Derrick Rose versus Steve Nash

Steve Nash is one of the best point guards in the NBA. Has been for years. Even though there were (and, in truth, still are) a fair number of dissenting opinions regarding his back-to-back MVPs, the reality is players don’t win that particular award without kicking some serious you-know-what along the way.

Captain Canada currently leads the league in assists per game (11.1) and is second (to Chris Paul) in Player Efficiency Rating among point guards (21.48). More importantly, his Phoenix Suns are 21-5 since January 28 while getting key contributions from NBA castoffs like Channing Frye and Jared Dudley. No Western Conference team has a better record during that stretch.

Here’s the thing, though: Derrick Rose kind of owns Nash. Or, at least, he has so far.

Check out Derrick’s splits: In three games against the Suns, Rose has averaged 25.3 PPG on 68.6 percent shooting (including 2-for-3 from downtown) to go along with 4.3 RPG and 5.0 APG. In those same three games, Nash has averaged 9.7 PPG, 7.3 APG and 5.0 TO. Moreover, Nash shot 13-for-33 in those contests…which is pretty significant considering he’s been in the top 10 in Effective Field Goal Percentage for the past seven years.

The most important stat from Rose’s three games against Nash and the Suns is this: 3-0. That’s Chicago’s record, which includes a 115-104 win in Phoenix on January 22. In that game, Rose scored 32 points (15-for-21) with 5 assists and 3 steals while Nash finished with 8 points (4-for-12), 7 assists and 5 turnovers (thanks, as By The Horns reader PTFC correctly pointed out, to some pesky defense by Kirk Hinrich).

I can’t help but wonder whether this matchup can possibly continue to be so lopsided. I guess we’ll find out tonight.

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9 Responses to Derrick Rose versus Steve Nash

  1. PTFC March 30, 2010 at 12:46 pm #

    Like I said on your blog the other day, exploit the Rose match up. No one on the Suns can slow him down. This is a game where it would be okay for Rose to have like 30 points and 1 assist. Milk this cow. The Suns don’t play D especially perimeter D.

    Second Hinrich is the reason why Nash has struggle so much. Hinrich has the ability to “slow” down the more athletically PG and SG in the league so he has a much easier time really bothering a smaller Steve Nash. Also with the Suns being such a finesse team that runs it doesn’t exploit the Bulls lack of size.

    These factors are the main reasons the Bulls have had such success lately against the Suns. If it ain’t broke…

    Brad S. March 30, 2010 at 3:06 pm #

    All I know is that the Bulls REALLY need this game. If they come out against a quality opponent and lay another stinker like the Heat game, I don’t see them making the playoffs. …or deserving to.

    BTW – “Big Ups” to Ty Thom and his Bobcats for choking against Toronto last night. At Home. Geez, that guy just can’t stop sucking.

    Steve March 30, 2010 at 4:12 pm #

    All I know is everytime Rose plays PHX, there is always a highlight dunk (i.e. Dunk on Dragic, Dunk on Barbosa, Putback dunk off of Hinrich’s -3pointer…). Hope he keeps doin what hes doin

  4. TexasBullsFan March 30, 2010 at 6:17 pm #


    So much for the “Tyrus goes somewhere else and immediately starts dominating” conspiracy theory. Hmm, 10 points and 6 boards a game. Awesome. We totally should have hung on to that guy for another 4 years before dumping him.

    Matt McHale March 30, 2010 at 6:28 pm #

    In all fairness to Tyrus — and I never thought the words “in all fairness to Tyrus” would ever get typed by my fingers — he was absent from Charlotte’s loss last night due to an ankle injury. However, former Bulls Tyson Chandler (only 2 rebounds in 25 minutes) and “Big Shot” Larry Hughes (13 points in 22 minutes) were on hand for the festivities.

    johnny March 30, 2010 at 8:21 pm #

    it’s kind of ignorant to say the suns don’t play defense…they’ve been playing very well on the defensive end (keeping the nuggets to 11 points in the 2nd quarter, atlanta to 16 and 14)


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