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Posts Tagged ‘Steve Nash

Why the Dallas Mavericks should offer a max contract or near it to Steve Nash

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Steve Nash

Steve Nash (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Right now the frontrunner to sign Steve Nash appears to be the Toronto Raptors. It’s a nice story, he gets to go back to Canada and improve the popularity of the sport there and they’re apparently lining up future management options for him if he does (think Larry Bird and the Pacers). They’re also offering a lot of money – 3 years, 36 million for 12 million a year. Nash has been up front that the money does matter. A player’s last big contract is a relevant thing for them. It’s the last score for what have left when they retire.

I’m of the opinion that the Dallas Mavericks should go up to max money if that’s what it takes to sign Nash – and they should fold their cards on their Deron Williams chances now. Here’s why:

Having a superstar like Dirk Nowitzki is a once or twice in a lifetime opportunity for a franchise. He’s a top 15-20 player of all time. He’s proven you can win a title and make the Finals on his back and is one of the most terrifyingly clutch playoff performers in the league. The Mavericks took a big risk last summer by blowing up their 2011 title team by letting Tyson Chandler walk in free agency and letting JJ Barea go, choosing to horde their capspace for the Deron Williams-Dwight Howard summer – this leading to a middling season and 1st round sweep. It was sacrificing a chance at a title for the future. At the time it may have been a good gamble, but the trick to playing cards is knowing when to walk away. The tea leaves are there for Deron to resign in Brooklyn and Dwight is no longer on the market. If Dallas loses out on both Williams and Nash they will be the dog with two bones. They will have had a bone in their mouth, walked to the river to see their reflection and a bone in the water, then when they opened their mouth to grab their 2nd bone, they ended up with none. This would effectively be the end of the Dirk Nowitzki title window, no matter how much cap-space they have left this summer.

They have to realize the difference between signing Deron and signing Nash isn’t worth that risk. Read the rest of this entry »

Written by jr.

July 1, 2012 at 2:24 pm

Posted in Basketball

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Searching for Bill Russell ~ Starring Anthony Davis (2012)

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That didn't really happen did it?

The more I learn about basketball’s history, the more impressed with Bill Russell I am. Like many, I at one point found it hard to believe that Russell could truly be a more valuable player than Wilt Chamberlain. Now, the primary reason for that was that I couldn’t imagine Russell’s more one way game matching the two way dominance of Chamberlain, and if you know me, you know that since then I’ve written fairly extensively on just how flawed Chamberlain’s offense was. There was also the matter though of me just having a false ceiling in my head for just how dominant a team can get on one side of the ball.

If you go by the estimates of offensive and defensive team efficiency given by basketball-reference.com, the curve of extremely good results seems very well behaved. Here are the best sides that side lists based on percentage edge over median:

 

You can see the teams here are all in the same ballpark. You might also notice that Steve Nash is on 3 of the top 5 offenses, which is quite remarkable. Most importantly though, you might notice how modern all these teams are. Nothing from earlier than 1993. Remarkable, no? Well, it is remarkable, but there is a catch: basketball-reference only provides estimates from 1974 on. What happened before that?

Bill Russell did 6 impossible things before breakfast

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Make this trade: Steve Nash to the Orlando Magic

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Steve Nash

Image via Wikipedia

This trade deadline should be a bundle of fun. Dwight Howard and Steve Nash getting traded is definitely in play – and if Howard doesn’t end up on the Nets, Deron Williams for the 2nd straight year will be too.

You know how in detective movies or books, there’s that scene where the 2 detectives working on their individual crimes have that “Wait, our cases are connected!” moment. That’s where I feel these Howard and Nash situations could be headed.

Here’s what we know. Half a year of Steve Nash before his UFA is unlikely to garner as big a return as the Suns want. Would the Pacers give up young PG Darren Collison for such a short return? Probably not. Even with Nash they’d be longshots against the Bulls and Heat. Dallas would want Nash, but what do they have to give up? Rodrigue Beaubois alone wouldn’t cut it. The Portland Trailblazers? Like Indiana, giving up young players like Wes Matthews or Nic Batum for an improvement that wouldn’t take them over the top would likely be a misguided option.

