. Oh, and by the way they also went further in the playoffs.”

    Lame argument. The only way it would be a valid point is if losing Nash and getting Terry were the only difference on the roster that year. Instead you had:

    - the addition of Terry
    - the addition of Dampier
    - the addition of COY Avery Johnson
    - the removal of Antoine Walker(addition by subtraction)
    - an improved Josh Howard
    - the addition of Devin Harris
    - trading Jamison for Stackhouse

    So basically, the entire rotation and coaching staff was different, and you want to say that they got better because Nash left? That’s either incredibly stupid or incredibly dishonest on your part.

  110. xduckshoex

    “If Nash is so valuable why was Dallas so willing to let him leave?”

    Because they didn’t want to invest that kind of money in a long term deal with someone who was already 30 and had back issues.

    It was a gamble by the Suns and it paid off.

  111. xduckshoex

    To further drive my point home…if Garnett was so valuable to the Wolves, why did they deal him?

    If Shaq was so valuable to the Lakers, why did they deal him?

    If Barkley was so valuable to the Sixers and the Suns, why did they deal him?

    Players are moved and choose to leave all the time, that says nothing of a players value.

  112. oozie

    couldn’t help it, but one last.

    Dampier is not very good
    COY AVery Johnson (is he better than Don Nelson?)
    A Jamison is much better that Stackhouse

    So this boils down to Devin Harris and an improving Josh Howard as more valuable than the difference between J Terry and Nash.

    Not much to hang your hat on there…

  113. Alun

    Spursfan, I am curious to know who your top 10 players are if nash doesn’t make it?

    Seems like the minimum qualifications is that they must make the finals, be on a team better than Phoenix and be a great defensive player as well.

    Do they all play for the spurs? Your top 5 is probably 1.Duncan, 2.Parker, 3.Ginobli, 4.Horry and 5.Bowen, or is Bowen no. 1 cos he knows how to injure other players?

    Come on you know the Suns would have strolled through the Eastern Conference this year (or any year) and were clearly the 2nd best team, even though they did get ROBBED and should have won it all.

    The only PG comparable to Nash is JKidd, and for all other positions, most of the other top players have had less team success the last couple years than Nash (kobe, melo, tmac, garnett, iverson etc..).

    The only reason, James, Wade, A.I or Kidd ever made the finals was cos the EAST SUCKS and someone had to make it. Other than Wade and Lebron, I cant put another eastern player in the top ten (before the KG trade). Superstar Duos like Yao/TMac and Melo/AI can’t even make it out of the first round but they would probably win the east.

    If you only consider players who have won championships then your list of top players is going to be very short. By your logic Beno Udrih and Brent Barry are better than Nash and anyone else who hasn’t won a championship

  114. Munch

    Oozie, you’re not making any sense. What you’re saying is that there are no great players who don’t win championships. Here is your quote.

    “I must reiterate, that great players are obviously great players. They don?t need excuses or ?what if? conjecture to demonstrate their greatness.”

    So you’re saying John Stockton was not great? Malone (though I hate him). Barkley? Ewing? Reggie Miller? Garnett? This list is endless. The reality that exists is that yes, it takes a great player to win, but it also takes a good chunk of luck. Sometimes you have good luck peak at the right time like the Rockets did when MJ retired, and you get two championships out of it. Sometimes you have bad luck, like the Knicks/Pacers/Jazz did and you peak when MJ peakes, and he destroys your soul. Sometimes, you’re like the Suns last year, or the Knicks before them, and you get screwed over by a horribly over rated arrogant commisioner who makes/enforces rules with his penis instead of a sense about what is good for the game. But suggesting that these players/teams are not as good as Jason Kidd’s nets is simply retarded, and you have no excuse or arguement to defend this retardedness.

    People who ‘know’ basketball ‘know’ that Nash is the entire system in PHX. No team in the league is so dependant on one player to make their system work, and thats why he’s the MVP. Because he’s most valuable. It has not mattered who has been on Nash’s team for the past 5-6 years, he makes them competent and he makes them win. It used to be a little known secret, so much so that Cuban didn’t even realize it. Then when he was stupidly let go, the world realized how great Nash really is and why Bryan Colangelo is better in this sport then Cuban. Like I said, its so plainly obvious that Nash is the team and that they all feed off of him. Have you heard one, one single huge ego, claim they’re bigger then Nash? They accept him as their MJ and I’ve never heard a single, solitary murmur that anyone feels Nash is not the key. The difference between Nash and Pierce is that without Nash the suns won 23 and 30 games. With him they pushed 60. With pierce, they push .500, if they’re lucky.

