December 15, 2004

Steve Nash for MVP: Pass it on!

posted by dusted to basketball at 08:28 PM - 41 comments

If Steve Nash is the MVP, basketball is fun again. Up-tempo ball is back. Pat Riley is dead and Jeff Van Gundy is on life support. The Suns are incredibly fun to watch, and Nash is the reason. I know, I know... KG and Duncan... screw that - NASH FOR MVP!

posted by dusted at 08:30 PM on December 15, 2004

try Artest

posted by allstar at 08:43 PM on December 15, 2004

I sure do like that Eric Neel.

posted by holden at 10:04 PM on December 15, 2004

Sounds good to me. Where do I sign?

posted by DrJohnEvans at 10:22 PM on December 15, 2004

Sigh. I was hoping, as a casual Mavericks fan, that Steve would begin to suck as soon as possible. Turning the Suns into a championship contender in the first 20 games was not part of the plan.

posted by rcade at 11:38 PM on December 15, 2004

A very fun and convincing article to be certain. Consider though that this is from a website that has the current playoff matchups listed.

posted by geekyguy at 11:58 PM on December 15, 2004

You could make the argument that Mike D'Antoni is as responsible for the turnaround as Nash. He chose to play his best players, which resulted in the small and incredibly fast lineup that Nash directs so well. I mean think about it: we could be unshackled from the cornea mauling half-court clusterfucking that the likes of Jeff Van Gundy and Rick Carlisle hath wrought! Is there a new era of freedom that will come rising like, well, not a Phoenix, because that ruins this riff...but you see what I'm getting at.

posted by dusted at 12:01 AM on December 16, 2004

Neat article. I would be for Nash he is fun to watch!. However, I enjoy watching a certain 7fter run the point. KG that is!--He is heading for a repeat

posted by daddisamm at 12:04 AM on December 16, 2004

How could you let Steve Nash go? Its a question Im going to hear for a long time. - Mark Cuban He's got to be kicking himself now. It would be great to see Phoenix go on to win a few championships, so those words could be carved into Cuban's headstone. And yes, we're all getting carried away after 20 games, and yes, KG will more than likely repeat.

posted by dusted at 12:11 AM on December 16, 2004

Did Mark Cuban just out Steve Nash in that blogmaverick? not that there is anything wrong with that....

posted by geekyguy at 03:38 AM on December 16, 2004

dusted, you beat me to it, but how can you not use a pullquote from the first paragraph? "Word to Cedric Ceballos, the Phoenix Suns are really bringing back the old-school style of play . . . I'm talking about the Running Rebel Anderson Hunt! The fuck you know about Mookie Blaylock and the Sooners, dude?! Fuck a NCAA violation!" I'm just happy to see a CC reference. He was everything you needed in NBA Live 95 for Genesis.

posted by yerfatma at 06:26 AM on December 16, 2004

Did Mark Cuban just out Steve Nash in that blogmaverick? Nah. That "boyfriend" shirt sounds like a gag, but even if it wasn't, Cuban said it was worn by one of Nash's pals. A recent Sporting News feature on Nash said that he recently married and had a kid.

posted by rcade at 07:46 AM on December 16, 2004

To be honest, yerfatma, because I didn't get the reference.

posted by dusted at 09:21 AM on December 16, 2004

That's cool. It just caught some eyes here at work. Yukon and I are considering opening client meetings with "The fuck you know about . . . "

posted by yerfatma at 11:14 AM on December 16, 2004


posted by DGIL at 02:03 PM on December 16, 2004

The article kind of said the same think DGIL. The point being that such a vote isn't just for Steve Nash (when other players are better players) but also for what he represents and his style and the team player-ness. I don't think it will happen but the article made me more interested in seeing the Suns than the teams of those other MVP candidates. A old friend of mine's friend (female) dated Nash in Victoria so there's my anecdotal contribution to geekyguy's comment.

posted by gspm at 02:11 PM on December 16, 2004

DGIL, STEP AWAY FROM THE CAPS LOCK KEY. Phoenix was 29-53 last year. They're 19-3 this year, with Nash as the only major change. That's a pretty strong argument for MVP by itself. Throw in the fact that the entire team has followed his lead and now runs and dishes like five "Little Stevens," and the argument gets even stronger. Of course KG and the others are the front-runners, but Nash should get some consideration.

