Let’s rewind back to July 6th, 2010. The date Amare Stoudemire inked a 6 year/100 million dollar contract with the New York Knicks.
I can remember the discussions about how how Amare’s statistics were greatly due to the precission passing of Steve Nash. How the two time MVP made everyone better and Amare was in for a rude awakening without him. How much Amare was going to miss Steve Nash. Remember that?
Well guess what….
Who ‘s missing who right now?
Although Steve Nash’s individual production has not suffered and is arguably as good as its even been. His team has not exactly performed at the same level. The Phoenix Suns are 11-12 so far this season. Something that is totally the opposite what we have come to expect from a team that has been perennial NBA Championship contenders. That was of course, when they had Amare.
The New York Knicks on the other hand are off to their best start since Bill Clinton was President. Maybe Amare was really the MVP of that Phoenix Suns team. Maybe he made his teammates better as much as Steve Nash did. Or maybe its just Amare’s time. He clearly is showing leadership skills that nobody knew he had. He is playing like the MVP of the NBA during the first 25 games of the season.
This is in no way meant to minimize what Steve Nash has accomplished over his NBA career. I hold him in high regard in terms of Point Guards, all time. This is about Amare Stoudemire showing he was more than a Scottie Pippen to Steve Nash’s Michael Jordan.
One player who has had to deal with the Steve Nash factor more than Amare might be his new Point Guard, Raymond Felton. Raymond has heard it all from the day he was signed. “He’s no Steve Nash” is what echoed around the league from analysts to fans alike. I’m sure he felt the pressure of being that guard to fill the shoes of Steve Nash. It showed in the beginning of what is still a young season. Not enough penetration, Not aggressive enough, getting Amare the ball too far from the basket, Poor Pick & Roll execution, etc. It took a minute for Raymond and Amare to develop chemistry, no doubt. But now that they have developed it. WOW! They are clicking on all cylinders. Nash who?
Raymond Felton is off to an All Star caliber season. His numbers are great. Raymond Felton is averaging 18ppg, 4 rpg 9 apg and 2 steals for good measure. Steven Nash is averaging 18 ppg, 4 rpg, and 10 apg. Can their numbers be any closer? There is one statistic that Raymond & Amare can smile about having over Steve Nash and The Phoenix Suns. The Win Column.
So who’s missing who?