  115. Munch

    Oozie, I can’t help responding… A. Jamison is much better then Jerry Stackhouse? JS averaged 30 points a game, competed for a scoring title and was a franchise player. Then he accepted a role player job to be that same guy in smaller spurts on a championship caliber team. This is a ridiculous notion.

  116. villainx

    “Because of that, Price?s team were never THAT good. Nash?s team is, even without much commitment to defense.”

    Cavs were considered a top team in the early 90′s when the East was a beast of a conference. Price was the lynch pin of that team. The respective teams might be different, as Cavs were more half court and played defense, but in terms of bringing out the performance of a talented team, Price and Nash weren’t that different. Price was hardly considered a top 5, or MVP. So Nash being considered such is… I don’t know, reflective of the talent in the league? Or reflective of the up tempo bias?

    And it’s not so much a knock on Nash. If Nash was on any dozen of teams, he would improve that team. But any really good to pretty great point guard would replicate most of Nash’s success. See the Mavs of the past couple of years.

  117. Ben

    Spursfan – I am not making excuses for Nash. He has not won a championship. Every playoof series he has lost has been to a better team with a better player than him.

    06-07 – Duncan
    05-06 – Dirk
    04-05 – Duncan
    03-04 – Webber
    02-03 – Duncan
    01-02 – Webber
    00-01 – Duncan

    Duncan, Dirk and Webber in their primes were all top five players and were all better than Nash, as was Shaq. But Webber and Shaq are no longer in their primes and other than LeBron none of the new young players have surpassed Nash so I would put Nash behind Duncan, LeBron and Dirk.

    “How important is defense? Where do you rank Nash defensively? If Nash is so valuable why was Dallas so willing to let him leave?”

    Defense is extremely important, and Nash is a poor defender but one player does not make or break a defense. Nash’s teams have been about average defensively every year he was a starter except two seasons in Dallas where they were poor.

    06-07 – 14th
    05-06 – 16th
    04-05 – 17th
    03-04 – 26th
    02-03 – 9th
    01-02 – 24th
    00-01 – 13th

    Take into account that every single one of those seasons except 05-06(2nd in the league) and 00-01(fifth in the league) he has been on the best offensive team in the league and you have very good teams. With the worst efficientcy differential being +4.2 in 00-01 and much better than that most seasons.

    As for why Dallas let him go, it is because as xduckshoex said Nash was over 30 and had back problems so they thought he was not worth risking a huge six year contract, I bet they are kicking themselves now.

  118. spursfan

    Wow this is fun! We throw the word great around to much! Nash is good but top 5? Top 5!
    1 KB (most skilled offensive player ever)
    2 TD (best power forward ever)
    3 LBJ (more potential than anybody who ever play)
    4 DWADE ( mr intangleable)
    5 KG (reinvented 4 spot)
    6 AI ( best little guy ever)

    Nash might be the mvp but the 6 is the 6
    defense is about wanting it AI has either lead the league or been in the top 3 in steals for the past 7 years! When is Nash going to give as much effort on the defensive end as he does on the offensive end?

  119. Munch

    Not to over post, but I’ll answer your questions here Spursy.

    So how did the NBA rob the Suns?

    This is a stupid question. I shant waste my time on it, but you can find the answer right next to ‘how did the league reward a team that cheated with a championship’.

    How important is defense?

    Very, this is a big reason why the Suns are big winners. They are the 7′nd best defensive team in the league… the spurs are 6′th, I’ll add. So that makes them top tier.

    http://insider.espn.go.com/nba/hollinger/teamstats?sort=defeff&league=nba

    Where do you rank Nash defensively?

    Considering I answered this already, learn to read. I said he’s learned to be a decent role player playing team defense by helping to funnel players into Marion/Amare. He draws lots and lots of charges, and gets plenty of steals. Not a lock down defender like Billups is, but his commitment to PHX’s defensive schemes helps make them the 7′th best defensive team in the league and just a tiny bit weaker then the spurs defensively.

    If Nash is so valuable why was Dallas so willing to let him leave?

    Because having lots of money does not mean you’re not an idiot when it comes to basketball. Answer me this: do you ‘really’ think Cuban would have let Nash go if he knew he had this much left in the tank? Dare you to be honest.

    If Dirk is crap how did he make it to the finals?

