Suns vs. Lakers — Season series in review

Posted by on May 11th, 1:36 pm

For the first time since 2006 the Phoenix Suns are in the Western Conference Finals, but there is no sense of accomplishment yet with this veteran-led group. The NBA Finals are obviously the goal, but a man named Kobe, a Zen Master and a few seven-footers stand in the way.

Suns head coach Alvin Gentry said it all season long — the Western Conference goes through Los Angeles. The Suns knew that if they wanted a taste of the NBA Finals they would have to dethrone the champs, and they will have their chance come Monday night.

With just less than a week before Game 1, we will be breaking down every possible angle of this series, but first we will take a look at how these teams fared against each other in the regular season. The Lake Show took three of four games from Phoenix, but here is a more in-depth breakdown of the Suns-Lakers regular season series:

Game 1: Lakers win in Los Angeles 121-102 on Nov. 12, 2009

The Suns came into this game as the NBA’s hottest team, fresh off a five-game win streak while boasting an 8-1 record. But the Suns were on the tail end of a back-to-back and playing their seventh game in 10 days. It showed as the almighty Lakers knocked the Suns from their high horse with a dominant 19-point victory, without Pau Gasol nonetheless.

Kobe Braynt and company led by as many as 27 and completely stifled the Suns’ high-powered offense. The Lakers allowed only one Suns starter to reach double-figures — Steve Nash scored 13 — and limited Phoenix to 12 total assists (one more than Nash’s season average). The biggest takeaway from the game was the way LA put the clamps on Amare Stoudemire.

The tandem of Andrew Bynum and Lamar Odom limited STAT to only eight points on 2-of-15 shooting (13.3 percent). The usually efficient Stoudemire struggled with the size and length of the Lakers’ bigs, and Bynum had himself a field day — 26 points, 15 rebounds and three blocks on 13-of-18 shooting.

Kobe added 29 points, and it was an all-around dominant effort by the Lake Show, especially on the defensive end as they took away Nash’s passing lanes while shutting down STAT. The Suns were due for a hiccup after the hot start, but the way the Lakers blanked the Suns’ starters is a slight cause for concern.

Game 2: Lakers win in Los Angeles 108-88 on Dec. 6, 2009

The Suns started off the month of December with an embarrassing 27-point loss to the Knicks and a slightly less humiliating 17-point loss to King James and company. Phoenix regrouped a bit after beating the Kings, but on the second game of the dreaded back-to-back the Suns were manhandled by the Lakers from start to finish in their second meeting.

Both teams were near the top of the NBA at this point, but the Lakers proved why they are the Lakers and the Suns showed that they still had some serious work to do. The Suns looked tired, sloppy, and didn’t seem to belong on the same court as the Lakers that night.

STAT’s 18 and 10 were about the only bright spot for Phoenix, as Kobe’s 26 points led the way in a game that the Suns most likely removed from their memory bank before the final buzzer sounded.

Game 3: Suns win in Phoenix 118-103 on Dec. 28, 2009

After dragging themselves through a horrendous 5-9 start to December and with the 20-point beat down still fresh in their minds, the Suns were due for redemption.

And right on cue they came out and played their best game of the season to that point, building a 22-point fourth-quarter lead and proving that their 14-3 start was no fluke. Stoudemire went for 26, but it was the Suns’ bench that was the difference as the second unit outscored Lakers’ bench 52-31, with 19 of those coming from Jared Dudley.

It was a total team effort in US Airways Center. The Suns had six players in double figures, Channing Frye even snared 11 boards and Robin Lopez had arguably his most productive game of the season up to that point with eight points and five rebounds in 21 minutes. The Lakers were without defensive stopper Ron Artest, but even with him the Suns would have been tough to stop on this night.

On the defensive end Phoenix limited the Lakers to 43.5 percent shooting and no Laker other than Kobe scored more than 14 points. After a horrendous month of December the Suns needed to right the ship, and this convincing win over the Lakers let the NBA know that the Suns were still the real deal.

This was far and away the best game the Suns have played against Los Angeles in quite some time, and a team-oriented, defensive-minded victory like this is the exact formula the Suns need come Monday in Staples Center.

Game 4: Lakers win in Phoenix 102-96 on March 12

With the first three games coming of the blowout variety, Game 4 was bound to be a dog fight. And a dog fight it was, but the Lakers outlasted the Suns down the stretch, fending off a late 26-10 Suns run with a subsequent 12-1 run of their own. The Lakers’ starters poured it on, and Phoenix struggled to find answers defensively.

