When Nash Returns, Both Steves Should Start Reviewed by Momizat on . Anyone who follows my articles knows I usually write a lot. Whether I'm writing 1,600-word editorials on Kobe Bryant's greatness or multi-page articles defendin Anyone who follows my articles knows I usually write a lot. Whether I'm writing 1,600-word editorials on Kobe Bryant's greatness or multi-page articles defendin Rating:
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When Nash Returns, Both Steves Should Start

NBA: Sacramento Kings at Los Angeles LakersAnyone who follows my articles knows I usually write a lot. Whether I’m writing 1,600-word editorials on Kobe Bryant’s greatness or multi-page articles defending Pau Gasol, I usually have a lot to say.

This one won’t be quite as intensive.

Simply put, I think it’s a no-brainer that when Steve Nash finally returns from injury, he and Steve Blake should start together–or at least play the majority of the two separate guard positions, together.

Although I like Jodie Meeks’ hustle and defensive effort, he averages 7.7 points on just 24.0 percent shooting from the field in 10 games as a starter this season compared with his overall season average of 7.9 points on 38.7 percent shooting from the field.

Also, while he is a shooting guard, he’s only an inch taller than Steve Blake at 6’4″ (compared to Blake’s 6’3″), so the height argument doesn’t hold much weight, either.

He’s certainly a key for this team, but I feel as though he’s a better key off the bench.

—- Check out this wallpaper of Steve Nash, the Lakers Point God! —-

Steve Blake, on the other hand, has excelled when given the extra minutes and responsibility either due to Steve Nash or Kobe Bryant’s injuries–or both.

In the eight games Nash has been out (since the start of April), Blake has averaged 12.6 points, 5.3 rebounds and 4.0 assists.

In the two games since Kobe’s been out due to the horrific tear of his Achilles, Blake has averaged an astounding 23.5 points, 6.0 rebounds and 5.5 assists!

Additionally, while Meeks is a solid three-point shooter at 36.7 percent, Blake is averaging 42.1 percent from behind the three-point line on the season.

Add that to Steve Nash’s 43.8 season clip from behind the arc, and you’ve got two of the deadliest shooters in the league complementing two dominant low-post presences in Pau Gasol and Dwight Howard, who each get double-teamed frequently once they step foot near the basket.

Not to mention Nash has a rare mid-range shot that’s also highly effective, as he averages 49.7 percent from the field.

Throw on top of that the added play-making–and/or decision-making–you get with the two point guards, and you’ve got an offensive nightmare for other teams–especially in the playoffs.

It may be a small sample size, but in the three games Kobe Bryant was injured due to an ankle sprain (we’ll say three, because the 12 minutes he played against Indiana were pretty much non-existent) and Nash and Blake were both on the floor together for an extended period of time (Pau Gasol was injured as well, for edification), things seemed to click offensively and the two played extremely well off of each other.

Here are the numbers:

Steve Nash

  • 17.7 points
  • 8.3 assists
  • 4.3 rebounds
  • 50.0 three-point percentage

Steve Blake

  • 15.7 points
  • 6.7 assists
  • 4.0 rebounds
  • 2.0 steals
  • 56.7 field goal percentage
  • 52.6 three-point percentage

Again, it’s a small sample size, but with the way Steve Blake has performed as of late and what we all know Steve Nash is capable of with regards to play-making as well as scoring (as he’s had to do more of this season), it’s certainly a promising combination.

With Kobe Bryant out, it also seems like the wisest option as well.

Now, all we can hope for is Steve Nash’s speedy return.

In the meantime, Steve Blake seems to be doing an impressive job of filling in for the future Hall-of-Famer.


About The Author

Suki is a graduate of Cal Poly Pomona and an unsigned contributing writer for Lakers Nation. Follow Suki on Twitter @TheRealSuki and Facebook. You can check out the rest of his work here.

Number of Entries : 181
  • Lakerfreak

    You raise some good points!
    I’ve been thinking LA should bring Nash off the bench (although I know Mike would never do that)
    Here are some simple observations:
    Steve Blake is playing out of his mind the past two games
    Jodie Meeks has never in my memory had a good game he started with the Lakers
    Earl Clark plays better when he starts

    With that I wonder how this Lineup would fair against the Spurs
    Blake/ Nash
    Peace/ Meeks
    Clark/ Jaminson

    That’s a great defensive starting lineup. (I can’t remember now but that might be the lineup that was in that fourth quarter vs. the Spurs) I think Meeks would benefit from playing with Nash if Nash plays like he did in PHX. During those years Nash made scrubs look really good – imagine what that Nash could do with Pau and Dwight!

    • http://www.facebook.com/suki.thind.1 Suki Thind

      Thanks, and thanks for the feedback! I’ve also been a fan of putting Clark at the 3 alongside Howard and Pau. It’s looked good so far! Also, I like the suggestion of Metta at the two. I think he may still be a little too slow to react from the surgery right now, and I’m sure D’Antoni prefers going small/quick in his back-court, but I’m all for Metta at the 2.

    • http://www.facebook.com/mitchterry3 Mitchell Terry

      I LOVE the idea of Metta at the 2 and Clark at the 3 along with Pau and Howard. We’d be unstoppable when it comes to rebounding at the very least then. Plus if Nash really did come off the bench he’d be setting up shots for Meeks and Jamison and i honestly think they’d thrive with him at the point.

  • Allan

    Jodie cant hit open threes…..he missed so many last night.

    • http://www.facebook.com/suki.thind.1 Suki Thind

      Very streaky shooter. He’s one-dimensional in a sense, so I think him coming off the bench and just focusing on knocking those down might be the best option for him–along with playing solid defense.

  • Willie D

    I don’t think either of these Steve’ will be able to defend Tony Parker in S.A. During the playoffs.I have not been impressed with Jodie Meeks either.Nash will hit the outside non contested shot by far more consistently than any guard we have available.Nash if healthy enough should start but he will still not be able to play at a high level for a large amount of minutes.Morris is the Lakers best bet for defending
    Tony Parker and other elite point guards.Morris will get beat also at times but he is quick,big,and athletic enough to make them work harder.Metta is still not 100percent and Kobe is unavailable so if you ask me Morris is our wildcard.Typically Kobe and Metta have been called. Upon to slow down and or stop opposing point guards and or scorers.Morris has to step in to help coverup that glaring weakness,I know the Steve’s are popular but we need a capable defender in the playoffs.

    • http://www.facebook.com/suki.thind.1 Suki Thind

      I agree with that as well. I do think Blake is the best defender right now as far as defending point guards, though. But, you’re right, D. Morris should get a crack and Parker. He showed signs earlier this year of defending well, and now to get a shot at one of the league’s best in a playoff setting should only help him grow. Especially if they come up with some sort of scheme to guard him, it’ll be good to see how he responds.

  • hookedonnews

    I just hope Nash is able to come back at 100%. I don’t think there’s any question that he and Blake will both be starters (with Blake at SG). Mike D’Antoni is not going to put Steve Blake on the bench.

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