    Dirk is awesome. He’s just got some weaknesses that resulted from changing his game to inside more. He started depending on the inside shot and is not as good a creator as he is a finisher. Changing the game plan from Nash/Dirk and tinkering every year cost Dallas a championship. That, and a crooked ref fixing up Wade 40-50 foul shots a game.

    Injuries are a part of the game, when players make bad decisions its part of the game. You never hear Popvich make excuses!

    Oh no? What about in 2003 when the Spurs got spanked without Duncan? They would have won the title that year too instead of those weak ass lakers going ahead. I guess that means Parker/Ginobli/all those guys are truly crappy players, huh? I seem to remember poppavich ‘making excuses’ then. I seem to remember Poppavich making plenty of excuses when Olajuwan absolutly, positively, completely, utterly and devastatingly demolished David Robinson… when Robinson won the MVP aware ‘that’ game/series. Do you recall that Spurs fan? Robinson was a man and said “I’m outplayed”, but something tells me you were there spouting BS about something. What about all the other excuses? When Robinson got hurt and the Spurs won 20 games? EXCUSES! They were a terrible team!

    “But the spurs missed a few chances so what thats the game suck it up and keep moving! No reasons no excuses JUST WIN BABY!”

    Which chances are those? You show me one example that compares to ‘losing your leading scorer in the close out home game of the series’. Or hey, how about ‘losing your leading scorer who played 21 minutes in game 3 because the mob fixed the game iwth a crooked ref.’ Hail spursfan, king of the astrick.

    See, what is funny is that you need to believe the suns got a fair shake to validate the celebration of cheating you had a few months ago. The spurs needed a mob fix to win. They needed Nash out for the closing minutes of a game. They needed a stupid interpretation of a stupid rule. They needed a player to cheat and try to injure the players on the other team. They needed another player to cheat and body check the other teams star. If you wanna be proud of the downward spiral of the NBA, be my guest, but TD and TP are keeping themselves warm with the WWE belts spurs fan, not the NBA title.

  120. Munch

    Oozie/Spursfan… how does it feel to get your asses handed to you this many times in a row? What are you excuses for losing these arguments? ;0

  121. Frank

    Spursfan — your team is a bunch of classy guys. love Duncan. love Parker. Love Manu in spite of his flopping. Even loved Horry before his thug move that completely changed the series. Love Pops. But you are annoying in your “eveyone is a loser except for my spurs” and probably write exactly opposite what the members of your own team would be writing if they were part of this conversation.

    Yes. I understand that players are not allowed to leave the bench during an altercation. But the fact is, because Horry made a dirty play when the outcome of the game had already been decided, the Spurs were allowed to trade Horry for Stoudemire and Boris Diaw in the pivotal game of the series. Rules or no rules, that is a fact. I understand why the NBA has this rule but that doesn’t mean it’s a good rule. And it has nothing to do with on-court basketball. I’m not saying that PHX would definitely have won the series, but it sure was a lot easier to get past PHX in SA without 2 of their 3 best frontcourt players.

    And if you ask the Spurs, they might give you a party line about the rules blah blah blah. But to a man, I bet you they know they lucked out. Not saying they wouldn’t have won anyway — just saying that as soon as Stu Jackson started talking about “fairness” (very poor choice of words in my opinion– precedent may be a better word) the outcome of the series, which was very much in doubt prior, was irreversibly determined.

    And Adam F– your comment was about 12 posts ago, but I guarantee you that to throw lob passes in traffic over world-class athletes while being covered by the other team’s best perimeter defender is far more difficult than you think it is. Or else Kobe and TMac and Wade and the other jumpers in the league would be catching alley-oops and lobs all the tme. They’re not. Nash’s wizardry is that he throws it exactly at the right time, in the right place, to the right person.

    And back to Spursfan – I’m not sure what point you’re trying to make when you say “what has Nash added to his game since he went to PHX”. What else do you want other than shut-down on the ball D? he’s a leader, great shooter, passer, ball-handler, free throw shooter, finisher. There is no doubt he makes everyone on that team better. I’m not saying he’s more valuable than Tim Duncan– TD is probably the MVP or near it every year. It’s Nash is great (not to mention does more with less athletic ability than anyone in the league) and to read people writing otherwise and comparing unfavorably to chuckers like Gilbert Arenas is just crazy talk.

    Last thing — not being able to guard Tony Parker does not make someone a bad defender. Can anyone guard that guy 1-on-1? Maybe Devin Harris 30% of the time? When he picked up that jumper he became pretty much unstoppable when he’s on.

