Nash not worried about big minutes

PHOENIX — Every year a big fuss is made about how many minutes Steve Nash will play.

Every year the Suns talk about acquiring a backup point guard to limit Nash’s minutes, and every year he still plays a good chunk of time, although his minutes have decreased slightly each of the past three years.

But even after playing 37 minutes of MVP-caliber ball in each of the Suns’ first two victories, the last person to be worrying about Nash’s minutes is Two Time himself.

“It doesn’t matter to me,” Nash said after Friday’s victory. “I take care of myself, prepare to play all summer. I’m not out playing golf or drinking, so I feel like I can handle it. If there’s a time in the season that I need a little rest, we’ll address it then. Who knows, maybe I’ll go through a stretch where I play 29 minutes a game, but if I play 37 a game for the season that’s OK.”

Nash thinks it’s only natural for everybody to worry about his minutes, especially since he will be turning 36 in a couple of months, but he points to the fact that he has not missed many games throughout his career (aside from the strike year, he has played at least 70 games in all but one year since his rookie season), and we all know he hasn’t exactly been fatigued come playoff time.

“I think there’s sort of fallacy that’s created about durability, and I think the truth is that I’m pretty durable,” Nash said. “If I get tired during stretches of the season, so does everybody.

“If we spend a lot of time worrying about it, it can become a self-fulfilling prophecy where you’re like, ‘God, I’m always tired,’ whereas if you just enjoy yourself and get your rest then it doesn’t add stress.”

Suns don’t change for anyone

During Gentry’s pregame chat, a reporter brought up the possibility of the Suns slowing things down a bit against a Warriors team that plays even faster than Phoenix.

Suffice it to say the thought never crossed the mind of the Suns’ head coach.

“The one thing you can’t do is try to match the way they play,” Gentry said. “We’re going to play the way we play.”

Gentry continued by saying you never want to get away from your strengths just to match up with the opposition.

For example, Gentry does not have a problem with opposing point guards trying to post up Steve Nash time and time again because then they’re getting away from what they do best and what they’re used to doing.

It should also come as no surprise that the Suns raced out to 30 fastbreak points against the Warriors after recording just two against the Clippers.

Los Angeles made it a major point of emphasis to get back, which allowed the Suns to win the rebounding battle against the bigger Clippers. To Gentry it’s pick your poison: either pound the Suns on the glass and allow the Suns to run all over you, or get back and let the Suns stay close rebounding-wise.

Or if you’re the Warriors, you could lose the rebounding battle and not get back on defense.

Amare’s improvement

As I pointed out in yesterday’s gamer, one of the most positive developments to me was the effort Amare showed on defense. He took a pair of charges, ferociously blocked a shot and picked up a pair of steals, alertly deflecting a pass by getting his hands in the passing lane to record one of them.

Most importantly, he seemed to really care and take pride in his defense, which we all know has not often been the case for Amare.

“He has worked harder in training camp and in the preseason than I’ve ever seen him work,” Gentry said. “He wants to get better.  That’s telling me he’s in the right spot and he’s got the right rotations. That doesn’t happen over night. I think he’s doing everything he can to be the best defensive player he can.”

Steve the great

After dishing 20 dimes last night for the sixth time as a Sun, Nash is one 20-assist game behind KJ for the most such contests in team history. Nobody besides Nash and the major of Sacramento have accomplished that feat as a Sun.

  • The Z. Man

    Nash was indeed brilliant, particularly in driving vs. Stephen Curry to draw the foul that sat him on the bench to cool down his hot hand and take him out of the game.

    My 12 1’2 (on that VERY day) year-old son Jacob and I were at the game. If you caught us up front on camera, I was the one waving a card board sign in each hand. If you missed it, KTAR radio picked up our photos on their website. One said “MUST start LB” and the other sign said “Let’s go SUNS!!!!”

    Hope that Gentry and Majerle will learn what works for our Suns. Nash and LB produce WINS!!!! With the exception of ONLY 1 game last year under Porter (when practically nothing seemed to work), Suns have won EACH and every game they started the Brazilian Blur alongside Nash. They know each other’s every move and talk with each other (as we saw them do in the home opening game) without needlessly slowing down the game. LB is younger than Nash and played all but 2 minutes each game (even when he was hurt) in leading his Brazil team this summer to the GOLD. LB can play 40 minutes for us each game doing double duty as a starter and reserve for Nash (with Nash going 35) EASY!!!! He did it in the opening game. LB was high scorer in Friday night’s game (24) and Nash was the player of the game. They both rallied us back late on the road (our Achille’s heel last year was playing away from home). THIS is our success formula – J-Rich was at his best in preseason when coming in off the bench – and we NEED to do what will consistently (even in the playoffs as was proven when this SAME starting backcourt rallied our Suns back in a must win game down 3-1 to Kobe & Co. when Raja Bell was suspended for giving Kobe a head lock) produce WINS!!!!

    MUST start and ALSO finish with LB. Let’s go SUNS!!!!

  • King

    Knocked my socks off with knolwdege!