In Their Peaks, How Big Is The Gap Between Nash and Stockton Offensively?

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In Their Peaks, How Big Is The Gap Between Nash and Stockton Offensively? 

Post#1 » by JustJoe » Sun Apr 4, 2021 12:01 pm

Simple question, how big is the gap in their primes offensively, or do you see them as a similar caliber on offensive?
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Re: In Their Peaks, How Big Is The Gap Between Nash and Stockton Offensively? 

Post#2 » by Max123 » Sun Apr 4, 2021 12:07 pm

JustJoe wrote:Simple question, how big is the gap in their primes offensively, or do you see them as a similar caliber on offensive?

I’ll just say that some people think that Nash is maybe even a top 5 offensive player of all time while Stockton isn’t really anywhere close to that.


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Re: In Their Peaks, How Big Is The Gap Between Nash and Stockton Offensively? 

Post#3 » by penbeast0 » Sun Apr 4, 2021 1:14 pm

Very slight. Both were pass first PGs who were very efficient shooters. Nash did more with much better offensive help, Stockton showed when he got a 3rd offensive option in Jeff Hornacek that he could also create a top offense. The argument for Nash is that he had the ability to raise his scoring more when his team needed it, though also Stockton regularly raised his scoring when his team was behind (we had a great post about this here in the last 3 months). I would say they were very close offensively.
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Re: In Their Peaks, How Big Is The Gap Between Nash and Stockton Offensively? 

Post#4 » by Jaivl » Sun Apr 4, 2021 1:46 pm

I think it's as big as the gap between peak LeBron and peak Kawhi. I find this comparison not dissimilar to peak Kevin Garnett vs peak Marc Gasol on defense.

EDIT - this is not an argument in any way, shape or form, but I'm kinda confused with some posters' rating of Stockton's skillset vs his placement on their all-time lists. If I thought Stockton was as good on offense as I think Nash was, he would be on my all-time top 10.
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Re: In Their Peaks, How Big Is The Gap Between Nash and Stockton Offensively? 

Post#5 » by Texas Chuck » Sun Apr 4, 2021 3:16 pm

Nash was a considerably better offensive player than Stockton. Not that Stockton wasn't a very good offensive player, but Nasty was running the best offense in the league every year for a decade. And yes he played with really talented guys and for coaches willing to sacrifice defense for more offense, but even with that, his results speak for themselves.
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Re: In Their Peaks, How Big Is The Gap Between Nash and Stockton Offensively? 

Post#6 » by No-more-rings » Sun Apr 4, 2021 3:30 pm

Eh, medium gap. I don't buy into Nash as the offensive goat type claims but i do think he's probably in the top 10 ever. Stockton is a great offensive player, but he seems more like a top 20-30 offensive player ever.
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Re: In Their Peaks, How Big Is The Gap Between Nash and Stockton Offensively? 

Post#7 » by penbeast0 » Sun Apr 4, 2021 4:37 pm

Jaivl wrote:I think it's as big as the gap between peak LeBron and peak Kawhi. I find this comparison not dissimilar to peak Kevin Garnett vs peak Marc Gasol on defense.

EDIT - this is not an argument in any way, shape or form, but I'm kinda confused with some posters' rating of Stockton's skillset vs his placement on their all-time lists. If I thought Stockton was as good on offense as I think Nash was, he would be on my all-time top 10.


I have Stockton well above Nash on my ATG list, but I don't think he's better offensively than Nash, just not that much worse. Nash creates more for himself and others, Stockton runs a set offense better, the big difference for me is Stockton's defense and ironman status.
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Re: In Their Peaks, How Big Is The Gap Between Nash and Stockton Offensively? 

Post#8 » by colts18 » Sun Apr 4, 2021 7:05 pm

I want to see Nash put up "All-time" offenses if he had Big Mark Eaton as his center, 6' 11" Thurl Bailey as his small forward playing on a slow paced team with a hard headed defensive-minded coach with a rigid offensive system who hated 3 pointers in a physical era with handchecking.

When the Jazz went to the finals, they were last in the NBA in 3 point attempts. Despite that they had the best offense in that time. When the Nash suns were at their peak, they were #1 in 3 point attempts. I cannot emphasize enough how much of an advantage it is to play on a team with spacing.
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Re: In Their Peaks, How Big Is The Gap Between Nash and Stockton Offensively? 