  122. spursfan

    I would rather lose every single argument to a douche bag like you….cuz in the end i dont care what any of you think cuz my team won!!!you play to win the games!!!! Munich what happened the other years the Sunsets lost? Hey Frank there can only be 1 winner im going to gloat. Dont be so naive you think TD doesnt get off to the idea that he is the champ and that he has 4 rings plus mvps plus finals mvp? and he is emerging as the best 4 ever…..Magic MJ Bird TD Kareem the mount rushmore of bball…to quote Jadakiss “THE CHAMP IS HERE”…..robbed robbed we got robbed what about about game 1 we cut open nash’s head eh? taught TP how to head butt ppl? what about game 3? What about 5 you guys were up with like 3 minutes to go? Game 6? im waiting????

  123. xduckshoex

    “couldn?t help it, but one last.

    Dampier is not very good
    COY AVery Johnson (is he better than Don Nelson?)
    A Jamison is much better that Stackhouse

    So this boils down to Devin Harris and an improving Josh Howard as more valuable than the difference between J Terry and Nash.

    Not much to hang your hat on there? ”

    No, it boils down to completely different personnel and a coach with a completely different philosophy. To isolate one move and then imply that was the reason for the improvement is insane.

  124. xduckshoex

    “But any really good to pretty great point guard would replicate most of Nash?s success. See the Mavs of the past couple of years.”

    So wait…Jason Terry is more responsible for the Mavs success than Dirk?

  125. Frank O.

    How is it that what appeared to be a thoughtful blog has spiraled into a name calling argument of the quality of “Oh yeah, you’re a douche’ bag…”?
    The Suns would have taken the Spurs but for thug Horry, a completely understandable reaction by two players on the Suns and a boneheaded decision by the NBA to suspend those two players for standing up and doing nothing…
    The decision is a widely acknowledged blight on the Spurs for what Horry did, a blight on the playoffs, an astericks next to the Spurs championship (which is a shame because the Spurs are a great team), and a blight on the NBA as a whole.

  126. Munch

    “I would rather lose every single argument to a douche bag like you?.cuz in the end i dont care what any of you think cuz my team won!!!”

    Your did not win. They ‘won’. Which is to say they cheated and didn’t get caught. Pete Rose ‘won’ too. Congrats.

    “Munich what happened the other years the Sunsets lost?”

    3 years ago they got beat. 2 years ago they lost their leading scorer/post man and almost won anyway. 1 year ago they won the championship, but the Spurs received credit based on technicalities. To be considered champions you have to beat the other teams. You may be right that they have the ring, but you are wrong they are champions.

    “Hey Frank there can only be 1 winner im going to gloat. Dont be so naive you think TD doesnt get off to the idea that he is the champ and that he has 4 rings plus mvps plus finals mvp? and he is emerging as the best 4 ever”

    1. I’d consider him a 5, not a 4. People just say 4 cuz he started playing that position when Robinson was on the team. TD is a center, not a PF.

    “robbed robbed we got robbed what about about game 1 we cut open nash?s head eh? taught TP how to head butt ppl?”

    I didn’t say TP tried it. I’m saying the spurs needed Nash to get hurt at the end of the game to win because they were the inferior, and beated, team.

    “what about game 3?”

    You mean the game where Amare played 21 minutes and is under review because one of the refs was fixing games for the mob? Yea, really strong case you have there, what about game 3?

    “What about 5 you guys were up with like 3 minutes to go? What about game 6?”

    What about it? You mean the one where Bowen cheated trying to injure the suns? Or the one where the Spurs needed an assist from the league to get past them because Amare was ripping them up?

    Lastly, the world does not care about you, Spurs Fan. Or the Spurs. You can be proud because cheaters prospered and the Spurs (who are mostly great guys) benefited if you want to, but no one really cares. The Spurs garnered the lowest rated finals of all time. Lowest. It was the most boring finals of all time. Pete Rose used to win too… so fanboy all over him, but be aware that you’re cheering the Barry Bonds of the NBA.

  127. Munch

    Hey Frank O. I totally agree with you. You know, I’m a spurs fan myself. I cheered TD and DR, Avery, Sean Elliot to their first championship. I loved that decent guys were winning. And cheered them to all their other’s. I don’t think you know how happy the beating Kobe/Shaq made me.

    My disgust with what happened has really almost nothing to do with the Spurs or the Suns. Its got everything to do with the degradation of the only pro sport I truly loved to the point where I can barely watch it anymore. Stern and the owners have destroyed it. Protecting crooked refs, dress codes, new balls, 3 months suspensions for a slap, zero tolerance rules. Its all garbage. Stern is the worst thing that ever happened to the NBA.

