By Kevin Tromp
It is with deep regret that I am writing this post, but here at Circus Shots we believe in the truth; in that we acknowledge its existence and the fact that some people choose to use it even if we don’t necessarily understand why….. It’s basically the google+ of beliefs.
As I discussed in a previous entry, Steve Nash is my All-Time favorite player due to his ability to run an offense in a way that could only be described as poetry in motion. However it’s been devastatingly obvious to me that time has taken its toll on him, and he is not the player he once was. Not only is he not as good as he used to be, but I can’t even justify him getting minutes on the current Lakers team (and believe me I’ve tried).
Statement: Steve Nash is no longer a productive NBA player and should not be in the Lakers’ rotation.
Nash is the oldest active player in the NBA and he will turn 40 in February, so why is this even a topic of discussion? Well Nash is not your average NBA player. He ages like fine wine, which is why he kept playing at an elite level for so many years. We’re talking about a guy who two seasons ago averaged 12.5 points and 10.7 assists per game at the age of 38. He never had the athleticism that some players possessed, but he never needed it as his game relied more on precision than physical attributes. His passes were mostly on the spot and he was arguably the best shooter of all time in terms of efficiency, as he averaged above 50% from two pointers, 40% from threes and 90% for his entire career. He has always taken care of his body which is why he managed to stay in shape for so long. In fact, his average on-court speed this season is 7.24 km/h, which is actually higher than notable lightning bolts like Norris Cole, Jrue Holiday and even Derrick Rose (and did I mention that this guy is 40 years old?).
Yet it seems that time has finally caught up with him. It’s almost as if fate is playing a cruel joke on him because all of his recent ailments seem to be back-, knee,- or hip-related which makes his medical chart seem less like that of an injured athlete and more like that of a retired 80-year-old patient. These injuries have affected his shooting touch, as evidenced by his 26.1 Field Goal%. On top of that he is only averaging 4.6 assists per game, he’s always been a liability on the defensive end and he’s an average rebounder at best. His strengths no longer outweigh his liabilities and that’s why he shouldn’t be in the Lakers rotation.
While point guard isn’t the Lakers’ strongest position, they do have Steve Blake who is looking more and more comfortable as the starting point guard. He had 9 points and 16 assists in last night’s win over the Pistons while Jordan Farmar had 6 points and 5 assists in just under 13 minutes. More importantly, Blake and Farmar seemed to inject the Lakers with energy; something they desperately lacked last season. Shifting Steve Blake to the PG position also opens up the shooting guard spot which is by far the strongest position of this Lakers team. They currently have an unheralded hero in Xavier Henry, a three-point specialist in Jodie Meeks, and Nick Young: the human YOLO of offensive repertoires. And I also heard they have this Kobe guy who’s recovering from a torn Achilles’ tendon.
So in all honesty I do not believe that Steve Nash deserves to be in the Lakers rotation at this point. I’m secretly hoping that he’ll recover and prove us all wrong, but his injuries are more chronic and age-related than what we usually expect from athletes. The Lakers will not and should not waive him because Nash deserves better than that, but they won’t be able to trade him either because I can’t imagine any team being willing to take him on. He probably won’t be moved to the bench either because like me, Mike D’Antoni has a very intense man-crush on Nash.This means that Nash will be playing the final season of his Hall-of-Fame career as a former shelf of himself.