Steve Nash vs: Jason Kidd

As Mark Cuban, Dirk Nowitzki, Jason Kidd, and the rest of the Mavs are sitting at home watching the rest of the NBA playoffs, they are witnessing outstanding play by The Phoenix Suns' Steve Nash. The name might sound familiar to Maverick fans since Nash was a victim to free agency and was not re-signed a few years ago. Mark Cuban (Mavericks owner) did not want to spend the $10-$12 million a year to resign the aging point guard. I guess the thought process had to be that Nash was getting old, and he always seem to have a hip or back problem. The knock on Nash was that he couldn't play defense, but who really plays defense on the Mavericks anyway? Nash was always an offensive threat himself, as well as a facilitator to the rest of the team. Two years after not resigning Nash, Maverick fans felt the pain. Only 2 years after not being re-signed Nash had won two straight MVPs with the Phoenix Suns. So to solve this problem who do the Mavericks bring in? None other then the aging Jason Kidd from the New Jersey Nets. A player Mark Cuban would have to pay $20 million, can't really play defense, and not a consistent scorer.
Although I will say Jason Kidd did have some phenomenal games this past year. Kidd was able to pass the ball around to Dirk and his cast as well as making 3-pointers with that awkward release of his. Kidd is definitely not one of the best shooters of all time though, and when it came down to clutch time the plan always had to be give it to Dirk in the high post and hope he can hit the triple pump fake fade-away over the other team's best defender as time expires. This being an effect that Jason Kidd cannot create for himself. Then, for whatever reason, it didn't seem that Jason Kidd was being his normal self in the playoffs. He didn't seem to perform the way Maverick fans would have expected. He seemed slow, and couldn't make the passes he usually can. What the Mavericks miss with Jason Kidd is that he is not a creator himself.
So as Jason Kidd returns to Arizona, he should know that he is not the number one point guard in his home state. Nash is able to do things to the San Antonio Spurs that Kidd could only dream of. At this point in the series with the Mavericks, we were a witness to Dallas not coming out intense enough and getting in a hole to big to climb out losing games 2 and 3 to the Spurs. Maverick fans have to face it, Dirk Nowitzki just isn't the charismatic leader of the team. He is definitely the best player, but he is not a motivational leader for the team. In game 2 the Mavericks seemed to come out bland, and that is probably due to lack of leadership and encouragement from any of the players. Now, lets look at the Steve Nash-led Phoenix Suns. In game 2 Nash came out on fire, and not just necessarily scoring either. Every dead ball you would see the "ageing" Steve Nash going around to all of his teammates giving words of encouragement, and just overall taking control of his team to win game 2, and with some help from Goran Dragic, a win in game 3 to take to a commanding lead in the series. I guess you could say Goran Dragic is the Suns' Roddy Beaubois. But Alvin Gentry (coach of the Phoenix Suns) doesn't have the same mindset of Rick Carlisle. Instead of sitting his back up point guard, Gentry told Dragic to be aggressive, and take the ball to the hole, and Dragic came out with one of, it the best, game of his young career. you can bet Nash was in there giving him some pointers. But how great is this, Dragic gets to go out and have the game of his life while Nash sits and rests(or in his case lays down to his back and hip) while his protege leads the team. Jason Kidd didn't have someone like that to give him rest. He had to be in the whole game or else the whole offense just seemed lost and confused. Finally Mavs fans saw some Roddy Beaubois in game 6, but it was a little too late. Carlisle doesn't believe in trusting his young players. Yes, he did play his for a long amount of time in the 3rd quarter, but where was he in the 4th quarter? He was watching the game and the season slip away along with Dallas Mavericks fans.
Now, I may be a little biast on this matter since I, myself was and still am a huge Steve Nash fan. But my team will forever be the Mavericks for as long as I am here. But even I can see this team is missing something. It isn't even something big. A solid center in Brenden Haywood, primary scorer in Dirk Nowitzki secondary scorer in Caron Butler, Defensive specialist in Sean Marion, and Jason Kidd, assisting point guard. Only problem with this team is that they lack a leader. Sure you could make a case for Jason Kidd, but do you ever see him going around to his teammates giving them encouragement? You could say its Dirk, but he is more of a leader by example. How about Jason Terry? Well while Jason Terry does get the crowd involved and is an exciting player, he is only exciting when he can shoot above 35%, which was not a too common occurrence this season. He had that one great game in the playoffs, but it wasn't enough to get the Mavericks a W when they needed it.
I advise to watch the Suns and Spurs game 4. You can tell the Suns do not like the Spurs after various exits from the playoffs at the hands of the Spurs. I know how the Suns feel about the Spurs from their play, I don't need their owner to come out and say that they hate them. In fact maybe Mark Cuban is that charismatic leader for the Mavs. But, after winning game 1 the Suns came out ever harder to win game 2, and then went to San Antonio to take the heart out of the Spurs. It is a team who constantly comes out and plays hard, and even when they don't make their shots still find ways to come out and get points on the board. Never will you see the Suns put up 8 points in a single quarter. What is the obvious difference to me between these two teams? Leadership. The Mavs have an aging point guard whose offensive game is on a steep decline, and whose defense was never really there. As opposed to the Suns who have a flashy, energetic point guard who has two MVPs that is doing everything he can to help his teammates from scoring to encouragement. Nash is the leader of that team, just look at the energy they play with in Phoenix. The energy the Suns play with is something the Mavs lack, and need it for this upcoming season, because if it ends up the same way this one did, there could be some big changed upcoming in big D. Maybe while Jason Kidd hides out in Arizona he can pick a few pointers from who the player Cuban expected him to be. A player the Mavs let go too early. A player leading his team through the playoffs. Steve Nash


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