  128. hotdamn

    Off topic, BUT: Arest to Knicks deal back in the works. That’s the rumor on ESPN dot com. It has a first round pick, nate and either lee or balkman. That would really suck for NY.

  129. jon abbey

    Bucher says: “Artest would love to be in New York, Sacramento would love to move him and the Knicks would love to have him.”

    I think the Sacramento part of that is certainly true, the Artest part is probably true depending on which of his many personalities is speaking, but the Knicks part is overblown.

    my impression is that Isiah has the upper hand on this, he knows he can likely get Artest next year on a midcap deal, and I’d be stunned if he gave up Lee or Balkman in this deal. I do think there’s a deal that can be made there, though, possibly including us taking on Brad Miller’s contract.

  130. Ben

    That Artest trade would be horrible. I would not trade Lee for a mentally stable Artest much less an unstable one. Also in two years I will wager money Balkman will be as good or better than Artest in two years.

    Terrible trade, please, please don’t be stupid Isiah.

    So far Isiah has been willing to trade picks and take on salery but he has protected his young players, please don’t start giving away our promising youth for a player that is an unstable, chucking cancer.

    We have a young team there is no need to do anything rash.

  131. jon abbey

    I wouldn’t stress about it, I’d bet it’s just Bucher blathering.

    Artest is a very good scorer in addition to his defensive skills. I love Balkman almost irrationally, but I don’t see him ever developing into a 20 PPG guy.

  132. Ben

    jon abbey – I agree that it’s probably just Bucher blathering.

    The thing about Artest offensively is he not a very efficient scorer with a career TS% of 51.0%. That’s just as bad as Crawford’s career 50.9% TS%, and much worse than Marbury, Randolph or Curry, not to mention Lee and even offensively challanged Balkman managed a TS% of 53.1%.

    Artest would take shots away from players who are more efficient. I believe he would actually hurt the Knicks offensively. Plus he has not been as good of a defender since the brawl, he seems to envision himself a star and does not try as hard defensivly anymore.

  133. Ben

    Also with Artest we would lose rebounding, his career rebound rate is 8.5, Balkman’s last year was 16.4, Richardson’s was 12.9.

  134. Owen

    Jon – What’s irrational about loving Balkman. We need a good nickname, something with Ray in it, which is what he goes by…

    Ben – You have been en fuego on this thread, which has been the most inchoate I can remember here at Knickerblogger.

    You are correct. Artest is not a good scorer. His efficiency is very low, although he played fairly well last year. I honestly think he is overrated and probably not much of an improvement over Balkman going forward. This is not a team that needs more low efficiency scorers.

    I am going to be really upset if this happens.

    Isaiah, you are on notice.

  135. Frank O.

    Owen:
    I couldn’t agree more on this threat. It’s been fairly horrible.

    But on the issue of Artest.
    Bad trade if we give away Lee.
    Good trade if we lose Robinson and another and expiring contract, and or Dickau and Jones and maybe Rose. Rose because of the salaries.

    Bad but not terrible if Balkman is in there.

    But anything we do, will need to include a big contract, plus a few, which to me means Rose.

  136. Frank O.

    This from Newsday, however:

    Newsday -
    If any of you heard about the internet rumor going around today that said Ric Bucher was reporting on ESPN radio that the Knicks were on the verge of getting Ron Artest, put it on iggy. At least for now.

    Ken Berger made a quick call to a few of his contacts (you know Kenny got tight with the Tru Warier recently) and let me know there’s no merit to it one bit. I’m not sure about the validity of Bucher’s report, but I don’t know exactly what he reported, if he even reported anything.

    Regardless, I asked a Knicks executive and was told this, “Last I heard, we were quiet. Real quiet.”

    Again, for now.

    We always have a reason to be skeptical. Firstly, I was in Vegas and spoke with someone who was close to Kevin McHale who told me Kevin has no plans to trade Garnett. But we were also hearing – like everyone else – that Ainge moved Wally Szczerbiak as a way to appeal to KG (and it didn’t hurt he got Ray Allen back in the deal), who wasn’t down with teaming up with Wally a second time.

    So all is quiet and then – Bam. KG to Celts is done while we’re floating in a pool at an Orlando resort.

    That’s why you check out every rumor, even if the organization insists nothing is doing.

