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Steve Nash Named NBA MVP

Old 05-10-05, 08:22 AM
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Steve Nash Named NBA MVP

Hard to believe there has not been a thread started on this...

Anyway, the choice came down to Steve Nash or Shaquille O'Neal. I'm not saying that Steve Nash didn't have a great year -- he did, and the Suns were magnificent -- but if you sat down all 32 GMs in a room and asked them which player they'd rather have on their team... I mean, it would be riddiculous.

And how much of Nash's success came from his teammates, and vice versa? Amare was a monster, Shawn Marion was great off the wing, Q-Richardson has great versatility... yes, Nash was the missing piece in the puzzle, but it's not like he lifted the team onto his back and carried them individually, a la Jason Kidd a few years ago.

Meanwhile, you can assess Shaq's dominance by comparing his past and present teams. With Shaq, the Lakers were NBA finalists; without him, they're a lottery team. Without Shaq, the Heat were the 8th place team in a pitifully weak Eastern Conference; with Shaq, they're championship contenders.

Yes, Shaq has Dwayne Wade -- who has now risen up to Lebron-esque heights -- but it's not like Damon Jones, Udonis Haslim and Eddie Jones were held in especially high esteem by anyone in the league before Shaq. Heck, he even made a player out of Christian Laetner, a feat no one else has been able to accomplish since Kentucky forgot to put a body on him.

I'm not sure we should play the race card -- although I think part of Nash's appeal lies in his aw-shucks Canadian goofiness -- and I think some part of Nash's trophy lies in a reluctance to continually hand the award to Shaquille O'Neal, even if he is the most dominant force in the game. (Can you believe that Shaquille O'Neal has won the MVP only one time??? Unbelievable.)
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Old 05-10-05, 08:47 AM
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check the NBA playoff thread - there's been a few pages worth of discussion on this
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Old 05-10-05, 11:12 AM
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Bottom line is, which player made their team better this year. Not much debate about that.

Comparing the Lakers with and without him is pretty ridiculous. It's not even close to the same team as it was last year. Not by a mile.
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Old 05-10-05, 11:39 AM
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Originally Posted by NCMojo

Without Shaq, the Heat were the 8th place team in a pitifully weak Eastern Conference; with Shaq, they're championship contenders.
The Suns didn't make the playoffs last year, without Nash.
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Old 05-10-05, 11:40 AM
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Originally Posted by NCMojo

Anyway, the choice came down to Steve Nash or Shaquille O'Neal. I'm not saying that Steve Nash didn't have a great year -- he did, and the Suns were magnificent -- but if you sat down all 32 GMs in a room and asked them which player they'd rather have on their team... I mean, it would be riddiculous.
Yeah, they would all choose LeBron or Duncan.
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Old 05-10-05, 12:01 PM
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Originally Posted by NCMojo
Hard to believe there has not been a thread started on this...

Anyway, the choice came down to Steve Nash or Shaquille O'Neal. I'm not saying that Steve Nash didn't have a great year -- he did, and the Suns were magnificent -- but if you sat down all 32 GMs in a room and asked them which player they'd rather have on their team... I mean, it would be riddiculous.

And how much of Nash's success came from his teammates, and vice versa? Amare was a monster, Shawn Marion was great off the wing, Q-Richardson has great versatility... yes, Nash was the missing piece in the puzzle, but it's not like he lifted the team onto his back and carried them individually, a la Jason Kidd a few years ago.

Meanwhile, you can assess Shaq's dominance by comparing his past and present teams. With Shaq, the Lakers were NBA finalists; without him, they're a lottery team. Without Shaq, the Heat were the 8th place team in a pitifully weak Eastern Conference; with Shaq, they're championship contenders.

Yes, Shaq has Dwayne Wade -- who has now risen up to Lebron-esque heights -- but it's not like Damon Jones, Udonis Haslim and Eddie Jones were held in especially high esteem by anyone in the league before Shaq. Heck, he even made a player out of Christian Laetner, a feat no one else has been able to accomplish since Kentucky forgot to put a body on him.