Post#9 » by Cavsfansince84 » Sun Apr 4, 2021 7:51 pm

Texas Chuck wrote:Nash was a considerably better offensive player than Stockton. Not that Stockton wasn't a very good offensive player, but Nasty was running the best offense in the league every year for a decade. And yes he played with really talented guys and for coaches willing to sacrifice defense for more offense, but even with that, his results speak for themselves.


At the same time Stockton was leading some very highly ranked offenses in the 92-01 period(top 3 6 times by ORtg) while playing for a more defensive minded coach. While also scoring on near equal efficiency and turnover economy. I mean I can understand why people rate Nash ahead of him offensively but part of that is running a very different system and perhaps being a better shooter off the dribble. It's not an entirely fair way to compare them much like comparing how different a player like James Harden would be 20 years ago with a coach who didn't want him to spam 3's.
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Re: In Their Peaks, How Big Is The Gap Between Nash and Stockton Offensively? 

Post#10 » by uberhikari » Sun Apr 4, 2021 10:35 pm

The gap is huge. Stockton is one of the most overrated offensive players of all time. People get enamored with his high assist totals and his efficiency. But Stockton's efficiency cratered almost every post-season without his ppg increasing and he got tons of assists off Karl Malone.

Stockton was an extremely conservative passer and didn't have the scoring pressure to truly unlock the next level of passing/playmaking. If you put Stockton on the SSOL Suns he could have never duplicated what Nash did.
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Re: In Their Peaks, How Big Is The Gap Between Nash and Stockton Offensively? 

Post#11 » by Doctor MJ » Sun Apr 4, 2021 10:52 pm

JustJoe wrote:Simple question, how big is the gap in their primes offensively, or do you see them as a similar caliber on offensive?


Pretty big.

Some things:

1. You have to realize up front that Nash was a much better shooter than Stockton. Not just a better 3 point shooter, a better shooter from any range with more comfort pulling up at any point along his drive - which was how he was able to get some of those teardrops off.

2. Nash was also far more aggressive in the half court. He was always probing, always tugging on the strings of the defense. Memories of Nash seeming to be horizontal through his acceleration, as well as the verticality of him just jumping up, twisting, and relying on his ability to make the right read and execute in an astonishingly short amount of time. I'll also say that people sometimes think Stockton might have been able to do this too if only he'd had the greenlight to grow in that direction, and sure, maybe, but it is important to understand that Nash cultivated a set of skills based on being able to make the right read with very little margin for air by doing it for years and years. He wasn't just a D'Antoni creation. He was just what D'Antoni needed however.

3. I would also rate Nash's passing above Stockton's even in more comparable situations - transition, pick & roll - but I'll acknowledge that Stockton was excellent and that plenty of reasonable people disagree with me on this.

4. I think it really has to be emphasized how effective Nash's team offenses were. For 7 straight years in Phoenix, even the year after Amar'e left, Nash had the best on-court ORtg of any big minute player. And before that, he was also a star on the best offense in the league for 3 years running. If you go all the way back through the ages, if we had the data, good chance nobody matches that.

This is just to say that if you don't have a notion of Nash's Suns' offense being an extreme outlier in a way that the Jazz' offense just wasn't, it's easy to see being confused.
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Re: In Their Peaks, How Big Is The Gap Between Nash and Stockton Offensively? 

Post#12 » by feyki » Mon Apr 5, 2021 4:50 pm

Stockton was pass-first guard with a good shooting. Nash was Magic,Paul type of guard plus arguably GOAT shooting. That's the difference. It's too big.
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Re: In Their Peaks, How Big Is The Gap Between Nash and Stockton Offensively? 

Post#13 » by migya » Tue Apr 6, 2021 4:37 pm

colts18 wrote:I want to see Nash put up "All-time" offenses if he had Big Mark Eaton as his center, 6' 11" Thurl Bailey as his small forward playing on a slow paced team with a hard headed defensive-minded coach with a rigid offensive system who hated 3 pointers in a physical era with handchecking.

When the Jazz went to the finals, they were last in the NBA in 3 point attempts. Despite that they had the best offense in that time. When the Nash suns were at their peak, they were #1 in 3 point attempts. I cannot emphasize enough how much of an advantage it is to play on a team with spacing.



