Mike D’Antoni has trained his Houston Rockets to shoot first, ask questions later.
Now he can’t help but wonder what Steve Nash’s game would’ve looked like if he played the same way.
D’Antoni believes that with a little more offensive assertion, the two-time MVP could have been even more dominant than he was, stating Nash “could have averaged 30 for us” in a story published by ESPN’s Tim MacMahon on Tuesday.
The former coach of the iconic ‘seven seconds of less’ Suns suggested he should have been thinking beyond the parameters of a traditional point guard when coaching Nash.
“Oh, without a doubt, I screwed that up,” D’Antoni said. “Nash was a purist. Steve’s a Hall of Fame point guard. He was unbelievably good. I just think instead of averaging 15 or 16 [points], he could have averaged 30 for us. He was that good of a shooter, and I don’t think it would have screwed the team up.”
As MacMahon pointed out, Nash averaged 12.4 field goal attempts and 4.1 threes with D’Antoni, compared to James Harden’s 20.1 field goal attempts and 10.0 threes this season.
But it was a different game when Nash was in his prime, with teams still pursuing the ideals of traditional positions, as opposed to everyone being a six foot eight Swiss Army knife.
The game takes time to evolve.
Too much time for D’Antoni, it seems.
As his frantic on-court pace in back Phoenix suggests, he likes things to happen in a hurry.