Steve Nash back to MVP form for the Phoenix Suns

Posted by on January 7th, 5:32 pm

Mike Schmitz

Mike Schmitz is a former ValleyoftheSuns writer who now works as an assistant video coordinator for the D-League\\’s Bakersfield Jam. He specialized in video breakdowns for VotS.

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Tags: Phoenix Suns · Phoenix Suns Analysis · Steve Nash · Videos

11 responses so far ↓

  • 1 A-Game // Jan 7, 2012 at 9:40 pm

    Reality is Nash is old and the suns need to trade him to start the rebuilding process now. This year’s draft is loaded with talent and potential stars. Kill this season and get that stud of the future!!!

  • 2 Sun-arc // Jan 7, 2012 at 9:45 pm

    I hope it is a resurgence. Hopefully all year long.

  • 3 Scott // Jan 7, 2012 at 10:06 pm

    If the Suns can play for the rest of the year like they played against Portland, with energy and accuracy, then they have a real chance to do something in the playoffs this year.

  • 4 KeZ // Jan 8, 2012 at 6:14 am

    I still dont get it why we traded Dragic and a first rounder for Brooks…….

  • 5 Sun-arc // Jan 8, 2012 at 11:18 am

    KeZ: because he had regressed so much. I had heard said on the radio that he had gotten really complacent after his playoff performances in ’10. His shot percentages had dropped 10% across the board, and he was turning the ball more than creating assists. He needed a change of teams to snap him out of it. Sometimes young players need that.

    Brooks was unhappy in Hou, and needed a change too. It was a good trade for both players. I know Dragic had great numbers last night as a starter, and he is a good player- but it just wasn’t working for him here. Wish it would have because I was a big believer in him as a player. I hope the best for him.

    I also think brooks could be really good for us. He drives the lakers crazy, or any really big team. I’d like to have him back.

  • 6 Scott // Jan 8, 2012 at 12:23 pm

    A lot of players can’t make it on the teams that draft them, simply for psychological and maturity reasons. They need to get traded to new teams, to work with new coaches and new teammates, to break them out of unhelpful mental and behavioral patterns.

  • 7 Scott // Jan 8, 2012 at 2:19 pm

    BTW, I’m just going through some of Coro’s articles from the past few days, which I’d not read …

    It looks like Gentry and Brown have talked about how Brown is looking lost on the court. They’re admitting there’s a problem and trying to work on it. Hopefully we can quickly get to the point where Brown has a couple of pre-planned moves he can make on offense, so he doesn’t wind up dribbling all over the court while he tries to make up his mind on what to do. He needs to have the situation already sized up so that if the ball comes his way he can immediately take the first step in his offensive plan. And on defense, IMO he needs to stick like glue to his man and be more careful about gambling.

    It’s also nice to see, in another recent article, that Gentry realizes the Suns are playing way too slow. It’s been very obvious to me, and I was frustrated that during the start of the oh-so-slow Dallas game I could never see Gentry on the sidelines shouting at his team to “RUN!” Maybe he was doing it, but it never came up in the commentary, and this article by Coro from the 5th is the only time I’ve seen (that I recall) where the Suns are getting called out for being uncharacteristically slow and methodical. Though in the article the tendency gets blamed on lack of offensive rebounds, I think it’s more than that. And it’s more than tired legs. I think it’s the lack of an energetic alpha male personality on the team (like Amare or Raja) exhorting the team to run and providing an example of it. Note, for example, that rookie Morris – for all his quiet imperturbability – is becoming an alpha male type inspirational / motivational force for the team, not by word but by his constant effort. That’s because everyone else is so nice and easygoing, including team captains Nash and Hill, that there’s no one in the taskmaster Kobe role of verbally pushing people to be in their places at the right time and doing the right things. I don’t expect veteran sharpshooter Redd to be any help in this area, either, as he’s a quiet self-motivator.