I'm not sure we should play the race card -- although I think part of Nash's appeal lies in his aw-shucks Canadian goofiness -- and I think some part of Nash's trophy lies in a reluctance to continually hand the award to Shaquille O'Neal, even if he is the most dominant force in the game. (Can you believe that Shaquille O'Neal has won the MVP only one time??? Unbelievable.)
I see so many illogical arguments in your post... i'm not sure what to say...
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Old 05-10-05, 12:37 PM
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Originally Posted by cdollaz
The Suns didn't make the playoffs last year, without Nash.
Meanwhile Dallas, without Nash, actually improved on their record from last year. (Not to say that there weren't other, more compelling reasons -- Dirk Nowitski really came into his own this year, and the coaching change really seemed to help the Mavs.)

Originally Posted by cdollaz
Yeah, they would all choose LeBron or Duncan.
... who finished sixth and third, respectively, in the voting... which also serves to underscore just how riddiculous the "Steve Nash for MVP" case is.

Not that Steve Nash is a bad player -- he's one of the top point guards in the league, no question about it -- but I believe that Shaq (and to a lesser degree, Lebron, Dirk and Tracy McGrady) made the talent on the Heat that much better. Nash complemented the talent that was already there.
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Old 05-10-05, 12:39 PM
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Originally Posted by gameover2k2
I see so many illogical arguments in your post... i'm not sure what to say...
Hmm. Well, this is a discussion forum, so... my advice would be for you to pick, say, two or three of my illogical arguments... and then explain why you believe they are so illogical. (Especially since none of my points essentially reinvented the wheel... they're all rehashed from established sports columnists and the general press.)
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Old 05-10-05, 12:40 PM
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Originally Posted by NCMojo
...although I think part of Nash's appeal lies in his aw-shucks Canadian goofiness...
aw-shucks...

LOOK AT HIS HAIR. LOOK AT IT. There is NO appeal there.

()
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Old 05-10-05, 12:43 PM
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P.J. Brown didn't get enough love.
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Old 05-10-05, 12:44 PM
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Miami held their own when Shaq was out.

Phoenix fell apart when Nash was out.

Combine that with the Suns being a "new" brand of basketball and you have Nash getting the MVP as a way of putting that brand into the spotlight even further. Kind of like a reverse-scapegoat sorta thing.
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Old 05-10-05, 12:56 PM
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Nearly every player on the Suns had statistical increases in the major categories because of the addition of Steve Nash. To say he complimented them rather than made them better is not statistically true.
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Old 05-10-05, 01:08 PM
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This is such a yawner of an argument. People always forget the V. There are many players worthy of consideration, but people chose Nash. Big deal. Had Shaq or Dirk or Duncan or someone else won, it would be the same thing. You can make a strong case for any of these guys, but only one can win. Live with it. It's not an outrage, and it's certainly not motivated by race.

As to this "sit all 32 GMs in a room" thing which I keep hearing from blowhard homers like Dan Lebatard, there's a reason Shaq's in Miami to begin with. A GM chose Kobe.

Shaq's deserving. Nash is deserving. So are a few other players (not P.J. Brown ). However, when voting, I suspect some people took note of the fact that Miami could still coast to the Eastern Conference Finals if Shaq went to Disney World for a few weeks, but the Suns would fall of the map completely without Nash. That's the V.

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Old 05-10-05, 01:15 PM
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Originally Posted by El Scorcho
Miami held their own when Shaq was out.

Phoenix fell apart when Nash was out.

Combine that with the Suns being a "new" brand of basketball and you have Nash getting the MVP as a way of putting that brand into the spotlight even further. Kind of like a reverse-scapegoat sorta thing.
Which by the way I am all in favor of -- there are a lot of reasons to root for the Suns this year (with Paul Shirley's blog being Exhibit A.) More passing, more motion, more full-court play, less isolations and one-on-one bullshit.

And yeah, in the grand scheme of things, das is right -- who cares about the MVP, who cares about sports, none of this is at all important compared to the suffering of innocents around the world... blah blah blah.

