FanPost

How many minutes will Steve Nash play this year?

 

In my mind the key question about the upcoming season that should tell us everything about the new regime is how they manage the team's most important (but not their best) player, Steve Nash.  For all the criticism leveled at D'Antoni's style, it boils down to the freedom he gave Steve Nash to create (over-dribble) and distribute the ball (let it find the energy) and to the resultant over-use of Nash in terms of offense and in minutes played.

If the team can find success without the overuse of both Nash's freelancing AND his minutes on the court via defense, deeper rotations, off-season acquisitions, etc, then Kerr-Porter have proven their point: the Suns didn't have to play the way they did to win.  If Kerr-Porter can't win without Nash playing a lot and playing a lot the way he knows best, then at least one of these guys needs to be apologizing to the fans.

So here's my question for you - with a view that you might consider this as just one barometer of GM-Coach success:

With D'Antoni gone and short-term expectations clearly lowered for incoming Terry Porter to put in a long-term system that includes bench play, what's your expectation for Nash usage?

For example, Kerr wants to use Nash about 30 minutes per game and 70 games this season.  Clearly more Amare isolations will be apart of next year's game plan.  Nash, on the other hand, seems skeptical, probably with the weight of historical evidence.  He contends that less play could actually hurt him by causing his chronically ailing back to stiffen.  He also could be demotivated by greater restrictions on his play and reductions in his time.

Steve Nash's career minutes played per season are posted just on the other side....

 

 

These numbers are courtesy of basket-reference.com.

Season Age  Tm  Lg  GS  MP 
2007-08  33 PHO  NBA  81 81 2780
2006-07  32 PHO  NBA  76 76 2682
2005-06  31 PHO  NBA  79 79 2796
2004-05  30 PHO  NBA  75 75 2573
2003-04  29 DAL  NBA  78 78 2612
2002-03  28 DAL  NBA  82 82 2711
2001-02  27 DAL  NBA  82 82 2838
2000-01  26 DAL  NBA  70 70 2387
1999-00  25 DAL  NBA  56 27 1532
1998-99  24 DAL  NBA  40 40 1269
1997-98  23 PHO  NBA  76 9 1664
1996-97  22 PHO  NBA  65 2 684
Career Averages
NBA  71.7 58.4 2210.7

 

What do you think?

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