What if Orlando offered something like: Jameer Nelson, JJ Redick, Ryan Anderson, Justin Harper, and 2012 ORL 1st for Steve Nash and Channing Frye? Read the rest of this entry »

Written by jr.

February 16, 2012 at 7:47 pm

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NBA Franchise Power Rankings: #29 – Phoenix Suns

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Steve Nash dribbling the ball

Image via Wikipedia

Previous rankings:

#30 – Charlotte Bobcats (+ introduction)

#29 – Phoenix Suns

Total Trade Value Ranking – #28 (Feb. 2011 ranking: #29)

Best assets: PG Steve Nash (Old superstar), C Marcin Gortat (legitimate starter), 2012 1st, 2013 1st, PF Markieff Morris (rookie, projects as borderline starter), C Robin Lopez (borderline starter), rights to RFA PG Aaron Brooks (borderline starter), SF Jared Dudley (borderline starter)

Bad contracts: SF Josh Childress (3 years, 20.9 million), PF Channing Frye (3 years, 19.2 million)

Other chips: SG Mikael Pietrus (expiring)

Financial trade: C-

Managerial grade: D

Estimated record next year: Bottom 14

Overall assessment: The Suns are in a transition mode between the Steve Nash era and whatever comes next, except they appear to want to have their cake and eat it too, by rebuilding for the future while keeping Nash to compete and sell tickets. The longer they wait to move on from Nash, the bigger hole they leave for themselves to climb out of it. Nash is both 37 and an unrestricted free agent next summer. If he is not traded this year, Phoenix will get nothing for him. Furthermore, trading him early helps by putting them in prime position to get a top 5 draft pick in a highly regarded 2012 draft, rather than winning enough to get a #13 type pick like they did this draft, but likely not making the playoffs.

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Written by jr.

July 20, 2011 at 8:12 pm

The Heatle Redundancy

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Multi-Headed Snake = not as scary as you thought it would be

Well, obviously the big story of the moment is LeBron Jameslack of production in the NBA Finals. I want to hold off discussing that though and talk about what I consider the broader phenomenon. That being the fact that the Miami Heat have a redundant collection of talent.

When people fantasize about super-teams such as the Heatles, the primary scenario on their mind is an offensive one. They imagine that the amount of effort that will be required to stop James will leave Dwyane Wade or Chris Bosh wide open thus leading to an unstoppable offense.

We’d be stupid NOT to do this!

Game 5 shows a snapshot of this not happening. After a series in which LeBron has been crucified for his passivity, the streaking Wade went down with an injury and went out for a long stretch. What happened? The Heat didn’t fall apart, rather they actually outscored the Mavs, and LeBron scored at a much better rate and efficiency than he done with Wade on the court.

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Written by Matt Johnson

June 10, 2011 at 8:00 pm

A Parable of Noah and Solomon

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Joakim Noah

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And so it came to be that not long after the foul word used by the man they call Kobe, Noah himself did use the same word. From on high, the Association gave the decree to punish Noah as had been done before to Kobe. But from the crowd came an cry after it became known that the penalty for Noah would be only one half that of what Kobe was made to suffer. In response, the man in the high castle known only as Stu spoketh to his people:

He was provoked, and he used a statement to a fan that passed by him. So it’s different circumstances. We’ll continue to evaluate each one of these incidents separately and make a determination. But we felt in this case a higher fine wasn’t warranted.

Wise Stu

(Okay I’ll drop the bad Biblical language now) The comeback to this statement by the league that struck me came from Jeff Van Gundy on ESPN’s telecast of Game 4 between the Mavericks and Thunder: “They should have explained that in the initial fine of Kobe Bryant.

Obviously, if the league had laid out precisely how much every kind of fine was to start with, and then followed those rules, they’d have a bit more credibility when faced with criticisms of bias.

Personally?  Let me give my Huzzah to Stu Jackson and the NBA on this one as it shows them performing with a wisdom they didn’t show previously.

