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Monday, October 25th, 2010 at 12:00 pm  |  75 responses

Steve Nash Doesn’t Expect Suns to Make the Playoffs

by Marcel Mutoni / @marcel_mutoni

Steve Nash has always been candid with the media, and never shied away from expressing what’s really on his mind. When it comes to his team this season, Nash isn’t holding out much hope for similar success to last year.

Phoenix surprised everyone by making it all the way to the Western Conference Finals last summer (and pushed the champion Lakers), but now playing with a radically different roster, let’s just say that Steve Nash isn’t exactly jazzed about what he sees on the floor.

SB Nation reports:

“To be honest, if I was outside this picture and a betting man, I would probably pick us to be outside of the playoffs considering all the changes and the new guys,” team leader Steve Nash said after Sunday’s team practice.

The problem, according to Steve Nash, is that winning might be a long ways off. Nash was particularly frustrated with the process of going from a team he felt was very close to winning an NBA Championship to essentially starting over again. “I spent four months this summer and a month this training camp feeling like I’m trying to get to the top,” Nash said. “It’s hard as a competitor to convince yourself every day all summer and then through the preseason that you’re going to get back to where you were and hopefully take the next step, and then you realize that camp is starting all over again and it’s not quite as linear as you made it out to yourself all summer.”

Time to get excited, Suns fans! Or, you know, not.

Perhaps this is Nash’s way of taking the pressure off his team by tempering expectations, but as he heads into the twilight of his career, the current situation is probably not what he had in mind.

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  • tomtom

    me either! and…first!

  • http://Slamonline.com GotHandles?

    Bring back Shawn Marion. He ain’t doin diddly in Dallas.

  • http://www.slamonline.com Eboy

    Nash deserves a shot to go for a ring. He’d be great in Orlando with Dwight……Jameer and pieces?

  • http://www.twitter.com/notebooknick NotebookNick

    Nash looks over at Turkoglu and wonders exactly how he’s going to help at all. . .

  • KB8toSG8

    Keeping it real……

  • http://palehour.com Pale

    Amare wasn’t going to win the Suns a championship. Letting him go was the correct move.

    Sadly, he was not replaced well and too much money was spent doing it. Suns should have figured out a way to nab some younger, improving talent at power forward.

    I’m personally holding out some shred of hope that Nash will change Hakim Warrick’s game and give him a “Most Improved Player” award, a la Boris Diaw.

  • http://gosorio.com yeahhh boyyy

    thats right!! no time to be crying over your decition on staying with the suns Steve!!! Nash had his chance to move on to another team and win a championship and let it go by signing a extension, THAT was kissing his chances good bye so for him to come and trash talk his new team??? WTF right?

  • smooth

    nash go to the mavs

  • http://www.triplejunearthed.com/dacre Dacre

    @Eboy – Aww.. If Nash got traded to the East I would be equal parts mortified and glad…. that would be a real hard call. PHX would become instantly irrelevant however. Yet Nash would get a 2nd/3rd chance (how many is he up to now?) and IF he can handle the defensive minded PGs in the playoffs something could happen.

  • ALEX80

    Well,..let’s see what happen , Hedo is a great shooter not fast but accurate.I’m sure the Suns will make the playoffs this All Eastern Conference season.

  • http://www.google.com/news BETCATS

    Eboy i cant believe you just purposed a Nash trade to a Florida based team and chose the Magic. And here i was thinking Heat fans thought they were entitled to all the nice things in the world….

  • IAMORANGE4EVER

    Nashty is such a general.

  • http://www.triplejunearthed.com/dacre Dacre

    @Pale – they were going to get real close until Horry hip checked Nash into the middle of last Monday and Amare stood to see which row he landed in…

  • http://www.triplejunearthed.com/dacre Dacre

    I don’t know what the ‘formula’ would necessarily be – but has there ever been a successful PG running around without a big down low going for 17 & 9?? I just don’t see who you have at this current time on PHX that can be the ‘magnet’ for Nash draw to…

  • T-Money

    Instead of giving between 20 and 40 millions to Childress, Warrick, Turk and re-upping Frye for 30… they should have just gave all that to STAT. They were trying to play hardball but he’s better than those 4 players combined. Judging by how Amar’e is scoring in NYK right now, it’s safe to say that his buckets were not only because he played with Nash, eh?

  • http://www.triplejunearthed.com/dacre Dacre

    I find it upsetting. I want Nash to win.