posted by dusted at 02:13 PM on December 16, 2004


posted by yerfatma at 02:43 PM on December 16, 2004

I'd had some DGIL caps lock comment in my comment but removed it because: a) i think one of the first things I said to LROD was etiquette related and I didn't want to be too pedantic (again) b) i thought that maybe DGIL is a sports radio pundit and he actually talks like that.

posted by gspm at 04:12 PM on December 16, 2004

ALPHA MALE! No kidding?

posted by smithers at 04:39 PM on December 16, 2004

(certainly alphanumerically intense....)

posted by smithers at 04:40 PM on December 16, 2004

Anybody who draws comparisons to Cousy and Stockton is worthy of some serious consideration in my book. That's old-style, pass-the-fucking-ball-to-the-open-man-and-to-hell-with-my-personal-stats-as-long-as-we-WIN ball, the way it OUGHT to be played.

posted by mr_crash_davis at 06:53 PM on December 16, 2004

I am not from PAHONIX. However, it should be noted that this is a team that was 2nd worst in the Pacific Division last year to my beloved Clippers. This is a team that occupied the basement with such company like the Bulls, Hawks, Magic, and Wiz. Out of this bottom-of-the-barrel group 4 out of 6 drastically altered their roster. Only the Suns and Clips stood pat. Of course the Suns grabbed Nash and they're currently running rough-shod over the league while the Clips continue to struggle. The much belabored point is that Nash is THE DIFFERENCE between a 29-53 squad, and the 19-3 team that currently sits atop the standings. They didn't panic and dump D'Antoni, or trade off their young guys (Marion, Johnson) for a "star", they held firm and are reaping the benefits. Having said that, Nash undoubtedly gets screwed out of the MVP much like Kidd did in '02.

posted by lilnemo at 07:21 PM on December 16, 2004

Again, the endless deabate on what constitutes the MVP - best player, or most positive impact player? Who cares, it'd all about some good time playoff ball this spring. Suns vs. Kings? Mavs? That could be great throwback ball.

posted by WeedyMcSmokey at 10:52 PM on December 16, 2004

As a more than casual Mavs fan, I'm proud of Stevie Wonder. Obviously, this is the first year in a 6 year contract, and presumably his best. While D-town fans may be kicking themselves now, we'll see what happens in the 2010-11 season. I think the biggest difference b/w the Mavs under Nash and the Suns under Nash is the fact that he's got two guys to dish it to that will go balls-out straight to the rim. Dirk may do it once, twice a game, but that's it. Jamison was more of a quick layup man. And Fin's never been the same since he got that horrible leg injury. Staudemire and Marion just fucking go. They are a blast to watch, and failing a Mavs championship run, they've given me a strong second favorite in the NBA. Suns/Mavs games this year should be as exciting as Kings/Mavs of the past 3 seasons. It'll be a pity if they meet in the first round of the playoffs. And might I add, as a personal pat on the back, I did call the Suns to win the Pacific. Nevermind that I didn't even consider Seattle a playoff contender...although, to be fair, I don't think anyone did.

posted by Ufez Jones at 10:53 PM on December 16, 2004

You are all forgetting Ray Allen! For shame.

posted by insomnyuk at 05:33 AM on December 17, 2004

Remember that we have alot of season left!

posted by daddisamm at 07:19 AM on December 17, 2004

Nash is just the latest "little guy" favorite to get this MVP hype attached to him. Since Iverson stole it, Kidd was also hyped to death as allegedly the primary reason the Nets turned around. Last year, I actually heard Stojakovich promoted. Why not Reggie Miller while you're at it? Peja and Nash are white, so that probably gives them some favoritism among many fans. I do like the idea that a 6' white player could even reach the level of consideration. But Stockton was better. Yet he couldn't be a candidate, since he was never even the best player on his Team. Is Nash actually The Reason for the Suns' rise? It seems to me Stoudemire is their superstar, if anyone. And if one Suns' starter gets hurt , there is no one on the bench close to his effectiveness. Duncan's having his career year. Garnett's as good as he was last year. Just as you won't see the Spurs begging the Suns to trade Nash for Tim, you won't get any general groundswell in a "Nash for MVP" campaign. There's still only 2 credible candidates. (Lebron is a year away.) Get used to it.

