Watching the New York Knicks lose their second straight game in ugly fashion made me wonder what was really wrong with this seemingly talented team. Sure it’s only three games into the season, but the way the Knicks played against the Warriors and Lakers – two teams which they are definitely capable of beating – caused me to believe that the Knicks are just going to have another disappointing season, and they are going to end up in the bottom half of the Eastern Conference playoff picture. As I looked over the lineup, the glaring issue that stood out to me was the point guard position. It’s seemed like ages since the Knicks had a good point guard on their team, and it appears that the trend isn’t going to change this year unless Iman Shumpert or Baron Davis have miracle seasons. With those two options not likely to bring the Knicks the success that they would need to seriously compete in the Eastern Conference, I played around with the idea of bringing a new point guard to New York. When I came across the name “Steve Nash”, I was certain that this guy could be the difference in whether the Knicks would be contenders or pretenders.
For starters, the Knicks’ offense right now is being run by individuals, not a team. Inserting Steve Nash into this lineup instantly turns them into a team offense where everybody is touching the rock, and thus, the players get more quality shots per game. I don’t know about you, but I’m pretty sure Mike D’Antoni’s specialty was offense when he came to the Knicks. Watching the Knicks play offense so far has been outright difficult. By having a proven point guard running the show and leading them down the court, their points per game would increase tremendously. Just remember what Nash did under D’Antoni in Phoenix. Oh yeah, didn’t Nash play with a forward named Amare Stoudemire in Phoenix too? How did those two do together?
In addition to that, Nash can shoot the three better than most people in the league. To have a guy who can pass the ball as effectively as he does, yet have the shooting touch of one of the most feared marksmen in the league is a dangerous combination. If you give Nash the supporting cast that the Knicks can provide for him, the team would be nearly unstoppable offensively. If Nash could feed Amare and Carmelo instead of them having to do everything one-on-one, he would open up this team’s true offensive talent. No longer would Stoudemire have games where he shoots 4-17 because he would get open looks down low and tons of free throw opportunities. The same goes for ‘Melo and Tyson Chandler. Speaking of Chandler, how much better would this guy look if he had a point guard lobbing alley-oops to him? Honestly, does this guy have any post moves?
One of the biggest arguments you will hear against bringing Nash to New York is that he is too old and past his prime now that he is 37. From a team that brought in Baron Davis and Mike Bibby in the offseason – two guys who haven’t been in their prime in quite some time – I think that giving the 2x MVP a shot would be a no-brainer. Not only is Nash definitely better than both of those guys right now, but he is in better shape than both of them as well. If I had to take one of the older point guards in the league, it would absolutely be Steve Nash. Nash is a player who is dedicated to keeping his body in tip-top shape, and I wouldn’t be surprised if he has another 2-3 years of very solid basketball ahead of him. And when you can shoot the ball as well as he does, his age shouldn’t be too much of a hindrance in his game anyway.
In terms of the way the Knicks would look on defense with Nash, I think they could be respectable. Obviously Nash isn’t going to be a stalwart on defense, but with the amount of offense he would provide the team with, and having a big like Chandler patrolling the middle, it may be just enough for them to get by. If you look at those Nash and Stoudemire Suns teams, they went far in multiple seasons together, and that was without a real good defensive center. Just look at how much better the Mavs got on defense once they brought Chandler in.
If I had to sum everything up, I would say that Steve Nash is a very good fit for the Knicks right now. He is a veteran with poise, he has the ability to run a real offense, and he can shoot from anywhere on the floor. His court vision is outstanding, and having players like Amare Stoudemire, Carmelo Anthony, and Tyson Chandler to get the ball to in the open court is something that Nash would probably dream of. The fact that he is already 37 gives the Knicks a better chance to get him for much less than he is worth, and I think that he is the type of player who is well worth the risk. To watch a team flounder despite so much talent is always very difficult for a fan to watch. When you realize that a good point guard is the solution to that problem, you need to do everything in your power to secure that solution. That is why the Knicks need to make a run at Steve Nash if they want any chance of making some noise this season.