I've posted before about this topic as part of a different rant, but this time, it's my main focus.
My premise is that Nash's playmaking ability is simply overrated. I've also previously stated that Nash's shooting ability is his best NBA ability.
Nash constantly leads the NBA in assists, of course, as a Sun any way. But he's also always at the top of the league in turnovers. Now, I understand the ball is always in his hands, the Suns play at a faster pace with more possessions, and almost every offensive possession is facilitated through him. So you would anticipate assists and turnovers to increase. And by all means, both do. But at what rate?
I think it's fair to say that someone that excels in a fast paced game, means that they would be more efficient, and score more points per possession. And when measuring stick for that is A/T ratio. Anyone would put up more numbers with more opportunities. More bang for your buck is an entirely different story though. Just look at Nash. This year, Nash is ranked 14th in the NBA. In fairness some of the players aren't full timers or aren't point guards with the ball in their hand. So by removing those players, that ranks Nash 11. Chris Paul is first and it's not even close. How can Nash be considered an elite play making point guard in the history of the game when he's not an elite play making point guard of his generation? I understand there are several skills that make up an elite point guard. Shooting, ball security, play making, passing, defense, decision making, and vision to name the big ones. I'm not saying he's not an elite point guard, because he may very well be when you combine all the other aspects. But, he just isn't the play maker everyone thinks he is.
To be fair I've also looked at the previous seasons for assist/turnover ratio, amongst point guards with significant roles (25 min +)
08-09 - 11th
07-08 - 11th
06-07 - 7th
05-06 - 10th
04-05 - 5th His best statistically - Had the most talent around him
03-04 - 2nd with Dallas - and slower pace
Strangely enough, Nash was a more efficient point guard with Dallas, under a slower pace. So maybe Nash didn't benefit as much as everyone thinks he did with the fast pace. Maybe it hurt him. By NBA standards, he's not fast, big, strong, athletic, or quick. All of which point to the fact that Nash would be worse in an up tempo game. I believe this to be true.
The Suns average 5 more possessions per game than the Hornets. What if Chris Paul were a Sun? First, the Suns would be better. Second CP3's numbers would just be gaudy taking into consideration those extra 5 possessions the Suns generate and the extra free assists Amar'e generates. What if?