Steve Nash was the best point guard in the league during the mid to later 2000s and all of his best seasons came after the age of 30 when he joined the Phoenix Suns in 2004 he turned them from a 29 win team in the previous season to winning 62 games in the 2004 to five season that’s one of the biggest turnaround in NBA history and Nash was the driving force behind the Suns revolutionary style of play at the time but sometimes Nash’s legacy is viewed a bit inconsistently by different fan bases and sometimes there are polarizing opinions on his career especially since he’d never reached the finals.
Steve Nash the best player who played in Phoenix Suns and Dallas Mavericks
Steve Nash and how good of a player he actually was for those who don’t know yet the Suns were my favorite team to watch in the 2000s just like many other people because their style of play was just very fun and exciting and also a breath of fresh air a lot of other teams at the time played very slow very grinded out games they ran a lot of ISOs for their stars but the Suns played in a way that valued ball movement shooting and high efficiency shots here’s a crazy stat I’m gonna throw out there from the 2001 to 2002 season when Nash was on the Mavericks and all the way up until the 2009 210 season when he made his last playoff run with the Suns all of his teams during this time period had either the first or second best offense in the entire league for nine straight seasons even when Nash changed teams and played with a ton of different teammates he still led every single team to the highest or second highest offensive rating in that nine year time period that’s freakin ridiculous like I know some people might say like well the Dallas Mavericks in the early 2000s were a great offensive team anyway even without Nash and while that is true when Nash left for the Suns in 2004 the Mavs dropped from the number one offense in the league to number four which is still a pretty significant drop-off although they did get better defensively without Nash and that’s something I’m gonna talk about later on but anyway offensively Nash was just a beast and he has an argument for being both a top-five shooter and top-5 passer in NBA history I’m not if any other player has an argument for that does anyone think there’s any other player in history who can be argued for being both a top-five shooter and top-5 passer ever maybe John Stockton has an argument as well but I don’t think he’s a top-five shooter ever anyway in Nash’s 18-year career he averaged 14 points and 8.5 assists a game on 49% from the field 43% from 3 and over 90% at the line that already looks ridiculous but if we just look at his numbers during his prime which I mean his prime was really long anyway so I don’t know what years to use but we’ll just say between the ages of 27 to 35 since he was so good for such a long time anyway in those years he averaged 17 points 10 assists and 3 rebounds a game on 50 44 and 90 shooting splits and a 61% true shooting percentage so when Nash was on the Mavericks
He was seen as a great point guard an all-star but nobody really thought he was a superstar or a franchise player at the time he was kind of under the shadow of both Nowitzki and Michael Finley who were the leading scorers on those Mavs teams in his years there Nash had a couple of seasons averaging 15 points seven or eight assists a game but he did hurt his team defensively a lot Nash was not a great on-ball defender and he didn’t have the foot speed to defend most athletic guards and his defense never really got better no matter where he went but the thing is he was still trying on defense he just wasn’t that good and the team’s he played on throughout his career never really emphasized defense anyway so it probably made Nash his defense look worse than what it actually was I mean he spent most of his career playing for a Don Nelson and Mike D’Antoni two coaches who obviously are not known for their defense eventually the Mavs decided to move on from Nash in the summer of 2004 Nash was a free agent and he said that he never wanted to leave Dallas but he wasn’t satisfied with the contract that they offered him and he thought that they low-balled him so instead he signed with the Suns for six years 63 million this would actually be a second stint with the Suns since he was drafted by them as well in 1996 but when he returned to Phoenix in 2004 he turned the entire franchise.
Nash Joined in Phoenix Suns with Amar’e Stoudemire and Shawn Marion
Nash joined a very young team that included some very athletic guys like Amar’e Stoudemire and Shawn Marion and some other young guys as well like Joe Johnson and Leandro Barbosa this was the perfect situation for him and his place out and as a result Nash went from a good all-star point guard to and MVP candidate in 2004 to 2005 he led them to a 62 and 20 record winning 33 more games than before he won the MVP and turned them into a championship contender during this time he also got his revenge on the Mavs in the playoffs where he averaged 30 points and 12 assists per game and he eliminated his former team in the second round and then in the next season with Stoudemire out for most of the year Nash led the Suns to a 5428 record one MVP again and led the Suns to the Western Conference Finals again he continued his success for the next few years as well but unfortunately he could never get over the hump from 2005 to 2008 Nash and the Suns lost to the San Antonio Spurs three times in the playoffs and everyone was starting to question whether or not the Suns type of playstyle was really capable of winning a championship in the playoffs the game slowed down and it becomes more of a half-court game so teams who played at a more defensive minded grind it out game like the Spurs had the upper hand but the issue was not with the sun’s offense if their offense was still very good in a half-court setting the problem was that they could not guard anybody Stoudemire was a phenomenal scorer an offensive player but he was getting roasted by a lot of other bigs and obviously Nash couldn’t really do much defensively either also around this time the sun’s owner kind of traded away a lot of their first-round picks for a cache which they could have used to draft some better defenders but I’m not gonna get into that so also when the sun’s face the Spurs in the playoffs the Spurs were a top ten offensive team which is good but when they were playing against the Suns defense if they looked like the best offensive team in the league so as a result of Nash coming up short in the playoffs despite putting up even better stats some people look in hindsight and say that his MVPs were not deserved or so which in my opinion is kind of crazy he definitely deserved his first MVP and his second one maybe it could have gone to Dirk or Kobe as a longshot but Nash getting that one is fine too in that second MVP year without Stoudemire for most of the season he led a starting lineup of Marion Raja Bell Boris Diaw and Kurt Thomas 254 wins and the Western Conference Finals.
Steve Nash turned Raja Bell and Boris Diaw into Good Players
He actually turned Raja Bell and Boris Diaw into good players because they weren’t good at all before they played with Nash eventually the Suns were able to get some revenge against th
e Spurs though in 2010 mainly because they reinvented their play style and slowly moved away from the old run and gun style I believe their 2010 playoff run was their best playoff run in the Nash and Stoudemire era they were able to sweep the Spurs in the second round with the help of Goran Dragic but then when they reached the Conference Finals Kobe happened and they lost to the Lakers there and then a couple years later you know that whole Lakers super team was supposed to be a thing but Nash was unfortunately a bit too old at that point he suffered a couple of injuries and never really recovered from that and that was the end of his NBA career alright anyway how good was Steve Nash actually in my opinion he’s a top six or a top seven point guard of all time I’ve heard some people say that Nash was sort of a system player and only put up great stats because of Mike D’Antoni’s high-powered system and that could be true to an extent but what a lot of people don’t realize is that Nash was the system his great passing shooting and court vision made the seven seconds or less offense possible there are very few players in NBA history who can make that offense work and Nash was one of them now he wasn’t the best all-around player we all know that we all know about his issues on defense but it’s also a little bit over exaggerated he also didn’t have the playoff success that he wanted but it happens not every great player can win a championship and Nash played in the same era as Tim Duncan and Kobe Bryant I guess he would be remembered a bit better if he did win the championship but that applies to all great players he was still an amazing player with an amazing career.