Steve Nash is on a short list of 2 time NBA MVPs, and even shorter list of back to back MVPs. He started an NBA offensive revolution, somehow simultaneously dominating the ball and moving it quickly for a near unstoppable attack. And he did it all in a 6 foot Canadian package that came out of Santa Clara University. He is one of the most unlikely superstars in NBA history. But is it enough to give him a pass for the Lakers struggles this year?
Kobe Bryant at times was able to successfully remake himself to better the team. Kobe the facilitator. Kobe the defender. Pau Gasol butted heads with Mike D’Antoni, but was still productive. But compared to his fellow Lakers, even more was expected of Steve Nash, and the least amount was given.
Nash averaged lows in points, minutes, field goal percentage, and games played. But the most concerning was the assists. All of these averages were lows, or near lows since 1999. He failed to get his teammates involved. Teamed up with Mike D’Antoni, offensive problems figured to be lowest on the Lakers list of problems. In a way it wasn’t since they averaged the 6th most points in the league. But it had little to do with Steve Nash. He was in a difficult new position playing off of Kobe Bryant dominating the ball. But he didn’t shoot the ball well or include his teammates well.
Nash’s persistent injuries gave him and his teammates almost no continuity. But for me it’s not valid enough to excuse his lack of production when he was on the floor. Right when he came back from injury early in the season he had a few really productive games. But that was it.
Nash’s defense is always suspect. But for the leadership and production he offered on offense it was always an accepted status. But Steve Nash can’t escape blame for the Lakers season, and I’d ask some serious questions about what his role with the Lakers is in the near future.