Today is Steve Nash's 38th birthday. The way he plays, though, you would really never know. As noted in a birthday post declaring today "Steve Nash Day," we get some great stats about Nash's play this season from Bright Side of the Sun.
After a slow start to the season that admittedly had me worried, Nash has bounced back with a shooting show for the ages. Steve is hitting on 45.2% of his threes, 55.6% from the field (a career high) and leads the NBA with 10 assists per game playing with....not Amare Stoudemire. If you take the first four games of the season out, Nash is shooting 60.5% from the field. 60.5%!! That's an incredible number for a guard. Chris Paul is the next-closest guard and he's shooting 51.5%.
The amazing thing about Nash is the fact that his play is not declining. When he left the Dallas Mavericks, he was believed to be on his last legs and many questioned the length of the deal he signed with the Suns.
He has been nothing short of sensational. His two consecutive MVPs earned him superstar status in the league. His teams have always fallen just short, but you can't say it is because of him.
It seems, though, that more recently his shortcomings are the focus and unfairly so.
Sure, he is not great defensively. But but his teams frequently look worse defensively when he is not on the floor.
But I want to focus on what he keeps giving.
Many believed that his success was due to Mike D'Antoni and his frenetic offense. No one had more assists than Nash while playing under D'Antoni.
He had a down year, as did the entire Suns team while Terry Porter coached the team, and many felt that Nash was over the hill and was in decline.
But since then, under all conditions, he is still the best at distributing the ball.
Since then, no one has more assists. When Amare Stoudemire left to the New York Knicks, people thought his numbers would go down. Since Amare left, no one has more assists than Nash.
Last season with Hedo Turkoglu and Jason Richardson, Nash had more assists. After they traded away both, leaving the team with no number one scorer, Nash still led the league in assists.
Now, this season, with the lockout, he still leads the league in assists.
No matter what variables you include (minus Terry Porter), Nash still is the best distributor.
He sets up teammates, he takes big shots and he perseveres on a mediocre team (and that is describing the team at best).
It is his birthday, but when weapons and talent keeps being taken away from him, he continues to give.
Isn't it time to give him something for a change?