    But you also don’t jump the gun and believe it, either. Let’s see, by my count (and, I admit, some of my own reporting that never came to fruition), the Knicks were in on Chris Webber, Vince Carter, Jermaine O’Neal, Ron Artest, Kobe Bryant, Kevin Garnett, Pau Gasol, Rasheed Wallace, Rashard Lewis, Steve Blake and Mo Williams.

    Zach Randolph did happen and it was a done deal before it even made it to the rumor mill.

    I’m of the belief that Artest will be a Knick by the time the season opens. It just makes sense. Isiah has told confidants that he feels Artest would make the Knicks a championship contender. But he also knows Artest would be a high risk-reward move, because of his mercurial personality. So you don’t give up a blue chip young player like David Lee in that kind of deal.

  137. Frank

    Hi all — I am actually for getting Artest although I wouldn’t want to see Lee in that trade necessarily. Or Balkman. They can give any of the other young guys or take some big contracts back since we’ll never be under the cap anyway. I just don’t see Isiah being that impatient considering he can just give Artest the MLE next year and give up nothing.

    Regardless, I think Artest would be good for this team. Yes, I know it will take minutes away from Lee and Balkman assuming they are both still here, but that instantly gives us better defense and definitely more toughness. He is a high usage guy so I worry that he would make bad chemistry on offense even worse. But if you could give up a bunch of crap like Nate (As much as I love watching Nate), James, etc. I’d do it in a second. But not Lee or Balkman to get him 1 year earlier than we could otherwise — we’re not winning a championship next year regardless.

  138. california

    on the topic of the suspensions in the playoffs;
    same game-
    if james jones had just punched the guy after he was dunked on, duncan and bowen would’ve been suspended for the same reason diaw and stoudumire were

    as would james jones

    but which team would have lost more?…..

    makes it so the spurs would’ve gotten robbed, eh?

    too bad the suns actually have integrity to the game

  139. Ben

    Owen – It is nice to be on the same side of a debate, it seems we are always on opposite sides.

    Though one day I hope my collection of Lee memoribilla can one day match yours.

    Good to hear that the rumor is probably not true. Also I do not understand why this thread got so personal with name calling and angers flaring. Who would have thought a bunch of non Suns fans would get so riled up dicussing Nash’s game.

  140. xduckshoex

    That’s how you can tell Nash is great. Players who are merely good don’t get that kind of emotional reaction.

  141. oozie

    kevin johnson won a conference championship with the suns.

    hmmm

    top ten reasons steve nash hasn’t won an nba title

    10. he was born in south africa
    9. he is canadian
    8. the ref’s always give the other team the calls
    7. his team always has to play a better team
    6. nba league office conspires against him
    5. marc cuban pays off the refs
    4. he had to play against chris webber
    3. his teammates aren’t good enough
    2. tony parker is on steroids
    1. the suns really won the title after beating the lakers. everything after that was just unfair!

  142. nate the skate

    Once again, starbury is easily the most valuable pg in the league because he doubles as a weatherman…and values both the college and nba 3…

  143. Brian Cronin

    Who would have thought a bunch of non Suns fans would get so riled up dicussing Nash?s game.

    Me! :)

    Like I said, this topic is really divisive for whatever reason.

  144. Frank O.

    I wonder if Sacramento would consider a trade that included Jefferies and Robinson for Artest…that trade would work under cap rules.

    Although Jefferies and Balkman for Artest would also work and break up the Knicks log jam at PF.

    This may be crazy, but would a trade – which would work under the cap – of Bibby and Artest for Marbury, Balkman and Robinson, be worth considering?
    I have always liked Bibby, but the stats on both are failry similar and maybe there would be no point. Also, both have a year left on salary…
    Maybe this isn’t worth it

  145. Sean

    New to this site, but saw it and had to weigh in on Nash.

    He’s not top 5, but he’s damn close.

    Kobe’s better,
    KG’s better,
    Tim Duncan is way less flashy, but he’s better
    Dirk is less clutch, but he’s better
    Dwyane Wade is better (probably better than everyone on this list in two years)
    LeBron is better (But the Cavs would have been swept by the Suns too)
    THen I’d place Nash at seventh.
    To be fair to Kidd I’d place him at eighth, but his stroke and half-cour offense isn’t as good as Nash’s, while Nash falls behind him in defense – although Kidd isn’t exactly a stopper.
    THen you can have your t-mac’s, your ai’s and your perennial all-stars after them, but the fact is Nash is no better than seventh. Still, there’s no one I’d rather have at the point. Even Kidd.

