New York Knicks: Steve Nash

Nash would 'definitely consider' Knicks

June, 20, 2012
All-Star point guard Steve Nash, an unrestricted free agent, said Wednesday that he would weigh an offer from the New York Knicks, should they choose to make one.

"The Knicks are a great franchise and I live in New York City (each summer), so I'd definitely consider them if they were interested," the Phoenix Suns' mainstay said at a promotional appearance in Manhattan.

Anthony Gruppuso/US PresswireNash is an eight-time All-Star and two-time MVP.

The Knicks, however, will be hampered in free agency. Because they likely will lose out in early-bird rights arbitration, which hasn't been decided yet, they'll only have veterans' minimum contracts to offer free agents. And that's if Jeremy Lin and Steve Novak don't re-sign, which is highly doubtful.

Also at Wednesday's event was Knicks legend and MSG Network analyst Walt Frazier, who told Nash, "We need you to come to New York!"

Nash said he was "flattered" to hear that from Frazier, who believes the Knicks need to land a veteran point guard. Nash is the front-runner in that class of free agents -- which also includes Andre Miller, Jason Kidd and Raymond Felton -- and that means he'll likely fetch a mid-level-like, multiyear deal.

Nash, who's 38, said he doesn't feel old and wants to play three more years. He won't make a decision about his destination until after free agency begins July 1.

"I want to wait and see what's actually on the table," he said. "I'm open and excited. I'm looking at every possibility right now. It sounds like there are a number of teams that are interested."

Some insiders believe Nash will first consider the Mavericks, his former team, and the Nets, if Deron Williams doesn't re-sign. The Heat are also a possibility.

If Nash came to New York, he would be reunited with Amare Stoudemire. They dominated in the pick-and-roll to lead the Suns to four postseason appearances, including trips to the Western Conference finals in 2005 and 2010.

You can follow Jared Zwerling on Twitter.

Jeremy Lin or Steve Nash?

May, 15, 2012
News out of New York is that the NBA players' union is seeking Early Bird Rights for Jeremy Lin and Steve Novak, which would enable the Knicks to still use their $5 million mid-level exception on another player -- perhaps Steve Nash.

But a verdict won't come for at least a couple of weeks. As of now, the Knicks will enter free agency starting July 1 with a full mid-level exception to use for either Lin or Nash. Most likely that will be Lin, especially because Nash may demand more than $5 million per year.

ESPN New York's Ian Begley and Jared Zwerling debated who the Knicks should pursue more. Begley argued for Lin; Zwerling took Nash.


Nash can probably continue to play at an elite level into 2013-14, but what about three years down the line?

I only bring this up because, as currently constituted, I think the Knicks have a three-year window to compete at an elite level in the Eastern Conference. That's because New York's Big Three of Tyson Chandler, Amare Stoudemire and Carmelo Anthony are under contract for three years.

As I said in early April, assuming all three stay healthy (a huge assumption), that should give the Knicks' a three-year window to compete. Call me Linsane, but I see the Knicks having a greater chance to break through in Year 3 than they do in Year 1 or will in Year 2. And the biggest X-factor for the Knicks in pursuit of this title is at point guard.

Again, I'll go back to this point I made in April: If they sign Nash, they'll be heading into the 2013 playoffs (assuming they make them) with a 39-year-old point guard; of course, one that was second in the league in assists per game (10.7). So it would be a solid short-term investment. No argument there. But looking further into that three-year window, Nash's age becomes more of an issue. Only one point guard in NBA history has averaged more than five assists per game after age 39 (John Stockton in 2001-02 and '02-03).

So while Nash is playing at an extremely high level now, you have to wonder if he will decline in upcoming seasons. Lin, on the other hand, is just getting started. I think he gives the Knicks a better chance to win in that final year of the three-year window -- the one in which they should have the best chance to win. So go with Lin over Nash. The move will look Linsane now, but will make sense down the road.


Nash has already had one foot in New York City for several years. He owns an apartment in TriBeCa, hosts an annual summer soccer event for charity called the "Showdown in Chinatown" and has even trained with the Red Bulls.