  • http://www.triplejunearthed.com/dacre Dacre

    @ T-Money: EXACTLY. The day they let Amare walk I thought to myself. They don’t actually want to keep a winning nucleus together (for the 3rd time)?! It’s “easy” to get talented players on one roster, the hardest thing is getting or ALLOWING even for those players to gel themselves, naturally so they can be on the same page and produce results at the highest level. I’m going to have to say it, and this is as a Suns fan… Phoenix are a mess.

  • ClydeSays

    He needs some of what Beasley’s been taking…

  • 2dope

    Love Nash. New York should put something together.

  • http://www.triplejunearthed.com/dacre Dacre

    Free Nash?

  • Hammer

    Trade him 2 the spurs 4 parker. Can u imagine that? Duncan,nash and ginoboli. Phoenix might b willing 2 go 4 that

  • Mackenzie

    They won’t make the playoffs cuz Hedo is a piece of garbage is gonna get destroyed at the 4

  • Hammer

    And the spurs trade would actually make sense. Nash and duncan r both nearing the ends n their careers,parker is injury prone(he’s only 28 but it seems like he’s 32),nash is n much better physical condition than parker and,as evidence during the summer,spurs r looking 2 trade parker. Who knows? It could happen

  • ALEX80

    Dreamer,.. no way Stevie will play for those douchebags dirty sons of bit%&$ Spurs.
    Bring the Answer !!!

  • riggs

    suns would NEVER trade in their division against their own damn rival, and especially not their only superstar. Nash is one of my fav. players AND people but he should’ve done something to either help phoenix acquire better players or leave to a team where he can help (clippers?)

  • Hammer

    U know nash respects duncan. And who wouldn’t want 2 play w/duncan. Besides,horry and bowen aint even there no more

  • http://www.kb24.com The Seed

    I told people that Nash didn’t make Amare. Amare got buckets in Phx with Marbury running point and almost upset the Spurs one year. Nash will miss Amare more than Amare will miss Nash. Also Nash is just trying to steal one more MVP award, so if the Suns finish top 4 in West, then all of the media will say look what Nash, did what a leader. Nash it won;t work a third time. To me the Suns should be a good regular season team then, since they let Amare leave for nothing, they will get plastered in the first round. BOOK IT!!

  • http://www.threadsandkicks.com.au/ Eduardo

    Nash has done some unbelievable things with this Suns team ever since he arrived. He deserves a ring. He’s only got one year left on his contract. Phoenix seem to take good care of their players. They must have good training and health facilities there to be able to keep Grant Hill going the way he is especially, to bring Amare back from serious knee injury and keep Nash playing the way he has been at his age.

  • Hammer

    Dam that division rival crap. Pistons and bulls have traded over the yrs. Blazers and lakers as well. Besides,phoenix isn’t even a title contender no more

  • Matt Gill

    How many players have been made better by playing alongside Steve Nash? as hes been plying his trade for decades, the number must be dozens!! He won’t have a bucket of talent to work with this year but maybe Grant Hill will find the magic elixir and someone will play something inside and they will holde their own. Josh Childress makes an interesting piece to the puzzle??
    I am bringing my school kids from England over to see the Suns in April so we hope they can find something by then!!

  • http://Yahoo.com Eboyhater

    It’s hard to win anything when the lakers are on top sorry Nash

  • http://Yahoo.com Eboyhater

    It’s hard to win anything when the lakers are on top sorry Nash

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  • http://slamonline.com Allenp

    You mean he can’t “make” Warrick, Childress and company all stars like he did with Amare and Marion? Really? How can that be?
    lol

  • http://slamonline.com Allenp

    Eboy
    Nash could have signed somewhere to get a ring a few summers back. He could have taken less money and left Phoenix as a free agent. He chose to sign a hefty contract extension (like $20 million per) and stay with the Suns.
    Have y’all forgotten?

  • Ryan

    If Jason Richardson would have only boxed out!!!

  • http://www.yagoc.blogspot.com Yago Colas

    kind of a misleading headline folks:

    what he actually said was IF he was outside the picture, he would PROBABLY pick them out of the playoffs. But he’s NOT outside the picture.

    The only thing he actually said was that it can be hard to maintain the belief year in and year out.

  • Edgar

    Ryan hit the nail on the head.

  • Yann Blavec

    Small ball !!

  • http://google c_cantrell

    dude deserves a ring

  • Azeem

    Or if Jared Dudley wouldn’t have watched Ron Artest all flat footed and took a swipe at his put back it could have been very different.

