Steve Nash and Amar’e Stoudemire are one of the greatest duos never to win the Larry O’. Not only that, but they were the foundation of the “seven seconds or less” Suns that (next to the Stan Van Gundy’s Magic) started the pace and space revolution.
Mike D’Antoni had a revolutionary idea that 3 is 33% more than 2, and had his team played an up-tempo game. Against all conventional thought, he wanted his team to play fast, very fast. Finishing a play in seven seconds would probably get you benched on any other team. D’Antoni recognized he had players that can play that style; it would maximize their talents. Steve Nash and Amar’e in particular.
It happened in the preseason. Before load management times, players stayed on the court just to play hoops. The players were playing pickup when Nash and Stoudemire discovered their flow. D’Antoni was on the sidelines watching and made a note of it; this was something to explore.
Their two-man game was almost perfect. Pick and roll, pick and pop, slipping screens – every scenario you can think of, they were in sync. It got to a point you thought they could do this stuff blindfolded. The best part was the simplicity. The defenders knew what’s coming, and it still worked. Almost perfect.
“Amar’e was a kid that went to nine high schools, didn’t play in college. His basketball education was late. He was a guy that had a hard time inSteven Nash, Book of Basketball podcast
isolations, not because he couldn’t beat his guy, but he couldn’t read the help. He also, on the roll, had a hard time reading the help to get to the corner guy.”
Nash finished by saying that the cruel irony was by the time Amar’e figured out the game tactically, his knees went out. The Suns had his body the Knicks had his mind. Sadly, we rarely got to see the two work together.