In the offseason, Nash, an unrestricted free agent, should take one more step and become a permanent fixture in the Big Apple as a Knick, which would be a better on-the-court move for the team rather than re-signing Lin.

While Lin has potential and would mean increasing international business for the Knicks, Nash's talents and experience would give the team a better boost on the court.

The Knicks' marketing campaign goes by "You, Us, We, Now," and Nash represents that final word more than Lin. The team put most of the pieces together this past season to compete for a championship, but unfortunately injuries set them back a bit. Looking ahead, with the Knicks having arguably the league's best frontcourt in Anthony, Chandler and Stoudemire (Nash's former teammate in Phoenix, by the way) and key contributors off the bench, Nash is the best free agent available for the Knicks who can tie it all together, quickly and effectively.

Nash has already proven he can lead a team far in the playoffs with a deep and talented bunch around him. Out of the five times the Suns have been to the playoffs since 2004-05 -- the first season Nash was there -- they reached the Western Conference finals three times (two with Stoudemire).

To prove Nash's value, look at what he did this past season. With Shannon Brown, Jared Dudley, Channing Frye and Marcin Gortat filling out the Suns' starting five, Nash led essentially a lottery team to a 33-33 record, and they had a chance to finish as the West's eighth seed. That accomplishment should've Nash in the MVP race. And he did it at the age of 38 with no signs of slowing down, averaging a double-double of 12.5 points and 10.7 assists per game.

Nash has already said he's "not coming back to the Suns if there isn't improvement." Now, the three biggest hurdles facing the Knicks beyond their mid-level exception is: 1.) his former Suns coach Mike D'Antoni is gone; 2.) he could demand more $5 million; and 3.) Nash said he "would definitely listen" to an offer from the Heat.

Once again, it could come down to Knicks vs. Heat, but GM Glen Grunwald should make a big push for the two-time MVP.

If you're the Knicks, do you go for Lin or Nash? Leave us your comments below.

You can follow Ian Begley on Twitter.

You can follow Jared Zwerling on Twitter.

Amare: Who wouldn't want Nash?

May, 10, 2012
Amare Stoudemire on Thursday reiterated that he'd welcome free agent Steve Nash to New York, but also expressed support for Knicks point guard Jeremy Lin.

"What team wouldn't want a two-time MVP, an assist leader, a veteran point guard? But we do have Jeremy Lin here and we have confidence in what he can do for us," Stoudemire said Thursday after the Knicks conducted exit interviews.

Before the Knicks' season-ending loss to the Heat on Wednesday, Stoudemire said it "would be great" to have Nash, his former Phoenix teammate, in New York next season.

Jim McIsaac/Getty ImagesAmare Stoudemire and Steve Nash were teammates for six seasons in Phoenix.

"Everyone knows that Steve loves New York and that New York loves Steve," Stoudemire told the New York Daily News. "I love Steve. It would be great to have him here next year."

Nash, who will turn 39 next season, told's Marc Stein last month that he'd like to "sign for three more years this summer" and play beyond his 40th birthday when he either inks a new deal to stay with the Suns or finds a new team via free agency.

"Steve Nash is obviously a veteran player," Stoudemire said. "I've played with him for several years. I know what he brings to the table. But the offseason is always an open market; you never know what can happen."

The Knicks' point guard position is in flux entering the offseason.

Lin will be a restricted free agent this summer. Thanks to a clause in the collective bargaining agreement, New York will be able to offer Lin the most money in the first year of his contract. But, to do so, the Knicks likely will have to dip into their midlevel exception.

Given their limited salary cap space, if they use their midlevel exception to re-sign Lin, it likely will preclude them from making a significant offer to Nash. So the 38-year-old two-time MVP would have to agree to sign at a significantly discounted rate.

Nash has said he wants to play for a team capable of contending for a title.

Stoudemire was diplomatic when discussing the Knicks' future at point guard. He was highly complimentary of Lin, who emerged off the end of the Knicks' bench to lead the team to seven straight wins in February.

