FanPost

The Decline of Steve Nash


Having watched two Lakers games thus far, it is difficult to jump to too many conclusion with regards to the level of success they might achieve this year. Howard is still aching, and the Lakers seem to be content to coast through the pre-season and first game as if they know they will find their stride at the 20 game mark and turn it on.

The mix and match Mike Brown has implemented will tighten and eventually a rotation will develop. The Lakers have depth and talent, this much is true.

Over the past couple of weeks, I have heard from numerous NBA types [watching NBA TV and the like] how great the Triangle is and how successful the Lakers will be implementing it. Maybe so.

One thing I do glean from my miniscule amount of observation is how utterly useless Steve Nash looks.

Now, I should say that despite being the very first person on this site to call Nash out as a disingenuous person [I wrote a post in the 20010-11 season at the deadline suggesting as such- to old to find in my archives - and was blasted into the stratosphere by everyone here], I was a fan of Nash's game and felt that had he stayed, he would still be very productive for the Suns. I would also add that despite my distaste for his foray to the dark side, I still appreciate his contributions to his game.

Yet, what seems pretty clear, and not due necessarily to his unfamiliarity with his new teammates, is that Nash in the Triangle seems to be an ill fit. Watching him walk the ball up, toss it to Gasol at the high post, never to see it again unless it is for a shot, seems to waste what he does best.

Is Steve Nash not physically able to contribute?

Watching Nash bring the ball up the court against Rod Beaubois leads me to believe that Nash is finally succumbing to old age. One thing every player knows on this planet is that the minute a ball handler turns his back on you to advance the ball up the floor, you know you have him by the balls [so to speak]. That tells you he knows he cannot get past you [either due to lack of speed or lack of confidence in his handle].

Nash was consistently bringing up the ball as if he was attracted to Beaubois and wanted a little anal [sorry - that was crude]. In the past, any time a player crowded Nash in the backcourt, Nash would immediately zip past the defender like they weren't there. Those days are over. And without that burst, Nash can no longer put defenders at a disadvantage and solely relies on picks to get him space. Granted, once he gets in the lane he is still able to make defenders second guess, but considering this offense is not predicated on the point guard creating in the middle of the floor, Nash really becomes irrelevant.

As a perennial defensive liability, Nash's value was always been his ability to control the game on the offensive end. His ability to blow by guys and get in the lane, where his creativity and finishing ability force defenders to him only to be his pawn for another masterful assist, produced such an overwhelming positive result that defensive production was irrelevant. Yet if reduced to being a spot shooter [and likely a very good one], Nash now loses that net positive and really only is as valuable to the Lakers when he is knocking down shots. That turns Nash into Shannon Brown [albeit a much better Shannon Brown].

I Mike Brown insists on continuing to play the triangle, is the Nash signing really appropriate for the Lakers. They committed a lot of money for a shooting specialist [which is what he looks like he is relegated to] and they certainly could have found a number of those for much cheaper elsewhere.

I believe the combination of Nash's inability to burst, as well as this putrid offense [in the sense that it really is a waste of Nash's ability], will ultimately mark the rapid decline of Nash's relevance. Sure, he is a dramatic upgrade to Sessions or Fisher, but forced to play the same way, he ultimately is not being allowed to provide the one thing he does best - push the pace and probe to find teammates for shots.

Watching Steve Blake Nash play for the Lakers is frustrating and angering. Watching him in the triangle offense is just sad.

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