  • slamfan4life

    Cmon Nash dont say ish like that!

  • http://dsjfklf.com Jukai

    Sighhhhhhhhh……….

  • tyquez

    i see why his thinkin that because he will have to put up amare points + his point about 42pt a game and his 10 passes? if i was him i would ask for a trade he has about 4more years are more inhim

  • The Philosopher

    Nash has a history of saying things like this.
    They will be fine.
    Maybe.

  • Don

    Nash i’d really like u to win a ring. Pls go to the Heat.

  • http://dsjfklf.com Jukai

    In fairness to Nash, he signed an extension because he figured the Suns were going to keep trying to building a competitive team around him. At this point, I think Nash just cares more about staying competitive and having fun playing.
    But I do get the criticism about him not ring chasing when he had the chance. I was happy as a Suns fan but didn’t think Nash made the right decision. Because, hey, we all know the history of the Suns.

  • http://dsjfklf.com Jukai

    Fun facts:
    If Nash went to the Heat, that may be the ONLY time I’d ever root against Phoenix
    If Nash went to the Spurs, I’d be forced to hope Nash never gets a ring. Ever.

  • http://www.need4sheed.com Tarzan Cooper

    Nash is a chump

  • Michael Whyte

    I love Nash. Tarzan no name calling… you douche

  • http://slamonline.com Allenp

    Jukai
    You really think that’s why he resigned. I think he was comfortable, liked the team and liked the city, but I don’t think he could have really, truly believed they were going to be that competitive. I mean, I know they have been good for a while, but they have steadily lost players through poor drafting, cheapness and strange trades. Plus, the players only want to play a certain style without cleaning up their issues with defense and rebounding.
    Nash had to see that, so he may have hoped things would get better, but I find it hard to believe he expected that much would change. I think he liked where he was and liked the money. nobody else was giving him that much money for those many years.

  • http://dsjfklf.com Jukai

    Allenp: Money was 50% or more. I mean, you’re right, no one was going to give a no-defense 37-year-old point 20 million.
    But I think he “liked where he was” because he liked competing every year. Missing the playoffs during that one year really depressed Nash. He may not put winning as his highest priority (money was) but he does like to compete.
    Getting Turk probably wasn’t the best step.

  • kev

    Free Steve Nash!!!! Phoenix is rebuliding so they might as well let him walk and at least get some young talent for him. He could take a team like atlanta to the next level.

  • http://slamonline.com Allenp

    Jukai
    I think we had this discussion once before. Everybody likes to win, not everybody wants to do what it takes to win. Nobody likes losing, but some people are more comfortable with it.
    Anyway, this is the perfect season for Nash to prove the doubters, like myself, wrong. I’ve always said he’s been blessed with amazing talent, but this year that’s not the case. They’ve got decent talent, but if he turns Warrick and Childress into fringe all-stars, I won’t say another bad word about him again.

  • IAMORANGE4EVER

    I see Nashty using tough love to motivate his team.

  • TrailBlazing&SportingLisbon

    tarzan cooper is a pu$$y. hope you lose your first game, mr.Nash”

  • http://slamonline.com nbk

    Nash actually said he stayed in Phoenix because it felt right. He said leaving a team that has supported him and helped him so much just felt wrong. I don’t think he had any illusion about the circumstances in Phoenix, rebuilding was inevitable, it just happened one season ahead of schedule.

  • http://sdfjklf.com Jukai

    Allenp: I highly doubt that, haha
    What if he turns them into what he turned Channing Frye… a dude halfway out the door into a legit starter? Not sure how he’d turn Childress into an all-star, but I think it’s possible with Warrick depending on how far Warrick mentally lets Nash.

  • http://slamonline.com nbk

    Hakim Warrick’s ceiling is 14ppg. That’s his ceiling – he is so lost on offense and defense, and has been his whole career. I was 12 rows in for the GS preseason game, the frustration Hakim creates on Gentry’s face is visible, dude is lost, and it isn’t like Phoenix runs a very complex system. He will see a max of 25mpg and will be labeled as one of the worst free agent signings of the offseason.

  • http://slamonline.com Allenp

    Damn NBK.
    Frye was a starter in New York before Larry Brown turned on him and Isiah Thomas decided he was soft.
    Frye has always had the same sort of talents he has with the Suns. He’s just extended his range and he’s been given the green light to do nothing but shoot jumpers.
    In New York they actually expected him to defend, rebound and score on the block, like you know, a standard center. Freed up from those responsibilities by the Sun’s system, he’s shined.
    Nash and Amare fit together like a hand and glove because their skillsets were perfectly suited to each other on offense. No other player has had as much impact on Nash’s game, and the only player to impact Amare’s game that much was Shaq the first year he came to the Suns.
    I expect Amare to still score in bunches, just less efficiently and I expect Nash to still run a team well, just less efficiently.

