Steve Nash is one of the best point guards ever to play in the NBA. His ability to control the game with the ball to be such a threat to score, but also enable his teammates to get the ball in spots where they will be successful was insane. Point Guards have the opportunity to enable four other teammates on any given possession to become a threat to score. When watching Nash play throughout his career you can see his ability to get in the paint at will. His ability to change speeds and create mismatches off running pick and roll effectively makes him one to the NBA's elite. FOUR times he had seasons where he shot 50% from the field , 40% from the 3PT Line, and 90% from the free throw line.
As you can see on the film above he was able to get in the paint on pick and roll at ease forcing two defenders to guard one and he could pick them apart. In 2010 I never forget working for Kobe and breaking down Phoenix in the Western Conference Finals. Their spread pick and roll with Nash and only 1 big rolling with 3 other players spaced out past the 3PT line was a major league problem. Defenders needed to bump the roll man or that was an easy dunk, and if anyone left their man to bump the roller Nash would make them pay. They had a great roller as well as 4 shooters on the floor at once.
When you are working with a point guard it is so important that you have them study film and try to emulate. The first thing that Nash does that you can teach to any PG that you work with is that you always change speeds when trying to attack defenses and individual defenders. The PG needs to run their man into the screen and then create problems. I thought with his shooting, great rolling, and then you add shooting and drivers around that make for some tough decisions. Nash is one of my favorite guards of all time to break down on screen rolls because of his ability not only to score but make a play for someone else.
As the ball handler in pick and roll the first problem you cause is the ability to set your man up and force him into the screen while moving towards the basket. After the PG makes contact with the screener the big rolls to the basket , with three other shooters spaced outside the 3 having defenders tag/bump a major headache. If the guard can turn the corner and get to the paint or a pull up thats a great option, if you force multiple defenders guarding you while in the paint passing it out to the perimeter to a spotted up shooter causes a problem for defenders to fire out opening up open shots or drives to the basket.
Pay attention to the spacing on most of the pick and rolls in the video above. You have to make defenses pay and by spacing the floor and putting shooters on the perimeter with a good screener/roller for a 5 man setting the screen you will have great success. Also another great asset is to keep the on the ball defender on edge when they are trying to embrace the screen and take the hit REJECTING the screen and getting to the basket. Since the three point shot was such an effective option of his defenders where forced to go over screens and push up making it even easier to chop them up and make a play.
The ability to finish is also an important trait of a PG and Nash can finish with any type of shot right/left, floater/lay up, off hand/off foot. I published a blog post this past summer about Nash's WORKOUT VIDEO and he talks about some of his ideas on finishing as well as his techniques. I also posted a video of Nash working with Steph Curry on pick and rolls. I thought it was a pretty cool video.
Steve Nash to me is a great PG to breakdown and have others emulate, but it could be anyone. Find simple fin that demonstrates the options and reads a PG has it would be Tony Parker, Kyrie Irving, Chris Paul or anyone that you show. Make sure they play with two speeds and show your PG's that technique as its a lost art.
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