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Examining Steve Nash trade possibilities and the oversaturated PG market

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Steve Nash 00054121

Image via Wikipedia

The Phoenix Suns need to trade Steve Nash this summer. At age 37 he has about one more year at this level and is an unrestricted free agent after the 11-12 season. Thus his is the last chance for the Suns to get value in return for their star. Virtually the only reason to keep him is ticket sales, which may be why Robert Sarver keeps him. But the Suns desperately need to take this oppurtunity to add young trade assets and start rebuilding. The longer they wait, the bigger the hole they create to climb out of.

Unfortunately for Phoenix, this is the worst possible trade market for Nash. With his age only teams looking to win a title now will be interested. But contenders like Boston, San Antonio, Oklahoma City, Chicago have PGs in place like Rajon Rondo, Tony Parker, Russell Westbrook, and Derrick Rose and won’t be interested. The win now teams where Nash fills a need like Dallas, Miami, the LA Lakers and Orlando have minimal trade assets. The lack of buyers for a PG Nash’s age and the lack of quality offers available on good teams diminishes Nash’s likely return. We are in the PG era.

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Rose vs Howard and the Inescapability of Narrative

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Image by joguldi via Flickr

In a very strange year where every candidate has something “wrong” with them, we’re still debating the MVP race with only a few games left. The race has narrowed around the star of the golden team (Derrick Rose) and the one MVP candidate from last year who can say he’s improved (Dwight Howard).

Opinions tend to be with the mainstream guys going for Rose and the heavy blogger thinker guys on the internet going for Howard. (And let’s note that the poll on the APBRmetrics board sides with LeBron.) I’m personally on record as being on the fence between Rose and Howard, so what gets me ornery enough to write a piece is someone being dead set that even sitting on the fence is wrong.

Enter John Hollinger. With him, it seems I’m guaranteed to find both compelling arguments, and some stuff I disagree with enough that I end up writing about it. (Unfortunate that  I end up writing about the “bad” because I really do respect the guy, and I absolutely use his stats.)  He’s now written Truth about the Derrick Rose Story, trying to take down Rose, and favoring Howard, so it’s on.

Turn Me On, Dead Man

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Written by Matt Johnson

April 7, 2011 at 2:00 am

The Nash Disequilibrium, or Why I Use +/- Statistics

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Image by OakleyOriginals via Flickr

I felt the need to write this as a result of the article I wrote on Kobe Bryant and his adjusted +/- statistics this season. That article showed my perspective as someone who uses these stats – this one gets into why one should use them.

I’m a math kind a guy. I’ve been making statistical rankings of basketball players and other such trivia for forever. When the internet was first reaching prominence, many did see how they would use it, though they actually did end up using it obviously. I was dying for it though from the start. To have access to data like basketball-reference.com has is like a geek nirvana for me.

Now, I always knew that in basketball, the stats didn’t cover everything, but I always figured that what they missed was relatively small and not ridiculously biased. And then in ’04-05, I found myself utterly fascinated by the Phoenix Suns and Steve Nash. Every metric I’d ever come up with or ever seen said that Nash wasn’t the best player on that team, but my common sense just found this absurd. He was the one directing that offense, not the scorers. The team had launched forward far beyond what anyone expected because of an improvement in team offense that was completely unbelievable, and the team had made but one major change and one other major decision: Sign Nash, and put the ball & decision making in his hands.

And Now for Something Completely Different

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Written by Matt Johnson

March 26, 2011 at 12:04 am

2011 NBA POY Watch 3/21

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My weekly MVP rankings.

Player (last week’s rank)

1. Derrick Rose (1)

Rose remains in the top spot. All the good narratives point in his direction, and I’m not seeing a reason to de-value his role on the Bulls. Short of a player/team falloff, I’d imagine the only danger for him in my head is if I get more fixated on Howard.

2. Dirk Nowitzki (2)

Stays at the 2nd spot for now, but if this current snag continues for the Mavericks he’ll fall further. I’m still shaking my head. The Mavs go 18-1, I finally decide Dirk’s candidacy can no longer be denied, and then they go 3-5.

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Written by Matt Johnson

March 21, 2011 at 12:27 pm