The reason Steve Nash’s 7-seconds-or-less Suns fell short, per Mike D’Antoni
In the early 2000s, the Phoenix Suns changed the way the game was played. At the time, Mike D’Antoni was the head coach and Steve Nash was the starting point guard. The Suns ran what was known as the “7-seconds-or-less” offense. The goal was to score every offensive possession in seven seconds or less every single time down the floor.
They were the first team to run down the court on a fast break and pull up from three, rather than take it to the paint for an easy two. It was criticized at the time, but the Suns were consistent. Steven Nash and D’Antoni were able to make the playoffs five times out of the eight seasons they spent in Phoenix. Although consistent, they never did win an NBA championship.
Today’s game is played similar to how the Suns played back in the early 2000s. Most NBA teams try to score as quickly as possible, and the game is played beyond the three-point line as well. It’s become the staple of the league, so why didn’t it work for the Suns during the “7-seconds-or-less” era? D’Antoni claims they didn’t have the analytic data to support their team back then, per Nets Daily.
“I’ve told Steve a thousand times—we didn’t go far enough with our approach because we didn’t have analytics,” D’Antoni told Tom Haberstroh. “Everybody was killing us about how we were playing. Too many threes, they said. Live by the 3, die by the 3, blah blah blah. If I hear that one more time, I’m going to throw up.”
With the entire league now playing a similar style to what the Suns did back in those days, D’Antoni is finally being given the credit he deserves. However nice that credit is, D’Antoni seems to have preferred a championship instead.
“Sure, it gives you a little satisfaction,” D’Antoni told Tom Haberstroh. “But I’ll tell you what, I’d trade that satisfaction for a championship.”
He might receive that wish this season, as he’s the assistant coach of the Brooklyn Nets, working alongside Steve Nash in coaching them to a potential championship this year.