Thursday, February 15, 2007

Getting Ugly

Steve Nash continues to do more for his MVP chances by not playing than he possibly could by playing, as the Suns got blown out tonight by Seattle (20-32, second to last in the West). Seattle outscored the Suns in every quarter, which is always a sign of a real drubbing. In reality, the loss doesn't say all that much about Nash, since Boris Diaw and Kurt Thomas were both out as well, but it does expose the well-publicized weakness of the Suns' bench.

I suppose, somewhere, Mark Cuban is laughing, as Jason Terry has missed all of 4 games in the past 2 1/2 seasons since Dallas let Nash walk. Good sportsmanship says we should hope Nash heals up soon so the Suns can give the Mavericks an honest fight for the West, but then it's hard to be a good sport when your team has never won a championship. In any event, the Suns have to live with a 3-game losing streak that puts them 4 games behind Dallas.

Has there ever been a team that was more relieved to see the all-star break arrive?


Ryan B said...

i was thinking the same thing today when I saw how the Suns had lost a few games in a row. Is there any dobut that Steve Nash is the frontrunner for the MVP again this year? I kind of want Dirk to get injured for a few games to see how we fare and to make a case for his MVP campaign. Well, maybe not really, I like us being in first place too much. But, in a fist-fight between Dirk and Steve, I'd put my money on Dirk any day.

Jeremy said...

If Nash wins the MVP again, I am boycotting the NBA for a year. The man can't play defense and wilts under the playoff klieg lights every single year. But even if MVP voters won't admit that Steve Nash sucks, they need only look at the list of 3-time MVP winners (MJ, Magic, Bird, Kareem Abdul-Jabar, Moses Malone, Wilt, and Bill Russell) and vote on principle alone.

The way the Suns have played the past 2 weeks says a lot more about the Phoenix Suns than it does about Steve Nash.

scoots said...

My impression is that the Suns are so loaded with talent (Amare/Marion/Diaw/Barbosa) that they would still win a truckload of games with an average point guard instead of Nash –– provided they started the season without him and built their team around what they have.

So I think it would be more accurate to say the Suns are losing right now because they're so used to playing with Nash than to say they need Nash. Personally, I'd be interested to see what would happen if you put Jason Kidd on that team in his place to start a season.

Still, MVP has to be based on what you actually do, and it's hard to imagine a player more integral to his team's success––and a lot of success, at that––than Nash has been this season.

Of course, paradoxically, I think you could argue that their poor play right now should work against Nash as MVP. If you so dominate the way your team plays that they can't get along without you, isn't that bad for a team with the reality of NBA injuries?

Ryan B said...

Again, we come back to the perennial debate about what constitues the MVP award. I've taken the position that it should be given to the player that is most valuable to his team (I would also add that the player must belong to a playoff team, since you could argue that Paul Pierce is MVP for the Celtics). Meaning, without that player,the team would perform significantly worse than with that player. Since Steve's injuries actually allow this scenario to play out this season, I still think he has the strongest case. Kobe Bryant is also another prime candidate. But his case is hurt since they are currently losing a lot with him in the lineup. I'd hate to see how to Lakers would do without him!

scoots said...

I still think Phoenix could be a 50-win team without Nash.

I'm more impressed by Kobe, whose team has played really well even though his teammates appear not to be even in the same stratosphere as Nash's.

Of course, maybe it's just that Kobe's teammates coincidentally are starting to come into their own. People talked up Nash last year for winning so many games without Amare, but maybe Boris Diaw is just really good and made up the difference.