If anybody knows Mike D’Antoni’s system, it’s all about shooting. Run by the main ball-handler, they are surrounded by shooters that space the floor and allow for drives inside.
D’Antoni’s system is notorious for leading to very high-scoring games, and he’s been fortunate enough to have two world-class superstars spearheading it for him.
In Phoenix, it was Steve Nash, who is still widely recognized as one of the best point guards in league history. Today, it’s James Harden, who may just be the greatest scoring guard ever.
D’Antoni was recently asked to pick between the two, and he just couldn’t settle on one.
— NBA on TNT (@NBAonTNT) February 12, 2020
“James Nash” was his answer, and we can’t really blame him for it. While Nash is much less of a ball-stopper, he shares a lot in common with James.
Both can score at a high rate, both can shoot lights-out from distance, both excel at drives to the rim, and both can set their teammates up for easy assists. In Phoenix, Nash averaged 14 points, 9.4 assists, and 3.1 rebounds. He’s also a two-time MVP winner. In Houston, the Beard is putting up 29.6 points, 7.7 assists, and 6 rebounds. They have also both seen similar postseason success. Having never won a ring with either team, D’Antoni will continue to try to take his team over the edge in Houston.
But it’s not every day that a coach gets to have either Nash or Harden on their team. D’Antoni is grateful to have had both.