"Jeremy's obviously a phenomenal [player]," Stoudemire said Thursday. "He's done a great job for us this year. He helped us maintain our playoff berth when he was here playing, so much respect for him for that."

Mike Woodson said Thursday that Lin will be back next season.

Lin, though, while grateful for the opportunity the Knicks have given him, has given no assurances that he will return to New York next season.

"It would be great if I could come back, but crazy things happen and I don't know what's going to happen," Lin said.

You can follow Ian Begley on Twitter.

Amare: Nash in N.Y. 'would be great'

May, 10, 2012
No love for Jeremy Lin, Amare?

Before the Knicks' Game 5 loss in Miami, power forward Amare Stoudemire said it "would be great" to have his former Phoenix teammate Steve Nash, a free agent this summer, in New York next season.

"Everyone knows that Steve loves New York and that New York loves Steve," Stoudemire told the Daily News. "I love Steve. It would be great to have him here next year."

Nash, who will turn 39 next season, told's Marc Stein last month that he'd like to "sign for three more years this summer" and play beyond his 40th birthday when he either inks a new deal to stay with the Suns or finds a new team via free agency.

The Knicks' point guard position is in flux.

Lin will be a restricted free agent this summer. Thanks to a clause in the collective bargaining agreement, New York will be able to offer Lin the most money in the first year of his contract. But, to do so, they will likely have to dip into their mid-level exception.

Given their limited salary cap space, this would preclude them from making a significant offer to Nash. Unless, of course, they let Lin walk and sign Nash instead, or Nash agrees to take a significant pay cut and sign for the veteran's minimum.

Nash has said he wants to play for a team capable of contending for a title.

Broussard on Knicks' future

May, 6, 2012

Chris Broussard discusses the future of the New York Knicks and whether they should go after Steve Nash and Phil Jackson.

Nash wants three-year deal

April, 4, 2012
For those Knicks fans weighing in on the Steve Nash-Jeremy Lin debate, take a look at this: the Suns point guard wants to play until he's 41 -- at least.

Nash told's Marc Stein on Tuesday that he intends to "sign for three more years this summer" when he either inks a new deal to stay with the Suns or finds a new team via free agency.

The Knicks may be one of the teams bidding for Nash's services. They also could decide to re-sign Lin, who will be a restricted free-agent.

For more on Nash, who also says he's as healthy as he's ever been, click here.

Jeremy Lin or Steve Nash?

April, 4, 2012
The Knicks could have the chance to sign Steve Nash or Jeremy Lin this summer.

Who would you sign if you were the Knicks GM?

The 23-year-old Lin? Or Nash, the two-time MVP who will be 39 next season?

Click here to vote and take a look at what Jared Zwerling and Ian Begley had to say. Let us know how you feel in the comments section below.

Steve Nash: Every team can use Jeremy Lin

February, 25, 2012
ORLANDO, Fla. -- Whenever someone quickly rises to the top, there is a select few who believe it's an aberration.

Around the league, there are NBA scouts who believe Jeremy Lin wouldn't do what he's doing if it weren't for Mike D'Antoni's point guard-friendly, pick-and-roll system. And there are players who believe they would just have as much success as Lin if they had been given the same opportunity in that system.

But two-time MVP point guard Steve Nash of the Suns thinks Lin is not only a talented player, but he could thrive in any offense.

"I think [the Knicks] is a good system for him, but I think every team can use a point guard like him," Nash, who spent four seasons playing for D'Antoni, said Saturday morning. "I don't think it's because of the system. I think it's a good system for him, but I think he'd be good anywhere he played the game."

Nash said he hasn't had a chance to talk to Lin yet -- "hopefully one of these days," he said -- but he's been moved by the undrafted player's journey.

"It's amazing. He's a great story," said Nash, whose Suns don't face the Knicks again this season. "It's a great story for the league. I think it's phenomenal that it happened in the media capital of the world in a desperate team with a desperate fan base. It's just a beautiful thing to see somebody come out of nowhere to most people and shine the way he has."

