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Steve Nash is, simply put, made out of different material than you and me. Much like Wolverine, perhaps Nash has adamantium implants, or he’s just a tough S.O.B. Whatever the case, it doesn’t matter if you crack his nose open
, smash his eye
, or, if making him bleed isn’t enough, finish the job by breaking his nose, Steve Nash and his Energizer Bunny-like perseverance will continue on. Not only will he continue to play, Nash will also burn your team to the tune of 17 points and 15 assists, all while committing only one turnover.
He’ll also put his nose back in place without even leaving the floor as well.
Oh, and Nash will put his team in a position to win — facial injury or not — something that looked doubtful the during first two games of the Lakers series.
After the jump, Nash’s nose gets attacked by Derek Fisher >>
Perhaps I’m off, but for some reason, while I was watching a one-eyed Steve Nash finish off the sweep of the San Antonio Spurs in the fourth quarter of last night’s deciding game, I was reminded of Alex from A Clockwork Orange
, specifically, when he was going through reconditioning, courtesy of the Ludovico technique
. Granted, I don’t think Nash was forced to view violent images while he was being stitched up, but whatever the case, his 10-point/five-assist fourth quarter is the reason Phoenix is going to the Western Conference Finals
While it’s true Amar’e Stoudemire deserves a great deal of credit — he too had a huge fourth quarter (12 points) — but the majority of his scoring opportunities came courtesy of Nash setting him up. True, he still had to make shots, but the question is, without Nash’s wonderful one-eyed point guard play, would he even have the opportunity for a big scoring quarter?
Highlights of the one-eyed bandit after the jump >>
The NBA’s top point guard (not named Chris Paul, Deron Williams, or Jason Kidd) is looking kind of gaunt lately. I saw his interview last night on ESPN and he a little compare/contrast exercise came to mind. Observe:
Maybe it’s just me OR maybe it explains why Nash is so good… You know, like Josh Exley?
Anyway, he’s come a long way from this.
From Dan Le Batard’s perspective, Shaq’s potential trade to Phoenix (still waiting on the physical) makes sense for all parties. In fact, the Miami Sound Machine feels the move could rejuvenate Shaq’s offensive attack:
O’Neal either wasn’t quick or healthy enough to get away from the double-teams here anymore. That won’t be a problem the way Phoenix plays. O’Neal has gone from trying to play in an airplane bathroom here to playing in the open space of the airplane hangar — if he’s healthy enough to keep up with a team that plays as if on jet fuel.
The question is, how much faith does Phoenix have in Shaq’s legs? The pairing of Amare Stoudemire and O’Neal will, almost by default, free up the paint some for both to maneuver. And when you have a player like Steve Nash delivering the ball, well, even you and I would be pretty good.
So again, it comes down to this: is Shaq healthy enough to contribute in this manner? The physical will tell a great deal.