BC Boy Makes Good!
For fifteen years the NBA has showcased to the world one of Canada’s most valuable commodity. Over the course of that period, that same commodity made sure that his impact on the game was not just contained to the 94 x 50 piece of hardwood.
National teams, community basketball leagues, charity foundations and games, film director and all around good guy are part what makes up the basketball star that is Steve Nash.
Struggling through the 2010-11 season in which the Phoenix Suns parted ways with key contributors Amare Stoudemire and Leonardo Barbosa, the roster appeared to be a revolving door as Hedo Turkoglu and Jason Richardson both came and left.
Regardless of who was running the court with him, Nash continued to be a shining light in the land of the Sun.
Despite last year posting his lowest field goal percentage and points per game since his return to Phoenix following his six year stint in Dallas, Nash at 37 years old, will once again be sitting in the drivers seat as the Suns look to avoid back to back absences from the playoffs.
While providing a league leading 11.4 assists per night last year, the Suns will need Nash to drop a few more baskets on a nightly basis to have hopes of making the top eight in the West this season.
While for the most part the 2011-12 version of the Phoenix Suns remains relatively close to the same unit that finished 40-42 last year (aside from the additions of free agent Shannon Brown and first round draft pick Markieff Morris) hopes are that with the shortened season, the familiarity with the roster and coaching staff will be a benefit to the squad.
The one glaring problem with that philosophy is that their two main pieces are hedging closer to their forties and the other components are exactly that, rather than major parts that the Suns have showcased in the past.
Heck, just the name Vince Carter gave the Suns an additional threat on the court, even if the actual physical output did not match.
Playing a shade under thirty minutes on opening night, Nash finished the night shooting 50% from the field (5-10) with a dozen assists and 14 points, a line that could be his average for the year.
Except for the Suns to enjoy a prolonged season during this abbreviated one, something closer to 16-18 points a night will be needed from Canada’s favorite point guard, something that he hasn’t done since his back to back MVP seasons.
While it might be a lot to expect of the 37yr old court general, the fact that coach Alvin Gentry has admitted that for the Suns to be successful, he will have to let Nash dictate the flow of the offense is a sign that even in the twilight of his career, we might once again be treated to something special from Steve Nash.