  • http://slamonline.com nbk

    Uhm I know. What are you saying to me? lol i have no idea what that has to do with anything i said.

  • http://slamonline.com nbk

    If your implying that Frye’s “improvement” is a sign of what’s to come for Warrick I am obliged to point out Frye has 3pt range, and was always a decent player. Hakim Warrick on the other hand had his best season 4 years ago, scored 12.7ppg played 26 minutes, got almost all of his offense in or around the pain (and he was on memphis). Now he is with a playoff contender, the luster of his ceiling faded after his 25th birthday, he is now 28 so to think he will improve without developing a jumpshot is a little crazy. Oh and lets throw in the he doesn’t play any defense at all, he isn’t a threat to block shots or guard the post, and last but not least, his career high in rebounds per 36 minutes, 7.3…THAT is HORRENDOUS

  • T-Money

    Why are we talking about Hak Warrick again? He’s a certified bum.

  • MUBWAR

    I’m betting he saw Turkoglu on the floor and said: Is this the replacement of STAT? fallowed by a long F***. lool

  • http://slamonline.com nbk

    I actually let the F*** out when Turkoglu celebrated his trade to phoenix by throwing a cross country part tour. We literally spent more money on 3 overrated players then we would have taking a risk on Amare’s health in 3 years. (Amar’e turned PHX down because in his contract offer (which was just as large as NY’s offer) he would have had to average 20mpg for phoenix over the last 2 years of his contract and he was not willing to take that risk)

  • the Dude

    Tarzan make comment.

  • rich

    if they did all these moves and resigned amare which they had enough money to do they would have the best team in the league… smh

  • KB8toSG8

    After this season, its time to blow up everything and start rebuilding. The worst position to be in isn’t being the worst team but being stuck between the best and the worst…..

  • Justin

    Anyone who thinks Nash stayed because of the money is a complete moron and doesn’t know him at all. It wasn’t just the city he was comfortable with. It is home for his entire family and that was a monster consideration. I talked with him and his wife about it when they visited here last summer. He stayed at the hotel I work at and I played with and I played with and against him in high school, which I was shocked he remembered. Anyway, yes he thought the team would stay competitive and I got the sense he figured Amare would stay.
    Also, anyone that doesn’t think Nash made Amare is delusional. When the Suns were especially competitive, there were more scoring options and they did spread the offense around. In New York, he’s going to get way more touches because they have…uhhh…who else?

  • kristel

    YAGO COLAS COMMENT IS CORRECT!

  • http://slamonline.com Allenp

    NBK
    I was saying damn at how you went at Hakim Warrick.

  • http://slamonline.com Allenp

    Justin
    How did Nash “make” Amare when Amare put up all-star stats before he even met Steve Nash? Why don’t you go and check Amare’s career numbers, and see what he did with Jason Kidd and Marbury running the point before Nash came to Phoenix.
    I hate Suns fans who have decided to ignore reality to champion Nash. Did Nash make Amare more efficient, yes. Did Amare make Nash more efficient, yes. But both of them were All-Star caliber players before they met each other, teaming up just allowed them to take their games to another level.
    And Shawn Marion fell off the map because he’s old and his skills are declining and he hasn’t played uptempo in a minute. Not because he stopped playing with Steve Nash. Just check the damn stats.

  • All Day

    @Allenp: Shawn Marion falling off had nothing to do with his age or declining skills. Marion had no skills to begin with. He benefited from playing alongside Steve Nash in an uptempo stype offense. That’s the reason why Phoenix never ran plays for Marion. He score off of fast break assists and putbacks. It wasn’t hard to predict that Marion would fall off once he left Phoenix.

  • All Day

    I see people talking about how Amare will struggle because he’s not playing alongside Steve Nash. I don’t see people talking about who Steve Nash is going to struggle because he won’t be playing alongside a skilled big man. Nash’s favorite play is the pick-and-roll with Amare. Who will Nash run the pick-and-roll with now? In order for that play to be effective, you need a skilled big man. Nash no longer has that. Steve realizes this and that’s the reason why he knows that Phoenix will struggle this year.

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