Aug 18, 2010, 4:53 PM EDT
Nobody in the league is better coming off the high pick than Steve Nash.
He’s quick, but it’s not about quick. He’s got crazy handles, but it’s not about that either. The pick-and-roll is all about decision making and there is nobody who makes the right read and quick pass better than Nash.
But his long-time partner in the play — Amare Stoudemire — has gone bright lights, big city. Half of the partnership for the deadliest tandem in the league is gone.
So now who sets his picks?
The Suns brought in Hedo Turkoglu to be the new four on the team, but he is more a point-forward who wants to be the decision maker. Last season in Toronto Turkoglu was the ball-handler in the pick-and-roll 245 times, he set the pick once (via Synergy Sports). Yes one time. (By the way, he was not terribly good as a ball handler in the pick-and-roll; he was far more efficient as a spot up shooter and, good news for the Suns here, in transition.)
Over at Valley of the Suns, Mike Schmitz postulates that Robin Lopez is your new pick setting man.
However it’s easy to see that the two guys that are going to carry the roll-man duties are Lopez and Warrick. I’ve never thought of Lopez as a huge pick-and-roll threat, but his numbers say otherwise.
Although the sample size is smaller, Lopez was actually more effective out of the pick and roll than Stoudemire. He shot a ridiculous 67.6 percent out of the play and was able to score 67.8 percent of the time.
Small sample size gives you things like Lopez being better than Stoudemire on the play, it will not the case when he gets more defensive attention in the role. But he can still be quite good at it. That is a big man who sets a wide pick, has good hands and who can move pretty quickly to the hoop. He my need some polish but he should be a threat.
Warrick will get his chances off the bench (with Hedo often). Channing Frye will be there for the pick-and-pop.
And Steve Nash will still have the ball. The Suns will be just fine because of that.
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