I blame Steve Nash.
Because of Nash’s brilliance Suns fans, or at least a good majority of them, believe the way he plays point guard is the right way to play the position.
Indeed, Nash has been great since returning to the Valley; two MVP awards, three trips to the Conference Finals and piles of points would attest to that. Averages of 11.5, 10.5, 11.6, 11.1, 9.7, 11 and 11.4 assists per game are evidence that Nash would look to pass before taking a shot himself, and if you’re still unsure then take a look at Shawn Marion, Amare Stoudemire and Marcin Gortat for further proof.
However, Nash’s unique ability, while great for the Suns
the last seven seasons, has also led many to believe the
way he plays point guard is not only the right way, but
the only way as well.
Case in point a question I posed on Twitter late last
week, asking if the Oklahoma City Thunder would be a
better team if Nash was their point guard instead of
@theAdamGreen how is that even a debate? Durant would avg 85 ppg
@theAdamGreen Yes they’d lead the league in scoring. Right now, Steve Nash would make them better imho.
Both of these responses are from Suns fans who know the
game and are passionate about the team, but they are also
emblematic of the inherent flaw in how Suns fans view the
point guard position. It seems, after all, that a point
guard who scores is not viewed as one who could also win.
The theory that a guy like Nash would make the rest of
the players on the Thunder better may be true, but
would the team itself improve? Oklahoma City did win 55 games this past season, so it’s not like they underachieved under Westbrook’s stewardship.
As it stands, ZoDogg34 and yrite4 have company in the “no pass, no win” club, a group that feels OKC would be better off with a point guard like Nash, who tallied 14.7 points and 11.4 assists per game over Westbrook, who finished the regular season with averages of 21.9 and 8.2.
While Nash has a better assist to turnover ratio and
Westbrook is a superior defender, the idea that a score-
first point can’t win is as ludicrous as it is narrow
minded. In fact, as many teams function without a point
guard initiating the offense, it can be argued that a
squad is better off with their primary ball-handler being
someone who can put the ball in the basket. Case in point: this year’s conference finals teams.