Prognosticators all had Phoenix slipping from the elite group of teams for 2005-06 because they felt that C-PF Amare Stoudamire was too valuable for the Suns to miss for any extended length of time.
Nobody told that to Steve Nash. Fresh off his MVP season, Nash has the Suns, who are missing Joe Johnson (off-season trade) as well as Stoudamire from their mix, a threat to win 60 games again this year.
His MVP stats from last season? He's doing even better this year, flirting with 20ppg and and still clocking in with an average of double digit assists every game.
What's more, he is the ultimate team player capable of making his team mates better. Can anyone say that about selfish shot gobblers like Kobe or AI?
The best news of all is that Shaq's season hasn't been worthy of MVP consideration, taking the pressure off sportswriters who would feel the need to 'redress' last seasons close loss to Nash. With the field of candidates wide open, with Nash's Suns still a powerhouse, and with Nash having even better numbers than last season despite the absence of Stoudamire, it could well be two MVP awards in a row for Steve.