posted by mike goodman at 08:58 AM on December 17, 2004

It seems to me Stoudemire is their superstar, if anyone. Did he take last year off? Marion's probably a bigger star than Nash too. They were both their last year, yet the team's better this year. That's the MVP argument, not that the dude is white and undersized, relatively speaking.

posted by yerfatma at 09:41 AM on December 17, 2004

Just as you won't see the Spurs begging the Suns to trade Nash for Tim, you won't get any general groundswell in a "Nash for MVP" campaign. As much as I love my TD, the issue isn't which player is "better", but more valuable to their team. There is no doubt that the Suns are exponentially better this year than last, and other than the promotion of D'Antoni, there does not exist a credible alternative to the argument that Nash sparked the turnaround. Stoudemire and Marion are better players, but if they are so good, why were they so bad last year?

posted by avogadro at 10:09 AM on December 17, 2004

I was lucky enough to watch this guy in High School. He is not the latest little guy to be hyped by the NBA. Give him something he can't do and he'll do it. I also saw him play Rugby which he had never played before, nobody could hit him, very sturdy on his feet and seemed to understand the rules very quickly.

posted by kremb at 12:34 PM on December 17, 2004

Not about MVP voting, but in the same line... I present the following proof that fan voting is not a good idea: Vince Carter #4 in All-Star voting to date.

posted by dusted at 12:54 PM on December 17, 2004

One difference between the Nash "spark" of the Suns, and Kidd's effect on the Nets is that while Kidd replaced Marbury at PG, Nash has stepped into a void. He's a sizable upgrade from No One. A team that's missing a serious component will gain the most by filling that void. If the team has no rebounding, they need a rebounder. Now, if the Suns were to lose Marion or Stoud, they'd be hurt as much or more as they would by losing Nash. Just a theory; but the point is, they need Those 3 to be effective right now. Stoudemire is at an age where rapid improvement could be anticipated -- with or without a complementary PG. Marion seemed to stall out for a couple of years. The importance of chemistry can hardly be overemphasized. But why not place equal importance on the Suns' revitalization of Nash's career, rather than claim it's Nash doing all the sparking?

posted by mike goodman at 06:13 AM on December 19, 2004

Suns' revitalization of Nash's career... WTF?? I think he was doing just fine before he showed up in Phoenix.

posted by smithers at 10:32 AM on December 19, 2004

Hey, I never seen a WTF link before. Last year was Nash's worst in the last 4, by quite a bit. He ranked high in my own list of Losers (losing production from previous season). Unless he has a serious dropoff, he's back on track; in fact, on pace to have his best year ever. "Doing just fine" is, of course, relative. If you're an allstar one year, and not even close the next, your team suffers. As I said earlier, he's a huge upgrade from nothing at PG. Here's an analogy: If you're cruising down the highway at 70 MPH, and you get a flat; you might limp along at 7 mph to a safe place, spend $60 on a new tire and be on your way. Does this mean the new tire is the Most Valuable part of your car? No. If it had been your engine that had blown, you'd be in a world of hurt. When Kidd went to NJ, and the team doubled its win total, he "shoulda been" MVP. But the next year, he was much better, the team was better, and the hype had blown over. They didn't improve by yet another 25 games. A guy who is an MVP candidate may miss a few games, and his team suddenly loses bigtime. Fans say "look how valuable he is". But when the best player in the world manages to play every single game, there's no with/without comparison to be made. Would he be "more valuable" if he were injured? btw, my stats show Duncan's lead over Garnett to be the biggest lead either guy has had over the other, in 2-3 years. These guys are the engines for their teams. Without them, lottery.