No Los Angeles starter scored less than 15 points and the Suns never got into a rhythm offensively, shooting 42.5 percent from the field and 6-of-21 from three. The Suns jumped out to an early lead, scoring 31 first-quarter points, but Los Angeles closed the half on a 20-6 run and exposed Phoenix’s zone defense with its three-point shooters.

It wasn’t like the Suns played bad in this game. Amare went for 29 and 16 and the Suns even held an 82-81 lead in the fourth quarter, all without Channing Frye who was serving his one-game suspension for flailing at Danny Granger. But the Lakers’ plethora of weapons proved to be too much for the Suns, led by Kobe’s near triple-double (21 points, 10 rebounds, eight assists).

On the bright side, Nash, Jason Richardson and Grant Hill shot a combined 14-of-37 (37.8 percent) and the Suns were still in the game. These are the type of games the Suns have been winning thus far in the playoffs, but it’s going to be a different story against the uber-talented, extremely long Lakers in the Western Conference Finals.

*******************************************************************************************************************************

Suns’ stats vs. Lakers: 101.0 PPG, 0.91 points per possession, 44.5 RPG, 19.0 APG, 42.8 FG%, 33.3 3p%

Suns’ stats vs. NBA: 110.2 PPG, 1.13 points per possession, 43.0 RPG, 23.3 APG, 49.2 FG%, 41.2 3p%

Lakers’ stats vs. Suns: 108.5 PPG, 1.00 points per possession, 43.8 RPG, 22.5 APG, 49.4 FG%, 41.8 3p%

Lakers’ stats vs. NBA: 101.7 PPG, 1.06 points per possession, 44.3 RPG, 21.1 APG, 45.7 FG%, 34.1 3p%

Key Suns’ stats vs. Lakers:

Amare Stoudemire: 20.3 PPG, 8.8 RPG, 45.7 FG%

Steve Nash: 13.8 PPG, 9.0 APG, 3.3 TO, 46.7 FG%, 44.4 3p%

Jason Richardson: 8.8 PPG, 3.5 RPG, 31.0 FG%, 14.3 3p%

Key Lakers’ stats vs. Suns:

Kobe Bryant: 27.5 PPG, 7.0 RPG, 4.3 APG, 3.3 TO, 54.4 FG%, 28.6 3p%

Andrew Bynum: 17.8 PPG, 9.8 RPG, 1.5 BPG, 61.2 FG%

Pau Gasol: 14.0 PPG, 5.7 RPG, 1.67 BPG, 58.1 FG%

Suns-Lakers first two games

Mike Schmitz

Mike Schmitz is a former ValleyoftheSuns writer who now works as an assistant video coordinator for the D-League\\’s Bakersfield Jam. He specialized in video breakdowns for VotS.

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Tags: Los Angeles Lakers · Phoenix Suns · Phoenix Suns Analysis · Playoffs

41 responses so far ↓

  • 1 Kevin // May 11, 2010 at 8:32 am

    Yes ITS THE SUNS OVER THE LAKERS IN THIS FIGHT WE OF COURSE WILL SEE ONE WAY TRAINS IN PHOENIX THIS YR?

  • 2 shawn // May 11, 2010 at 8:53 am

    I agree first 3 games are definite toss aways.. and possibly even the 4th as the suns were w/o frye. Suns need him to pull laker bigs out the paint and if he and the rest of the suns shoot well they should be able to get wins. The pressure should all be on the lakers. Go suns in 6!

  • 3 Lakeshow // May 11, 2010 at 9:04 am

    Yes, let us disregard games 1-3, but in no way was game 4 what game 1 of this series is going to be like. First of all, Suns were at home, second – they had 5 days rest to Lakers 1, third, Suns were in the midst of their best basketball this year, while the Lakers were playing their worst basketball, having lost 3/4 coming into the game and playing uninspired and horrible bball.

    Those teams were definitely NOT playing at the same level.

  • 4 Pau Gasol // May 11, 2010 at 9:58 am

    I'll be surprised if it takes us longer than 5 guys to dispose of the Suns…

  • 5 Hayden // May 11, 2010 at 10:03 am

    Embarassing.

  • 6 Grinth // May 11, 2010 at 2:09 pm

    Honestly, I think the 4th game is the only one that can legitimately be used as a barometer for this series.