  146. brian quinnett's left nipple

    on paper, we can argue an artest trade all day long, trying to figure out what combination of players match up for it to be worthwhile.

    i’m sure that’s what isiah’s doing.

    but what isiah isn’t doing is figuring out what we’d be accomplishing by getting yet another guy on offense who needs the ball to be effective. i hate to sound like a cliche, but there’s only one ball to go around. and having four other guys unhappy with their touches on offense doesn’t make for a good chance they’d be very happy playing d, no matter how great artest is at that.

  147. GiantsKnickFan

    Brian, im sure one or two players who need the ball to be effective might go in that deal. Landing Artest is not gonna be as easy as gettin randolph.
    Im not even sold and Isiah is trying that hard, cuase if he was, hed get artest if he really really wanted him.
    Chosing to stick to his prospects shows hes not that interested and if he can make it happen without giving up Lee or Balkman he’d be a genious.
    Im sure the Kings are not willing to give up artest unless they are gettin a legit player right back.
    Either Isiah has to chance his stance and offer balkman or lee, or artest has to go bananas one mroe time and say he wants a trade for the 20th time to put pressure on the kings GM to make a move. But artest stated this yr hed like to retire as a king. Im sure Petrie (Kings GM) isnt holding his anxious to get rid of artest. Hes in the same position with bibby, unless they get something real good for them they arent panicking, but they will not be a factor in the western conference and both bibby and artest might be more appealing before the trade deadline.
    That might help the value of our prospects as well, contigent of course on their level of play. If chandler develops into another late round Isiah gem, then balkman could become expendable to fill any needs. I know the balkman fans might go nuts on trading him, im just saying if we needed to really upgrade a part of our team and/or to dump players etc.
    We have alot of young talent and some old baggage (rose,james,jefferies) Isiah has to figure out his roster cause it seems like theres two different teams on paper.

  148. danmajerle19

    Seriously, would you build a team around Steve Nash ????
    Certainly not.

    You build around Kobe, D Wade, Lebron, TD, KG, Dirk, T Mac or Yao…
    To me, these are better than Nash
    Never forget that Phoenix player’s stats are high thanks to the up tempo they play. It’s far more easier to get assists in this team than in any other.

  149. xduckshoex

    Yeah, Nash is doing something that he has loved since he was a small child! That is so ridiculous of him!

    I bet Tony Parker spends more time boinking his new wife than he does working on his less than stellar defense.

  150. Mike K. (KnickerBlogger)

    Yup, doing something athletic in the off season is a bad thing. It’s not like he’s riding his motorcycle (Jeff Kent, Roethlisberger). If playing soccer can make a point guard learn how to pass & shoot like Nash, you’d hope Marbury, Crawford, Nate, and Collins would be working out with the Red Bulls. And spursfan, you think Tim Duncan is working on his “less than stellar” free throw shooting this summer?

  151. spursfans

    Mike K are u a retard or what!!!Tim Duncan’s team won, he could take the whole summer of if he wanted too. On the other hand Steve Nash’s team lost so he should be in a gym somewhere playing “D”!!!!

  152. spursfans

    Duck r u a homo????Have you seen a picture of Eva Longoria????I would retire to bang her if i was tony…

  153. jon abbey

    dude, you just can’t call someone a retard and misspell that many words while doing so. don’t you have a Dullest Dynasty Ever board to hang out on, and leave us alone in our mediocrity?

  154. Geno

    I have a nagging hunch that spursfan is full of shit (maybe from spending so much time up Duncan’s arse?). If blogs existed in the 90s, he’d have been bullsfan; in the 80s he’d have been lakersfan. In the end he’s bandwagonfan.

  155. ben

    There is no way steve nash makes my top ten. He didnt deserve either of the MVP awards he recieved. This year Jason Kidd outplayed him and still noone even thought of him as an MVP. The only reason Nash does so good is that he has 5 great players playing around him. If you put steve nash on the new jersey nets and kidd onto the suns the suns would improve and the nets would get worse. Nash plays no defense and if he didnt have the 5 players who can all make their shots he wouldnt have as many assists. Also there are many other players that are better then him who arent point guards. KG kobe (personally Gilbert) mcgrady (NOT DIRK who does absolutely nothing except score) shawn marion is better wade was last year lebron tim duncan Kidd and a couple others.

