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Mike D’Antoni wishes he had Steve Nash taking 8 or more 3-pointers per game with Suns

Mike D'Antoni, Steve Nash, Suns

In a different era, Steve Nash would be taking shots on par with Stephen Curry or Klay Thompson — at least that’s what Mike D’Antoni would have wanted. According to Marc Stein of The New York Times, with today’s knowledge of the game, Nash’s coach in Phoenix would have rather had Nash taking “eight 3s or more” as part of the Suns’ patented “Seven Seconds or Less” approach.

It’s remarkable to think about Nash playing in today’s pace-and-space style that has taken over the NBA. Nash’s uptempo game was almost tailor-made for this style. He was one of the best passers and ballhandlers in the league while shooting a ridiculous percentage from 3-point range.

Unfortunately, while 3-pointers were important back then, they were not in vogue like they are in today’s game. During his tenure in Phoenix, Nash shot 43.5 percent from deep, but he never managed to attempt more than 4.7 triples per game. The percentage is almost identical to Stephen Curry’s career numbers, but the Golden State superstar has averaged 10.4 attempts per game from deep across his last three seasons.

D’Antoni was a visionary with his approach in Phoenix. But it’s funny to look back on how much the game has evolved, even from that point in recent history. The mid-range is seen as a much less efficient shot, which is why D’Antoni’s system stresses looks at the basket or behind the arc.

Unfortunately, NBA fans can only imagine the kinds of numbers Nash would put up in D’Antoni’s system now. The former MVP was a legend with the Suns, but he may have been even more ridiculous with D’Antoni in 2018.