Stockton squeezed everything out of the ordinary players his teams had. Malone was great but on his own he's no team. Phoenix had a number of talented offensive players that allowed a great floor general to make a great team out of them. Nash on the Jazz teams and they never make the finals and likely don't make the playoffs a few of those years.
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Re: In Their Peaks, How Big Is The Gap Between Nash and Stockton Offensively? 

Post#14 » by magicman1978 » Tue Apr 6, 2021 5:54 pm

I think the biggest difference is that Nash was able to attack his defenders one on one and create his own offense. Stockton was rather ineffective creating his own offense.
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Re: In Their Peaks, How Big Is The Gap Between Nash and Stockton Offensively? 

Post#15 » by Hawk » Wed Apr 7, 2021 4:49 pm

Stockton with Nash's offensive abilities would be the GOAT PG or very close to it.
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Re: In Their Peaks, How Big Is The Gap Between Nash and Stockton Offensively? 

Post#16 » by leolozon » Wed Apr 7, 2021 5:42 pm

Nash was in another stratosphere as a scorer when he wanted too. He's simply a better shooter and a better scorer overall.

Look at their playoffs numbers :

Stockton 165 PO GS : 28 over 20pts, 5 over 25, 2 over 30
S. Nash 113 PO GS : 49 over 20pts, 23 over 25, 8 over 30, 1 over 40

Nash also had better efficiency and it was in less MPG than Stockton.

Nash in 3 games in a row in the playoffs went :
48/5/5 on 80.65 TS%
34/13/12 on 59.36 TS%
39/9/12 on 73.2 TS%

You can even add the game before 27/3/17 on 60.5 TS%.

Stockton wasn't close to being able to do something like that. It's pretty obvious Nash had untapped potential as a scorer, because he had a pass first mentality. Imagine if he took 10 3s a game...
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Re: In Their Peaks, How Big Is The Gap Between Nash and Stockton Offensively? 

Post#17 » by migya » Thu Apr 8, 2021 11:04 am

Hawk wrote:Stockton with Nash's offensive abilities would be the GOAT PG or very close to it.


He is close to the best PG ever.
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Re: In Their Peaks, How Big Is The Gap Between Nash and Stockton Offensively? 

Post#18 » by penbeast0 » Thu Apr 8, 2021 11:16 am

leolozon wrote:Nash was in another stratosphere as a scorer when he wanted too. He's simply a better shooter and a better scorer overall...

Nash also had better efficiency and it was in less MPG than Stockton....

It's pretty obvious Nash had untapped potential as a scorer, because he had a pass first mentality. Imagine if he took 10 3s a game...


It's pretty obvious Stockton had untapped potential as a scorer, because he had a pass first mentality. Imagine if he took 10 3s a game.

Stockton .608 career ts% (+.076 relative to league) on career 21.0 pts/100 possessions

Nash .605 career ts% (+.074 relative to league) on career 23.3 pts/100 possessions

Not sure where you get this idea that Nash was more efficient, he scored a bit more (but not a lot more) but not at a higher efficiency. And, of course, Stockton was statistically a clearly superior assist generator, no one in NBA history is even close in terms of volume, consistency, or totals.

Stockton 50.2 career Ast% (led the league 15 times!)

Nash 41.5 career Ast% (led the league 5 times)

The whole idea that Nash is somehow a step above Stockton offensively is because he
(a) had a very slightly high scoring volume
(b) had more successful offenses in Phoenix (with better offensive talent around him; when Stockton had a decent 3rd scorer in Hornacek, his offenses tended to be best in league too)
(c) had more variance in his scoring where Stockton was more consistent though I would attribute most of that to Nash playing in a more wide open offense in Phoenix where Jerry Sloan's system in Utah was much more constrained.

Nash may have a slight advantage but some of his fans/Stockton's detractors are just grossly overstating any potential difference.
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Re: In Their Peaks, How Big Is The Gap Between Nash and Stockton Offensively? 

Post#19 » by henshao » Thu Apr 8, 2021 11:37 am

yeah put it on the alternate universe ship to-do list: investigate what D'antoni Stockton and Sloan Nash would have looked like
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Re: In Their Peaks, How Big Is The Gap Between Nash and Stockton Offensively? 

Post#20 » by penbeast0 » Thu Apr 8, 2021 12:27 pm

And, in addition to what the offense would have looked like, would adding Stockton to Marion and Raja Bell have been able to overcome Amare's (and/or Boris Diaw's) defensive deficiences to a much greater extent or in an era before the outside in offenses of today, would it not matter that much?
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