Pivot Points: Steve Nash Is Proving To Be a Timeless Wonder

Hadarii JonesSenior Writer INovember 28, 2009

PHOENIX - NOVEMBER 22:  Steve Nash #13 of the Phoenix Suns puts up a three point shot during the NBA game against the Detroit Pistons at US Airways Center on November 22, 2009 in Phoenix, Arizona. The Suns defeated the Pistons 117-91. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement.  (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
Christian Petersen/Getty Images

Steve Nash is in his 13th season, approaching 36 years of age, and is still one of the top point guards in the NBA, and this season an arguement could be made that he is numero uno, as in the best.

I keep waiting for age to make it's presence known in the creases of Nash's game, but if time has had an effect it's more akin to how a fine wine improves with the passing of each year.

Nash is leading the NBA in assists at 11.8 per game, he averages 16.2 points per game and still manages to shoot 53 percent form the field and an impressive 44 percent from three point range, hardly the numbers of a player in decline.

He is again one of the most exciting players to watch in the open-court after an experiment with former coach Terry Porter Forced Nash to slow down, and changed the complexion of the Phoenix Suns.

Porter wanted to introduce defensive principles to the Suns and get them more accustomed to half-court offensive sets, because in the playoffs, the game slows down, and that has always been the Suns' Achilles heel.

In doing this he altered the basic fibers of the Phoenix team and took away the element that made them competitive in the first place, their ability to turn the game into something resembling fast-paced, pick-up basketball.

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Phoenix failed to make the playoffs and Porter was out the door, and that small piece of Suns' history revealed something about Nash that had been hidden to that point.

You can't harness Nash because for good or bad he doesn't recognize any other way to play the game except for ultra-speed. That is what makes Nash an excellent point guard and it's the same thing that keeps him from being the best point guard.

A point guard has to recognize the shifts in tempo that are necessary in any game, and they have to be able to control the flow of the game, and this is something that Nash doesn't grasp.

So to compensate, Nash plays the game at one tempo and dictates the flow by playing at a speed that would mask most of his short-comings, and in this way he adapts to take advantage of his strengths.

That ability keeps him relevant when discussing the best guards in the game and currently has his Suns with the best record in the NBA.

The biggest issue with Nash and his team is their inability to defend and this is something that will again plague them down the road. Their best defense is their ability to get the ball up the court after a made basket, and in this Nash has no equal.

His vision on the break is extraordinary, and he has had two games where he recorded 20 assists, two games with 16 assists and another with 17.

He is averaging almost four turnovers per game, but the Suns can live with those minor indiscretions as long as they continue to win games, and so far Nash has kept his foot on the gas.

In my opinion, Nash knows that in order for him to stay relevant in the league, he has to maintain his chaotic style of play and that will has forced him to push the laws of physics.

The two-time league MVP has never been short in the passion department, and it seems the questions about his game have helped motivate him and his teammates.

No one really expected the Suns to make much noise, and most people still feel that they will flame out as the season progresses, but it won't be due to a lack of effort on Nash's part.

I have never been a huge fan of Nash but you have to admire his competitive fire and the command that he has on the fast-break, plus the fact that he still seems to be in his prime at this late stage of his career.

He hasn't given any indication of how much longer he plans to stay in the league, but he did just sign a contract extension and time seems to hold no weight or measure on the body of his skills.

His detractors will continue to point out his flaws, and they are justified, but his numbers and the fact that he is still among the best at this point in his career will likely define him when his playing career has finally expired.

For now Nash is content to continue dishing out assists and playing as if he is not restricted by the barriers of time that always seem to catch up with us at some point in our lives. 

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