    Speaking of Morris, in a recent interview they asked him the typical question about what it’s like being a rookie playing against stars, and on the specific subject of playing defense on Dirk, Morris says he’s pleased that not only did he get to cover him for 2 possessions, he even got to foul Dirk. That sounds to me like the view of a man who’s not afraid at all to get in there and mix it up on defense, and it’s great to see that. :)

    Getting back to the Suns’ offensive problems, in that same article from Jan 5, Coro describes Telfair as throwing the ball against the wall in frustration because players still aren’t getting into their proper positions. This reminds me of Dragic’s frustrations last year, in that he was getting saddled with players who not only couldn’t get into position, but who were also not going to gel offensively. Dragic ended up with the lowest +/- on the team (which was logical, since he spent most of his time with the non-functional 2nd unit), and then got booted.

    I’ve said before that I’d like to see a starting lineup of Nash, Redd, Hill, Gortat, and Lopez, and I’d like to see them spar in practice against a 2nd unit lineup of Price, Dudley, Warrick, Morris, and Frye. I think both these teams would have the offensive and defensive qualities needed for success, and by practicing together they can develop chemistry.

    During these practice games pull the veterans over 30 (Nash, Redd, Hill) out for half the session, and plug in Telfair, Brown, and Childress in their place. This way the older vets stay fresh during this condensed season, and the other guys get some court time working with the starters. Also, you get a distribution of players where it is more likely all but one or two players per team is in the right spots for the offense and team defense, so the team play as a whole comes together faster.

  • 8 Scott // Jan 8, 2012 at 2:35 pm

    Let me add that in the above practice scenario, this prepares Telfair to lead the starting unit should Nash have his usual stretch of 4 games where he can’t play due to injury.

    I would be reluctant to move Price to the starting unit in Nash’s absence, because theoretically he’s establishing chemistry with the 2nd unit, and the Suns need to ensure at least one unit is working correctly.

  • 9 Serek // Jan 8, 2012 at 2:53 pm

    Not so long ago there was an article here describing Gentry’s problems of finding enough minutes for all the pieces he has.

    Obviously Scott already has it all laid out! A really interesting setup. Everyone is on board, and it plays on the current strengths while trying to address the issues some players are having.

  • 10 Scott // Jan 8, 2012 at 4:32 pm

    @Serek -

    Thanks. :)

    Probably there are reasons why it’s not as easy as I make it sound, but from my distant perch my suggestions seem reasonable.

    My steady complaint from last year was that Dragic was being undermined by the coach. Probably not consciously, but it seemed clear to me that’s what was happening.

    If a player wasn’t doing well enough to be a starter, he was moved to the 2nd unit. This meant that at the start of the year and after the trade, players new to the team, who didn’t know the plays, were playing with Dragic, and players who were underperforming (like Lopez), and players who couldn’t shoot (like Childress and Pietrus), and players who couldn’t stretch the floor on offense, were all there. There was no attempt that I could see to build a balanced 2nd unit that had a chance of success.

    Since Frye was nearly always playing with the starters, Dragic typically only had 1 perimeter shooter on the floor with him, which just killed the offense, as he’d either be unable to drive into the paint because the defenders would – quite logically – pack the paint, or he would be quick enough to manage to make his transit through the paint only to find his sole 3 pt shooter was covered and none of his other players were in position to score. So then he’d have to reset and typically jack up a shot on his own, when he’s more like Nash, lacking a shoot-first scorer’s mentality. I think being saddled with a 2nd unit that couldn’t function and being blamed for it was more than he was prepared to cope with, especially after his prior experiences, and if his attitude suffered, I think this situation had a lot to do with it.

  • 11 Mike Meez // Jan 8, 2012 at 10:44 pm

    The Dragic trade was indefensible unless there was something that happened behind the scenes that made his relationship with the team irreparable. Not only did we lose Dragic, a young point guard with potential, we traded a first round pick. All for a couple months of Aaron Brooks in a season where it was clear that the best we could hope for was an 8th seed and didn’t even get that. Terrible. Just little less worse than the Kurt Thomas trade.

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