But it's fun to argue about. And by the way, ES -- Phoenix was only without Nash for, what, three games? And they had no other decent point guard on the roster. So of course his absence hurt them. But Steve Nash still has far more talent around him than Shaq does, and that talent helped Nash look even better. Shaq's supporting cast (other than Dwayne Wade) just reemphasizes how good Shaq is.
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Old 05-10-05, 01:24 PM
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Originally Posted by NCMojo
Shaq's supporting cast (other than Dwayne Wade) just reemphasizes how good Shaq is.
A supporting cast (with exception of D. Jones who did freaking great with Milwaukee last year when TJ Ford went out for the year) that still made it into the playoffs last year without Shaq. Butler and Grant were still hampered by injuries and Odom who doesn't put up the points and rebounds that Shaq does.
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Old 05-10-05, 01:27 PM
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Nash missed 7 games this season, and his team went 2-5. I remember one stretch where he missed 4 games in a row and Phoenix lost every one of them. Talk about an injury being to your advantage.

Shaq gets penalized (and rightfully so) in some ways for all the players around him becoming better simply because he's a giant in the lane that commands a constant double team. Yes, even Christian Laettner can still knock down open shots with defenders no closer than 10 feet away.

Yes, Nash didn't have a worthwhile point guard backing him up, but with all that talent around him (Marion / Stoudamire / Johnson / Q), you'd think they could at least hold the fort and win more than 2 of 7 games without Nash.
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Old 05-10-05, 01:28 PM
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Originally Posted by Deftones
Nearly every player on the Suns had statistical increases in the major categories because of the addition of Steve Nash. To say he complimented them rather than made them better is not statistically true.
"Oh, Amare, I love those shoes. JJ, you did a great job out there tonight. Q, you are just a fabulous dresser."



But to treat your argument seriously... Amare and Joe Johnson both saw their scoring go up, while Quintin Richardson and Shawn Marion saw their scoring go down. As for the Heat... Dwayne Wade and Damon Jones saw their scoring go up, while Eddie Jones and Lamar Odom saw their scoring dip. (Hard to compare from one season to the next, since the composition of these teams changed do much.)
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Old 05-10-05, 01:31 PM
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And yeah, in the grand scheme of things, das is right -- who cares about the MVP, who cares about sports, none of this is at all important compared to the suffering of innocents around the world... blah blah blah.
It's not so much that sports don't matter, but that every time an MVP is named in any sport, someone's mad that the other guy didn't win it and starts throwing out conspiratorial reasons to explain it (watch ESPN and you'll hear all kinds of nonsense). The reality, however, is that typically 3-4 guys are deserving and one of them won. An agrument for why someone would have voted for Shaq is a perfectly valid one, and I wouldn't really have much to disagree with it; however, an argument that Nash is not deserving (which I keep hearing this week) is absurd.

NCMojo

And by the way, ES -- Phoenix was only without Nash for, what, three games? And they had no other decent point guard on the roster. So of course his absence hurt them. But Steve Nash still has far more talent around him than Shaq does, and that talent helped Nash look even better. Shaq's supporting cast (other than Dwayne Wade) just reemphasizes how good Shaq is.
I think you'd have a hard time arguing that Miami would do better longterm without Shaq than Phoenix would without Nash. Miami needs Shaq to win it all, but they didn't need him while sweeping the Nets, and they won't need him to blow past the Wizards either. On the flipside, the Suns would have a very hard time getting past Dallas without Nash.

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Old 05-10-05, 01:39 PM
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Originally Posted by El Scorcho
Nash missed 7 games this season, and his team went 2-5. I remember one stretch where he missed 4 games in a row and Phoenix lost every one of them. Talk about an injury being to your advantage.

Shaq gets penalized (and rightfully so) in some ways for all the players around him becoming better simply because he's a giant in the lane that commands a constant double team. Yes, even Christian Laettner can still knock down open shots with defenders no closer than 10 feet away.

Yes, Nash didn't have a worthwhile point guard backing him up, but with all that talent around him (Marion / Stoudamire / Johnson / Q), you'd think they could at least hold the fort and win more than 2 of 7 games without Nash.
So we should penalize Shaq for being a huge presence in the paint and drawing the double team... but we should shrug our shoulders about the Suns being unable to acquire an even halfway-decent backup point guard?