Sunday night at the Amway Center, Nash will be playing in his eighth All-Star Game -- and it might not be his last, even though he's 38 years old. Former Jazz point guard John Stockton played like an All-Star reserve up until he was 40, but Nash has been more effective than Stockton offensively at the same age. In fact, Nash said he feels good and doesn't have any plans to hang up his sneakers after this season.

But Nash admitted he has a greater appreciation for being selected to All-Star Game this year than previous times.

"I think when you're young, it'll never end but when you get older, you realize you're not going to play forever," Nash said. "To be recognized and to be a part of this is a great weekend, and to be amongst all these great players, it's pretty special."

What's also been pretty special is Lin drawing comparisons to Nash for his pick-and-roll ability, patience around screens, kick-out passing and off-balanced fallaways inside the paint. After a practice about a week ago at the Knicks' training facility, Lin said he would be honored to take advice from Nash.

Amare Stoudemire, in fact, said he could probably arrange a meeting.

Nash hosts his annual "Showdown in Chinatown" soccer event in New York City this summer to benefit his charitable foundation. Perhaps that conversation will happen then, if not sooner.

Nash doesn't want to wait.

You can follow Jared Zwerling on Twitter.

Amare says Lin 'will be there' with Nash

February, 13, 2012
GREENBURGH, N.Y. -- Though they come from different backgrounds -- one is a South African-born Canadian; the other is Taiwanese-American -- on the court they look a bit more similar, and it's not only because of their 6-3 height.

Last week, as Jeremy Lin led the Knicks to a 4-0 record, while averaging 27.3 points, 8.3 assists and 2.0 steals as a starter, he played at a pace and with a creativity that resembled Amare Stoudemire's former Suns point guard Steve Nash.

Lin showed he was patient, yet quickly sneaky in a second, maneuvering around pick-and-rolls and weaving through congested airspace 10 to 0 feet away from the basket fairly easily. And in the paint he wasn't afraid to take contact from a big man twice his size. In those situations, Lin would sometimes shoot an off-balance fallaway, just like Nash does. While Nash is a better shooter, especially from 3-point territory (44.8 percent to Lin's 16.7), in Knicks' wins over Los Angeles and Minnesota last week, Lin started to find his rhythm from midrange off screens and ball fakes.

Where Lin has an advantage is with his strength (Lin weighs 200, whereas Nash is 178), and you can tell when Lin drives to the basket. He has more range, power and athleticism with his first step to his following dribble moves, compared to a younger Nash. Of course, Lin has a ways to go to catch up to Nash, who's a two-time MVP and has led the Suns to three Western Conference calls. But Stoudemire, after Monday's practice, said Lin is on the right track.

"He does a little bit [remind me of Nash]," he said. "I played with Jeremy that one game right before I left -- that New Jersey game -- and when I was watching him in Florida, I see some similarities. He's definitely on his way. Steve's obviously one of the all-time greats. If Jeremy keeps improving, he can continue to find success, and he'll be right there with Nash."

Lin said if he ever got a chance to consult with Nash, he would definitely listen to him. "How can you not listen to Nash?" he said.

But Stoudemire said that Lin doesn't need to, because he's got Mike D'Antoni, whom STAT has referred to numerous times as an "offensive genius."

"You've got the master in Mike D'Antoni," he said, "so [Lin's] going to pick Mike's brain pretty much the whole rest of the year."

You can follow Jared Zwerling on Twitter.

Knicks keep getting outplayed at the point

January, 19, 2012
NEW YORK -- Mike D'Antoni may need to take his guys out on the Hudson River so they can get a sense of where the ball should end up. As Carmelo Anthony stated after the Magic loss on Monday afternoon, "We can't shoot the ball in the ocean."

Entering Wednesday, the Knicks were fifth-worst in the league in field goal percentage. In their 91-88 loss to the Suns tonight, they shot 37.2 percent, compared to their opponent's 45.6. After the game, Iman Shumpert had a solution for how the team can score: more open looks, especially for Carmelo Anthony (5-for-22 tonight) and Amare Stoudemire (7-for-22).