  156. ca-born

    I think he’s just outside the top 5… I’m rating by talent (including making your teammates better…regardless of wins)

    1. Duncan
    2. Kobe
    3. Garnett
    4. LeBron
    5. Wade
    6. Nash
    7. Arenas
    8. Nowitzki
    9. Kidd
    10. Melo

    Elton Brand
    Baron Davis
    Bosh
    Jermaine O’Neal
    DH12
    Chris Paul
    T-Mac
    Paul Pierce
    Joe Johnson
    Luol Deng

  157. Dya

    I don’t understand how some of you guys can put Boozer ahead of Brand. He’s always been a dominant low-post player, and his mid-range game has really developed the last couple of years. He had an off-year, and Boozer had a career year, but to put him ahead on the basis of that is insane,.

  158. Owen

    Compare Boozer’s career year this year to Brand’s career year last year.

    http://www.basketball-reference.com/fc/pcm.cgi?req=1&cum=0&p1=brandel01&y1=2006&p2=boozeca01&y2=2007

    Boozer has him per 48 in every category other than blocks, TO’s, and personal fouls. He is four rebounds per 48 better, which is quite a large difference.

    Brand is a better defender, but I would take what Boozer did last year statistically over Brand. It’s actually interesting to me that Brand’s PER was two points higher, given the similarity in most of there numbers, and Boozer’s obvious rebounding advantage.

  159. Dya

    You’re right, Boozer may have had a better career year, but not a better career. Brand has been a great player for long enough to give him the benefit of the doubt over a guy who had one great season on a very good team which knows exactly how to use him in their system. Not to take away anything from Boozer, but if they were traded straight up (for the sake of argument, I know this won’t happen)I’d say the team ending up with Brand got the better of the deal, age and durability concerns notwithstanding.

  160. Owen

    Well, Elton Brand is out for the season with an Achilles injury, so its sort of a moot point.

    When i look at their career numbers, which you can do by clicking the “cumulative” button, I see the same story. Boozer has a bit less of an edge here, but he still has a slight edge. There numbers are very similar really. I would take Booxer, and would have even before the injury. He showed he was capable of being a top five player in the league. If he continues playing that way next year he will emerge as one of the true superstars in the league. It would help if he played a little defense too…

  161. Duff Soviet Union

    “It?s actually interesting to me that Brand?s PER was two points higher, given the similarity in most of there numbers, and Boozer?s obvious rebounding advantage.” It’s quite obvious, I think. Their scoring and assist/turnover numbers are remarkably similar, Boozer has a rebounding edge (bigger this year than in previous years), but depending on which season you look at, Brand is somewhere between 3 and almost 8 times the shotblocker Boozer is. That’s the difference right there.

  162. Owen

    Yeah, that’s right. Blocks, fouls, and perhaps fta’s. Is there a big bonus for blocks in PER? I am a big Dave Berri fan, and in his formula, blocks are worth only half as much as a rebound. So it’s difficult for me to see how the extra blocks could make such a big difference. Perhaps it serves as a proxy for defense.

    But bottom line it doesn’t really make any sense that Brand has a PER two points higher. Boozer’s ts% is 2% higher on identical fgm. That’s significant. And the 2 rebound edge per 48 is also pretty significant.

    Lol, I really don’t like that stat….

  163. Duff Soviet Union

    Well, most of this is on memory, but I think blocks are counted reasonably highly in PER (0.85 points or thereabouts). Hollinger also weighs offensive rebounds and defensive rebounds differently. Offensive rebounds are worth as much as blocks and more than twice as much as defensive rebounds IIRC. This actually makes sense to me. Watch a game (any game) and see how many defensive rebounds are flat out uncontested the territory of the nearest available defensive bigman.

  164. j maier

    Anyone who says Steve Nash is a system player only and that’s the reason for his unbelievable stats does not understand the game of basketball.Any team that I have ever seen-past or present would be/would have been better with Nash-and that includes Jabbar’s Lakers, Jordan’s Bulls, and Bird’s Celtics.Incidently, the Newark Advocate Newspaper in Newark, Ohio ran an article that stated that those Lakers and Bulls’ teams were on steroids(undoubtedly, they were only as good as they were because they cheated). I agree with Nash’s coach who said Steve is the greatest basketball player ever. He does things with the basketball that players like Magic, Bird, Dr.J, Isiah Thomas, Stockton,etc. only dream of doing. Nash is the complete package-he is also an excellent defender. I also agree that two foreigners were very deserving of winning the last three MVP Awards in the NBA. Until the NBA shows me that their players are clearly the best in the world by performing the way they’re supposedly capable of playing in the Olympics, I will be convinced that Nash is the best.

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