Tell you what, let's do a simple example: pull both players off their respective teams and replace them with a second-tier NBA player. We'll give the Heat Nazr Mohammed from the Spurs, and we'll give the Suns Chancy Billups of the Pistons. Could the Suns still compete for the crown? Sure. But the Heat would have no chance, even in the Eastern Conference.
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Old 05-10-05, 01:43 PM
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Originally Posted by das Monkey
It's not so much that sports don't matter, but that every time an MVP is named in any sport, someone's mad that the other guy didn't win it and starts throwing out conspiratorial reasons to explain it (watch ESPN and you'll hear all kinds of nonsense). The reality, however, is that typically 3-4 guys are deserving and one of them won. An agrument for why someone would have voted for Shaq is a perfectly valid one, and I wouldn't really have much to disagree with it; however, an argument that Nash is not deserving (which I keep hearing this week) is absurd.
My point was that this discussion may be meaningless, but it's still fun. Somebody has to win, somebody has to lose, and everybody has to complain. That's what sports is all about.

Originally Posted by das Monkey
I think you'd have a hard time arguing that Miami would do better longterm without Shaq than Phoenix would without Nash. Miami needs Shaq to win it all, but they didn't need him while sweeping the Nets, and they won't need him to blow past the Wizards either. On the flipside, the Suns would have a very hard time getting past Dallas without Nash.
That has more to do with the weakness of the Eastern Conference. Take Nash out of the equation, and could the Suns still win it all? I think so. (My opinion, and I could be wrong.)

But take Shaq away from Miami, and they have no chance of taking out the Pistons. And they certainly could not compete with the Western Conference finalists.
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Old 05-10-05, 01:43 PM
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Here's my opinion on the situation, not that anyone really cares

It's a bit foolish to look at how a team improved as the sole or even major reason to award a player an MVP. Take Phoenix. They were a playoff team two years ago (and a dangerous one at that) and were terrible last year with almost the same talent. Did Nash elevate the team to top tier status by his acquistion? Hardly. Sure he's a great player, but there are so many other factors to account for, you can't just simply grant Nash all of Phoenix's improvement, just like you can't say Phoenix sucked last year because they traded Marbury (although they sucked with Marbury too). Even looking at the games a player missed is pretty foolish since the sample size is small and the opponents vary. What you really should look for is to how good a player the guy is.

And that's where I would have a problem with Nash as an MVP. For one, Nash doesn't play defense. that's half the game right there. Most of the past MVPs like a Jordan or a Duncan or a Garnett are good defensive guys. It often gets overlooked in an offensive based world, but defense is quite important. And Nash doesn't have it.

Moreover, I'd submit he's not even the best player on his own team. Which isn't to mean he isn't a great all-star caliber player. He's also one of the few really distibuting point guards around anda great fit for Phoenix's style. But he's not the player Amare Stoudamire is. In a few years I believe people will look back and realize how good Stoudamire actually is. I mean they think he's good now, but he's really climbed up to the upper echelon guys without getting his due yet.

So for those two major reasons, lack of defense and the fact Amare is so good, make me pick someone other than Nash for MVP.
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Old 05-10-05, 01:51 PM
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Lol, I'm done with this thread. You just equated Chauncy Billups to Nazr Mohammed.

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Old 05-10-05, 01:55 PM
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Originally Posted by NCMojo
....a second-tier NBA player...Chancy Billups of the Pistons.
Ok, now I'm pissed!
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Old 05-10-05, 01:59 PM
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Originally Posted by El Scorcho
Lol, I'm done with this thread. You just equated Chauncy Billups to Nazr Mohammed.

Billups is probably second-tier, but Mohammed isn't even fifth-tier.
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Old 05-10-05, 02:03 PM
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My problem with the MVP voting wasn't Nash winning... didn't agree with that, but there was a clear argument for him.

My question... HOW THE $(@)[email protected] DOES ALLAN IVERSON ONLY GET 5TH PLACE??? I mean, I know the 76ers weren't that good, but Iverson has a CBA team around him. The 76ers would've been a 12-17 win team without him.
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