"We're making them take a lot of tough shots and we're depending on them to score points," Shumpert said. "We've got to make the offense a lot smoother."

Welcome to the world of Steve Nash. Nash finished with 26 points, 11 assists and three turnovers, whereas Shumpert had 20 points, two assists and three turnovers. In fact, his 11 assists were more than all of the Knicks guards had combined (eight). Nash (37 years, 345 days) became the oldest player in NBA history with at least 25 points and 10 assists in a game. Previously, it was Jason Kidd who accomplished the feat on his 37th birthday in March 2010.

The Suns proved that when you have a legit point guard running the show, the game becomes easier on the entire team.

"The [Suns] play under control," Stoudemire said. "They never get forced into playing out of their speed. They're always under control. They take what the defense gives them and they play smart. That's what we need to get to."

Most of the Knicks' previous losses demonstrate that the team's opposing point guard was able to dictate the game by breaking down the defense and establishing efficient ball movement. The losses also prove that the Knicks need to improve their pick-and-roll defense and force the primary ball-handler into more turnovers. Tonight against the Suns, the Knicks didn't fight through screens and they switched way too often, putting the big man on Nash.

Here's a breakdown of how teams' opposing point guards have outplayed Shumpert, Toney Douglas and Mike Bibby so far this season, and how they're not getting enough defensive pressure from the Knicks:
  1. Dec. 28 (92-78 loss vs. Warriors): Monta Ellis (the main floor general with Stephen Curry out due to injury) -- 22 points, 8 assists, 3 turnovers; Douglas -- 6 points, 2 assists, 2 turnovers
  2. Jan. 2 (90-85 loss vs. Raptors): Jose Calderon -- nine points, 12 assists, two turnovers; Douglas -- 22 points, four assists, one turnover
  3. Jan. 4 (118-110 loss vs. Bobcats): D.J. Augustin -- 14 points, 10 assists, 0 turnovers; Douglas -- 13 points, five assists, four turnovers
  4. Jan. 12 (94-83 loss vs. Grizzlies): Mike Conley -- nine points, seven assists, one turnover; Shumpert -- 12 points, three assists, six turnovers
  5. Jan. 14 (104-92 loss vs. Thunder): Russell Westbrook -- 21 points, eight assists, two turnovers; Bibby -- six points, three assists, one turnover
  6. Jan. 16 (102-93 loss vs. Magic): Jameer Nelson -- eight points, seven assists, two turnovers; Shumpert -- 12 points, two assists, one turnover
  7. Jan. 18 (91-88 loss vs. Suns): Nash -- 26 points, 11 assists, three turnovers; Shumpert -- 20 points, two assists, three turnovers

Shumpert knows exactly what Nash does well (where the Knicks are scathed right now): "He's going to make sure they get an open shot every time." Nash does that by setting a consistent pace (and change of pace), and getting the ball up the court quickly. He also knows how to loosen up the defense with different looks in consecutive halfcourt sets. "Mixing it up" is key Shumpert said. It's going to have to happen or the Knicks are going to continue to lose by not balancing decent defensive efforts with scoring games around 100 points or more.

"I'm not understanding how we can sore only 88 points and that's almost a good night for us," D'Antoni said. "That's what's frustrating. It'd be hard to imagine how we can do that and we're doing it, so somehow we've got to figure that out."

After the game, Nash said the Knicks haven't found their rhythm collectively yet, but he didn't only cite their lacking point guard situation as the only reason for their early-season struggles. He spoke about the Knicks having to find that confidence. However, Nash didn't back down from pointing to Baron Davis as the possible solution.

"If Baron is healthy, he could be the answer for sure," he said. "He's a terrific player, very skilled and can facilitate and score. When he's healthy, he can play at a high level with anybody. That's the key if he can get healthy.

"He'll be great here."

You can follow Jared Zwerling on Twitter.

