Steve Nash a game time decision Sunday against the Magic

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Steve Nash has been playing through the pain of a pelvic injury for a while, but after Thursday night’s blowout loss to the Nuggets — one in which he only attempted four shots — he said it’s gotten to the point where he can no longer do so until it improves.

Nash said after practice on Friday that the injury is too limiting for him to continue to try to play through it, and was held out of practice on Saturday in hopes that he’d be feeling well enough to go in Sunday’s nationally televised matchup with the Orlando Magic.

“We don’t know, it’ll be a game time decision,” Gentry said of Nash’s status. “But if he doesn’t go, we’ll have to have guys step up. We’ll have to do a hell of a lot better than we did today, though.”

Gentry was upset at the effort level of his players at Saturday morning’s practice, and seemed angry that with his team coming off of a bad home loss on Thursday,  and with a high-quality team like Orlando up next, that his guys weren’t a little more focused.

“No, I didn’t get anything done today,” Gentry said, when asked if he got what he wanted out of the morning’s practice. “I don’t know (if it was a lack of focus), you’d have to talk to them. Ask them why on a situation where we’ve got a game at 12:30 tomorrow why our focus wasn’t there. You’ll have to ask them that, because it was awful. It was not good. We didn’t get one thing accomplished today.”

The only player that talked specifically about the practice was Jared Dudley, who jokingly explained why he wasn’t to blame, before responding more seriously to the issue.

“Yeah, (coach) said we didn’t go hard. I mean, the white team was up 11-zero,” Dudley said, while still wearing his white practice jersey. “I told him, if he wants us to slow down, we can slow down.

“But I think it’s good, though. He’s basically saying it’s crunch time, 18 games left, we can’t mess around, we’ve got to be focused, we’ve got to be engaged in every play. And that’s good. We needed to hear that.”

It’s unclear whether or not Nash’s absence may have had something to do with the lack of focus at practice, but you can pretty much guarantee that his absence will have a huge effect on the Suns’ chances against the Magic. But that remains a question mark until Sunday morning.

“If he’s healthy enough to play, he’ll play,” Gentry said. “I don’t worry about Steve because I know that if there’s any way he can go, he’ll go. And if he doesn’t go, it’s because there’s no way that he can. If he’s not going, then he’s got to be really, really hurt. Just understand that.”

James Harden: “I am the best player in the league. I believe that.”

James Harden, Stephen Curry
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James Harden was the MVP last season — if you ask his fellow NBA players.

The traditional award (based on a media vote) went to Stephen Curry (in the closest vote in four years), and that was the right call (in my mind). But from the time it happened Harden did not buy it. And he still doesn’t buy it. In the least — and he’s using that as fuel for this season. That’s what he told Fran Blinebury over at

“I am the best player in the league. I believe that,” he said. “I thought I was last year, too.”

Well, it’s a more realistic claim than Paul George’s.

“But that award means most valuable to your team. We finished second in the West, which nobody thought we were going to do at the beginning of the year even when everybody was healthy. We were near the top in having the most injuries. We won our division in a division where every single team made the playoffs.

“There’s so many factors. I led the league in total points scored, minutes played. Like I said, I’m not taking anything away from Steph, but I felt I deserved the Most Valuable Player. That stays with me.”

That’s very Kobe Bryant of you to turn that into fuel. Defining the MVP Award is an annual discussion that nobody agrees on.

I could get into how Harden was the old-school, traditional stats MVP, how that ignores how Steve Kerr used Curry, and how that opened up the Warriors’ offense to championship levels. Curry put up numbers, but he was also the distraction, the bright star that Kerr used to open up looks for Klay Thompson, Draymond Green, and others. Curry’s strength was not just what he did with the ball in his hands, but his gravity to draw defenders even when he didn’t. Did the Warriors stay healthier than the Rockets? No doubt. Should Curry be penalized for that?

It’s simple for Harden — if he can put up those numbers again, if he can be the fulcrum of a top offense, he will be in the discussion for MVP again. And, if he can lead the Rockets beyond the conference finals, nobody will talk about that MVP snub anyway.