Steve Nash is really good. I know, obvious. But I mean really good. Other than MJ, Nash is the best basketball player I've ever watched play live (That rules out all the old-time great Hall of Famers).
I'm sad to say I don't think I've ever really sat down and watched Nash play a game until this Suns-Spurs series (which, by the way, is the most riveted I've been by a sports contest in a long time). He's quick, calm, a great dribbler, and throws passes sneakier than Scooter Libby.
But what impresses me most about him is the circumstances that he's making all these plays in. I'm not calling the Spurs a dirty team. I know that it's just physical, playoff basketball they're playing. But it seems to me that there is an undeniable bounty on Nash's head in this series. I don't mean to say, by the way, that San Antonio is literally trying to hurt him. Just rough him up a bit. Show him who's boss. But in attempting to set a physical tone, they've practically smashed his nosebone into his brain, and sent him flying into the boards with a hipcheck that would make Todd Bertuzzi proud.
Nash will be lucky to get out of this series alive, but he's doing so much more than that. He stays in the game, if his trainers will let him, and makes plays like he hasn't even been touched. Nash is making the phrase "Dust yourself off and try again" look wussy. The new standard for persistence should be "Wipe the gallon of blood off your face, pop your shoulder back into place, fix that wall you just got thrown through, and then try again."
If the NBA doesn't suspend Amare Stoudemire for looking like he wanted to consider coming off the bench to retaliate, then I think Nash is going to carry the Suns past the Spurs and into the Finals. Unless he dies, of course.