Nash: 'I'm happily with the Suns'

January, 19, 2012
NEW YORK -- Regardless of whether Knicks fans were salivating at the thought of watching Steve Nash run New York's offense, or whether Mike D'Antoni looked at Nash and envisioned "Seven Seconds or Less, The Sequel," Nash isn't thinking that far ahead.

"I'm still with the Suns and happily with the Suns," Nash said after carving up the Knicks for 26 points and 11 assists in the Suns' 91-88 win Wednesday night. "I've put everything I have into trying to turn this thing around and trying to see what we can do to get ourselves in back into contention. To be honest, with this condensed season, I've put all my focus into preparing to play every day."

The Knicks could go after the 37-year-old future Hall of Famer when he becomes a free agent this summer. It would be a perfect reunion for D’Antoni, who desperately needs someone to facilitate his pick-and-roll offense -- Nash was the maestro leading D'Antoni's up-tempo game from 2004-05 to 2007-08, when the Suns were good for at least 54 wins per season.

Anthony Gruppuso/US PresswireSteve Nash scored 26 points on 9-for-12 shooting, dished out 11 assists and iced the game from the foul line.

But Nash said he is focused on this season and the rumors will have to wait to be answered, especially with the Suns just 5-9 and having gained their first win in six games.

"It's tough," Nash said. "[We played] Chicago [Tuesday night], get in at three in the morning and play tonight. To recover takes more than a couple cold beers and a nap in the afternoon. I'm working hard everyday just to try to get right every night and feel fit, and that's the main focus. In the summer, we'll deal with free agency, but right now I'm with the Suns and I'm not looking forward."

Nash was everything the Knicks didn't have on offense: someone to control the tempo and the spacing; a guy who can find his own shot and a shot for someone else. Baron Davis and the herniated disk in his back are still weeks away from being healthy enough to take the floor. In the meantime, pressure builds on D’Antoni, who is known as an offensive mastermind, yet the Knicks are shooting about 42 percent from the field this season and were 37 percent from the floor Wednesday night.

Nash said it will take some time for all the new players on the Knicks roster to jell, considering Davis' injury and the fact that New York amnestied its only pure point guard, Chauncey Billups.

"He's in a tough position, you know," Nash said of D'Antoni. "They’ve constantly changed and brought in new people, and now he's got all these new pieces. He hasn't really had the point guard he wanted, and hopefully Baron will get healthy.

"They gave away their point guard to get Tyson [Chandler] and fill up their frontcourt and have another guy to guard the interior, and now they’re waiting for Baron to get healthy. So that's tough. It's tough not to have that balanced, full roster, so I do feel for them."

D'Antoni's former floor general wasn't as quick as others to place blame on the Knicks' guards.

"I think that's part of it," Nash said. "Melo hasn't been here long, so they're trying to find a chemistry. Obviously, he's playing well but I don't think they've found their rhythm collectively. It's easy to say, 'Ah, they need a point guard.' But I think there's a lot of factors that are slowing them [from] finding that confidence and rhythm, but I'm sure they'll find it."

You can follow Christopher Hunt on Twitter.

Rapid Reaction: Suns 91, Knicks 88

January, 18, 2012

Recap | Box score | Photos

WHAT IT MEANS: The Knicks have lost four in a row and simply can't shoot. Carmelo Anthony was 5-for-22 from the field, Amare Stoudemire was 7-for-22 and the Knicks shot 37 percent (32-for-86) as a team.

The Knicks still had a chance to win, but Steve Nash iced the game with six free throws in the final minute.

TURNING POINT: The Knicks came out flat -- again -- on both sides of the ball. On offense, they didn't set a tempo -- something a home team must always focus on -- and looked confused at times on offense about who should get the ball where. On defense, they didn't fight through screens and switched when Nash went around screens. Nash scored 11 points in the first quarter alone.

The Knicks played so passively that the sold-out crowd was mostly quiet throughout the game. The loudest sounds from the Garden were mostly boos and "Fire D'Antoni!"