posted by mike goodman at 10:50 AM on December 19, 2004

There's no doubt that without Duncan and Garnett, those teams would be lottery material. Eric Neel is simply bringing attention to Steve Nash's old-school unselfish style of play in the way a lot of journalists do: by making a somewhat exaggerated statement to generate discussion and interest in what they're saying. That being said, Nash is proving a lot of people wrong. Some people in Dallas were waiting for him to crash and burn in Phoenix but it hasn't happened. With the more athletic Suns, Nash has an ideal situation. He has two or three teammates who can finish and go strong to the hoop, instead of looking to Dirk only in Dallas. His assists will come in bunches and with five teammates averaging in double figures for points, he has enough options that he can conserve his strength for the end of the season and playoffs. Amare Stoudemire said it himself about his ppg going way up: "all the easy baskets are Steve." Of course, it doesn't hurt that along with his assists, Nash is shooting 53% from the field himself, along with a 43% career 3 point average and 90% free throw shooting. Meanwhile, Dirk may be getting more points in Dallas with Nash gone, but the wins are rarer, and are usually nailbiters. Reminds me of a certain situation in LA with Kobe: his points are up without the Diesel, but the wins are down. Way down. At the same time, the Suns are winning by an average of 12 to 13 points a game. As the Warriors' Jason Richardson said last week when the Suns went on a 20-2 run in the 4th quarter to blow out the Warriors: "Nash ran us right out of the gym." Props to Garnett, Duncan, et al. But give Nash credit where credit is due.

posted by calisunsfan at 01:02 AM on December 21, 2004

cali, you state the case well enough. The article's author was rallying support for a cause, whatever it is. However, overstating the case just to draw attention also has the effect of drawing out people who are sold on the arguments, and who buy the whole premise. Previous comments in this thread just don't sound sober or logical: "If Steve Nash is the MVP, basketball is fun again." This sort of "if/then" logic is merely a statement of the writer's preference. You may feel the same way, but not everyone does. "..Nash undoubtedly gets screwed out of the MVP much like Kidd did in '02.." Iverson, Kidd, and now Nash. The average basketball fan is not 7' tall. It's easier to relate to the shorter player. Therefore we merely tend to "like" them more -- all other things being equal. " ..the issue isn't which player is "better", but more valuable to their team".. This fan also was commenting on his/her personal preference. And in so doing, defining "Team MVP". There would be about 30 Team MVP's, if teams made such selections (as college teams often do.) Personally, I think Good = Valuable; unless your team is wasting your abilities somehow. But the best players in the world are usually franchise players, and teams accomodate them. I'd say Nash is in the range of #25-30 in the NBA, in Value or Goodness. Two others on his team are up there, as well. They seem, by all accounts, to complement one another well.

posted by mike goodman at 07:51 AM on December 21, 2004

This is just like the Pedro thread, though, really: nobody is questioning Year One of the is Years Three and Four that will determine whether not signing either guy was a shrewd move or not.

posted by smithers at 08:42 AM on December 21, 2004

mike goodman, it seems like our different views boil down to the criteria for the MVP award. If I understand correctly, you think it should go to the best player. My opinion is that it should go to the most valuable player on a team. By your criteria, sure - just hand the award to Garnett. By my criteria, it's not such an easy choice.

posted by dusted at 09:53 AM on December 21, 2004

Previous comments in this thread just don't sound sober or logical: Huh. Okey-dokey. I think that there is a value to debating whether the "Most Valuable Player" is really the "Most Outstanding Player" (or not). Columnists debate this among themselves, as do folks on discussion boards and even folks here. So, perhaps it isn't a matter of being illogical (though I do admit that you're employing a rather interesting way to characterize other people's opinions) but rather taking a hard look at the meaning of "MVP".

posted by avogadro at 10:16 AM on December 21, 2004

Sorry, I may have been in a bad mood. I try to analyze things and be objective. I see Nash as one of the 10-15 "most improved" players, from last year to this one. And that's bouncing back from an off year. But there are other major players who improved AND changed teams: take Drew Gooden in Cleveland. Well, the Cavs aren't quite tearing up the league; but they're a lot better than last year, leading their division, #2 team in the East. This despite losing one of their 2 best players (without compensation). However, they got a marginal replacement who has somehow managed to precisely fill Boozer's role on the team. I'm cetainly Not advocating for Gooden as MVP. Just pointing out that the act of changing teams doesn't in and of itself give a player more value (except to the team he joins). And then, Gooden plays the same position as Garnett, Duncan, Nowitzki, etc. But he isn't as good as they are. Here's another one: "..My opinion is that it should go to the most valuable player on a team. By your criteria, sure - just hand the award to Garnett..." The Suns (or any team, or their fans) might wish to award a Team MVP. In any case -- Garnett is slacking, and Duncan is surging.

posted by mike goodman at 05:39 AM on December 22, 2004

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