A first time entry stating why Steve Nash should be this years NBA MVP. The reigning NBA MVP is the amazing point guard of the Phoenix Suns, Steve Nash. There has been talk among the “knowledgable” sports analysts that Steve may get the award again. Others say that either Kobe Bryant or Dwayne Wade deserve this years honor. Personally I don’t see how anyone could vote for anyone but Nash.
Let’s start with last year. I for one did not think that he deserved the MVP last year. I figured that Phoenix was a fluke situation where everything seemed to come together at the right moments. As many people have previously stated, Nash wasn’t even the MVP on his own team. That would be Amara Stoudemire. Last year Nash averaged 15.5 points, 11.5 assists and shot 50% from the field. Good numbers and when paired with Stoudemire (26 pts/8.9 rbds) Phoenix was a great team. Together they were a force, but that can’t be attributed to either of them alone.
Now look at Nash this year. His numbers are up. He has averaged 19.8 points, 10.8 assists, and has shot 51% from the field. You could make a case that since he won last year with worse numbers, he should this year but that is not my point. As everyone knows it is the absence of Amare Stoudemire. Without Stoudemire Phoenix is still one of the best teams in the league. Granted Nash still has Shawn Marion (21.5 pts/9.1 rbds) but Marion’s numbers are not up much from last year. He is playing well, but he is not single-handedly filling the gap of Stoudemire. The other difference is that most of the Suns players are in their first year with the team, and they are playing the best basketball of their careers. This could be coincidence, but I feel that lightning doesn’t stike twice. Most NBA fans wouldn’t be able to tell you who Boris Diaw, James Jones, Raja Bell, and Eddie House were before this season.
Now you need to give the system credit. Phoenix runs the type of offense that players flourish in. This definitely helps them play better, but it is Nash that runs this system. Nash gets them the ball, and Nash makes it work. Kobe has had an amazing season. He is carrying the Lakers on his back, but he isn’t making the Lakers better. Luke Walton, Lamar Odom, and Smush Parker would get better if Kobe wasn’t playing. The Lakers wouldn’t make the playoffs, but the players would get better from playing rather than giving Kobe the ball and watching. Dwayne Wade is amazing as well. Again though, he has Shaq. Shaq hasn’t played as well this season, but he is still Shaq. With Jason Williams and Antoine Walker, the Heat don’t rely purely on Wade. Lebron James is the best talent in the league, but he just hasn’t stepped it up to MVP level yet. He may be only a year away, but he’s not there yet.
The only two players I see giving Nash a run for his money are Dirk Nowitzki and Elton Brand. Both players have good supporting casts, but have been the main reason for each team’s success. They have both been great, but again I don’t think they have made their teammates that much better. Dirk has done what he needs to as his younger teammates grow, and Brand has been great, but Sam Cassell has been the real reason the Clippers have played well this year. Nash has helped five players on the Suns to have the best season of their careers. You may not be able to give Nash all the credit, but he deserves some of it.
When figuring out who should be MVP some people look at who is winning. Others look at who makes the most impact on their team. Others still look at who makes those around them better. Steve Nash fits all three types. While many other MVP canidates fit one or two types, Nash should end up standing alone with the trophy. Perhaps he won’t lead Phoenix to the championship, but it’s hard to deny that this year hasn’t been even more special than the last for Nash.