WHAT'S NEXT: Another subpar team the Knicks should beat, the Bucks, who arrive at the Garden on Friday night. But the Knicks haven't been blowing away anyone these days. Brandon Jennings, the Bucks' leading scorer at 18.7 points per game, is the league's second-best fourth-quarter scorer (7.6 ppg) -- right behind Anthony (9.2).

You can follow Jared Zwerling on Twitter.

D'Antoni: Shooting has been 'horrible'

January, 17, 2012
Nathaniel S. Butler/NBAE/Getty Images"Nash is one of the best," Mike D'Antoni said of the point guard he'll try to defeat on Wednesday.
Mike D'Antoni sounds like a man who misses Steve Nash.

The Knicks coach threw verbal bouquets at the Phoenix Suns on Tuesday, a day before they visit Madison Square Garden.

"They have a nice, free-flowing offense. They're very good. Nash is one of the best," D'Antoni said of his ex-point guard.

The Suns' offense, of course, is D'Antoni's. It's the same offense the Knicks are currently running. Or trying to run.

"Maybe we'll learn how to run it," the coach said, taking a not-so-veiled shot his own team.

D'Antoni laughed after saying it, trying to make light of a problem that's plagued his team for most of the season.

"We need to be one of the top 10 teams offensively and we're still not there," he said.

Entering play Tuesday, the Knicks weren't even close.

They ranked 22nd in offensive efficiency, which measures points scored per 100 possessions. They're scoring just 93.9 points per game -- or nearly 13 fewer than last season.

D'Antoni has cited several reasons for the Knicks' struggles: poor ball movement, poor shooting and the lack of a veteran point guard. New York has also been hampered by diminished production from Amare Stoudemire.

Simply put, it's been a take-your-pick of offensive ineptitude. And it's starting to affect some players' confidence, according to Carmelo Anthony.

"I think everybody's got to dig deep down inside their own self, and look themselves in the mirror, ask themselves, 'Are they playing the way they should be playing?,'" Carmelo Anthony said. "At this point in time, as a group, as a whole, we're a very confident team. But individually, we need everybody to boost that up a little bit."

The Knicks' shooting percentage could also use a boost.

They are hitting just 41.7 percent of their shots -- the fifth-worst mark in the NBA. Even worse, they're making 30.9 percent of their 3-point attempts.

"We haven't shot the ball well this year," D'Antoni said. "I thought our rhythm was better [against Orlando on Monday but] it didn't allow us to shoot better. We just have to keep getting better. It's been horrible. ... It'll smooth out, hopefully."

Shooting woes aren't the only thing slowing the Knicks' offense. They're sorely missing a veteran point guard.

New York (6-7) ranks 25th in assists per game; only 13 percent of its possessions end in an assist.

Until Baron Davis returns to the court, they will lean on 21-year-old Iman Shumpert to run the point.

"Being a rookie, it's going to take a while for him to understand how to do it for 35 minutes," said D'Antoni, adding that the Knicks' "flow is not good."

Entering the season, it was widely assumed that Stoudemire and Anthony would carry the team on offense -- at least until Davis returned. Anthony has taken on that burden at times, but he and Stoudemire are shooting a combined 42 percent through 13 games.

That number is more alarming for Stoudemire, a career 53.4 percent shooter, than Anthony (45.8 percent for his career).

On Tuesday, Stoudemire chalked up his shooting woes to the five-month lockout and a lack of cohesion on offense.

"We're still trying to figure out our offensive schemes," Stoudemire said.

Like D'Antoni, Stoudemire came to New York from the high-scoring Suns. Phoenix isn't as potent this season. Alvin Gentry's club ranks 11th in offensive efficiency.

But they have something the Knicks covet, a veteran point guard. And Stoudemire knows it.

"You've got a guy by the name of Steve Nash whose orchestrating the [Suns'] offense," Stoudemire said. "Things seem to run a little smooth when he's got control of the ball. But we'll get there."

You can follow Ian Begley on Twitter.

What, Steve worry?

June, 23, 2011

NEW YORK -- No matter which teams have inquired about Steve Nash's availability, the two-time MVP said he doesn't think the Phoenix Suns will trade him, period.

