Because of the way Steve Nash plays, it’s hard to think of him as one of the greatest offensive players of all time. He doesn’t go off for 50-point outbursts, and he doesn’t just grab the ball in isolation and score time and time again. He needs good teammates to pass to in order to be effective. He needs plenty of room to work in pick-and-roll situations, and his teams are generally better in the full-court than they are in the half-court. When we think of great offensive players, our minds go to Kobe Bryant, LeBron James, or a prime Shaquille O’Neal before they go to Nash.
Still, it’s hard to overlook what NBA.com’s John Schuhmann pointed out today: This will be the first season since the 2001-02 season where Steve Nash’s team did not finish first in offensive efficiency. That’s an absolutely incredible accomplishment, and Nash’s Suns are still incredibly good on offense when Nash is on the floor. Nash’s defense has never been good, he’s been blessed with some amazing offensive teammates, and he hasn’t yet won the big one, but Nash’s ability to lead absolutely brilliant offenses year after year after year is something that should be appreciated and remembered long after he retires.
It’s easy to talk about what Steve Nash isn’t and wasn’t as a player. But as a pure offensive talent and facilitator, Nash has had few peers.
The New York Knicks couldn’t get out of their own way on Thursday night, even with a historic performance from Carmelo Anthony. With the Washington Wizards in town, it was John Wall‘s finishing ability that pushed the Wiz over New York, 113-110.
The final 45 seconds were hectic, as Wall took the lead for Washington with just 32 seconds left after drawing a foul on Carmelo.
Down by 1, Anthony then missed a jumper with 18 seconds left and the Knicks allowed Wall to do this:
Wall would go on to steal the final possession from the Knicks, and the Wizards left MSG with a win.
Gregg Popovich can be a fiesty dude, and sometimes he just wants to get his team pumped up. After news that Pau Gasol was going to be absent from the San Antonio Spurs’ lineup against the Denver Nuggets on Thursday, perhaps this was his way of doing that?
Late in the second quarter in Denver, Popovich was seen arguing with a baseline official as play continued on. Pop was hit with an initial tech, and as the officiating crew walked away he blasted ’em with the best dad insult I’ve heard in a long time.
“You’re a terrible referee!”
Meanwhile, Emmanuel Mudiay was more than happy to assist with the second technical and ejection portion of Popovich’s tirade.
Long Live Pop.
Kristaps Porzingis is “The Unicorn” perhaps in part because of his high basketball awareness on the offensive end of the floor. On Thursday night against the Washington Wizards, the New York Knicks big man had an incredible putback dunk that surprised even his teammates.
Thanks to a missed Courtney Lee 3-pointer, Porzingis was able to fly in from beyond the arc to slam home two points.
Yeah, that’s crazy.
There’s putback dunks and then there’s flying in from beyond the 3-point line like this one. Wild.
The San Antonio Spurs will have to make do without PF/C for a while Pau Gasol thanks to a recent fracture in his left ring finger.
That’s according to a press release from the team, who said Gasol fractured his fourth metacarpal — the bone that connects the ring finger down to the carpal bones in the wrist area — during warmups before a game against the Denver Nuggets on Thursday night.
No word yet from the team on recovery time, but estimates given similar recent NBA player injuries suggest anywhere from 4-8 weeks.
Utah Jazz forward Gordon Hayward missed the first month of the season after fracturing his finger in early October. Cleveland Cavaliers PG Kyrie Irving missed around a month in 2012 with a similar injury.
Here’s hoping Gasol can make it back to the court quickly for the Spurs.