"They've told me plenty of times that they don't want to move me," said Nash, who hosted his fourth annual Showdown in Chinatown charity soccer game Wednesday, featuring NBA players and former soccer greats. "I'm not up to date on the rumors. I really don't read the papers. I usually hear from people on the streets, 'I hear you’re coming to the Knicks.' I think it’s all paper talk."

Suns president Lon Babby boxed out any trade talks as well. He called into a Phoenix radio station Wednesday to reaffirm that the organization has no plans to trade Nash.

"I have said it a zillion times. We are not trading Steve Nash," Babby told "Doug & Wolf" on Sports 620 KTAR.

If Nash was traded to New York -- where he would be reunited with head coach Mike D'Antoni and teammate Amare Stoudemire from their days in Phoenix -- he could instantly be on a title-contending team. But Nash isn't even dreaming up that scenario in his head. He's only focused on getting the Suns back to the playoffs after missing out this year.

"It’s nice that they say, 'We want you here [in New York],' and that's all I take,” Nash said. "Right now, I have a contract with the Suns. I'm ready to keep playing in Phoenix if we can continue to build a team and get back to where we were last year, fighting for a championship."

That wouldn't happen, of course, if there's a full-season lockout. Nash said he's been following the labor negotiations between the owners and players, which has seen more activity than progress.

"We all are staying abreast of the situation and trying to remain positive and optimistic that we can come to a conclusion," Nash said, "but it's not easy."

Amare, Nash: Together again ... and again?

January, 6, 2011
While the Suns are averaging about the same amount of points per game as the Knicks (106.1 to 107.8), Steve Nash still feels a big presence missing every time he goes around a screen or drives to the basket.

With Amare Stoudemire returning to the US Airways Center on Friday night for the first time to face his former Suns team, Nash reflected on his ex-big man (SB Nation). "We lost an All-Star power forward and we didn't replace him," he said. "We have no real kind of power forward. ... Obviously, I wanted Amare to stay."

Not only will Nash be reuniting with his favorite pick-and-roll sidekick, he'll be facing a more refined Stoudemire, who's averaging a career-high 26.4 points per game (second in the league behind Kevin Durant's 27.9). Though Stoudemire's scoring less at the rim -- which was a credit to Nash's ability to weave through the paint and get him the ball closer to the hoop -- his one-on-one moves have improved and he's making more shots from zero to 10 feet (2.9 per game versus 1.8 the previous year; 53.2 percent). Even his 3-point accuracy has peaked (81.8 effective FG% vs. 25.1 the previous year).

Says Stoudemire: "I don't think they got nobody on [Phoenix] that can stop me and nobody can stop us as a team."

With Phoenix struggling at 14-19, and losing 10 out of their last 13 games, there is now speculation that Nash could be out of Phoenix. One league source told the Sporting News that the Suns are on the fence about dealing Nash to jump start their rebuilding process.

ESPN Insider's John Hollinger wrote Wednesday that "the Knicks, given the presence of Stoudemire and Mike D'Antoni, present an intriguing possibility," along with the Magic, Mavs, Blazers and Hawks.

Nash and Raymond Felton could split time at the one like Jameer Nelson and Gilbert Arenas do now with the Magic, but Felton and Stoudemire have developed chemistry and Felton is playing like an All-Star (18.2 ppg and 8.7 apg). Felton has recognized he's not Nash, but I'm not sure he would want to come off the bench at this point. The Knicks' greater need is a true, consistent backup point guard.

Asked about potentially being traded, Nash told the Sporting News, "I'm playing; I'm here. I'm going to fight until they tell me they don't want me anymore. We made a lot of changes this year, and hopefully we can get it right and get in the playoffs and make a run. But if we don't, we'll try to put ourselves in a good position for next year."

You can follow Jared Zwerling on Twitter.



Carmelo Anthony
24.2 3.1 1.0 35.7
ReboundsC. Anthony 6.6
AssistsJ. Calderon 4.7
StealsS. Larkin 1.2
BlocksL. Amundson 1.3