    Game 1. Suns second game of a back to back, on the road, playing their 7th game in ten days.

    Game 2. As mentioned above, another back to back road game, this time the 6th game in 10 days the Suns had played.

    Game 3. I believe the Lakers were without Ron Artest. That definitely changes what they can do defensively against the Suns.

    Game 4. This game the Suns were closest to their current iteration. Neither team was a victim of a horrendous schedule at the time, and for all intents and purposes both teams were as close to full strength as can be reasonably expected.

    It is going to be a tough series, and a highly contested one despite some people insisting otherwise.

  • 7 JoCaLa // May 11, 2010 at 2:33 pm

    STOP calling them the Lake show. Using bandwagon nicknames like that sounds like you're a band wagoning Lakers fan. This read was horrible, I stopped halfway through disgusted with how much love you show the Lakers. Gross.

  • 8 Suns68 // May 11, 2010 at 4:51 pm

    I hate to say it, but I agree with Lakeshow.
    I don’t think we can really draw many meaningful conclusions from the regular season series.
    Too much of that was the ebb and flow of the season, scheduling, fatigue, injuries, suspension, etc.
    Even the second-round matchups don’t tell us much because the Lakers are longer and more athletic than the Spurs, while the Suns shoot the ball much better than the Jazz.
    The important thing is that both the Suns and the Lakers are playing excellent basketball now.
    The way I see it, it’s Lakers’ size and muscle versus the Suns’ speed and depth.
    I guess we’ll just have to wait ’til Monday.
    Sigh.

  • 9 Pau Gasol // May 11, 2010 at 4:58 pm

    5 Games I mean.

  • 10 ManicSocratic // May 11, 2010 at 5:01 pm

    I can appreciate the raw honesty of articles like this that come out and tell everyone to essentially disregard the season series. There are aspects to the Suns season as well as aspects of the scheduling that you have to take into effect. You have to remember that you’re dealing with human beings who will occasionally lose games in the season.

    The Lakers right now seem to be regaining their mental focus that appeared to be sliding down at the end of the regular season. They may have a lot of physical issues but between Kobe & Phil Jackson they can cover their weaknesses and stay consistently good. The way the Lakers run their game makes it so that even other elite teams won’t pull far ahead of them.

    Right now, the Suns are surging as a team even moreso than they were back in March. More often than not, they can lock down defensively. In addition they always find a way to get their shooting % figured out. It’s a mental toughness that can prevail even when Kobe decides to turn on “God Mode” and start dismantling a team.

    The Suns and Lakers right now are probably the best they’ve been all season. Oddly enough they both go into this series with a physically diminished big man. Though the biggest deciding factor that people need to focus on is the bench. Brown/Vujacic/Walton does not impress me nearly as much as Dragic/Barbosa/Dudley. The Suns may grind this out to game 6-7 by essentially having the physical stamina to keep outplaying the Lakers. Jackson cannot lean on his startes for 38+ minutes per game.

    So what do we have to anticipate for this series? We’re all stepping in blind. A series set to be full of surprises should hopefully be a classic in the making.

  • 11 Brent // May 11, 2010 at 6:20 pm

    It’s all about Game 1 – set the tone and the tempo for the series and Phoenix has a chance!

    Zen Master is something like 46-0 in 7 game series when winning Game 1.

  • 12 Brian // May 11, 2010 at 7:00 pm

    I will be rooting all the way for the Lakers and their fans to continue thinking that the Suns have no chance but to exist as a minor speed bump on their way to the Finals!

  • 13 Lakeshow // May 11, 2010 at 10:16 pm

    Yes, the Lakers and the rest of the world knows that the Suns have a great bench. The lakers have a regular 8/9 man rotation while the Suns have 10.
    BUT, Phil Jackson doesn’t play his bench the way you guys are assuming (like the Suns play their bench), which is basically putting in an almost new second unit in (maybe Stoudemire gets in there) when the starters rest. Phil Jackson usually has 2 or three starters with the bench – he doesn’t rest all the starters at once. So you can’t just assume that dragic/ barbosa/ dudley/ frye/ amundson or maybe stoudemire will be matching with Brown/Vujacic/Walton/ Farmar/ Odom. Phil Jackson didn’t do it with a lesser bench players in the Jazz series and he is very unlikely to do it this time around.

  • 14 laker4life // May 11, 2010 at 11:35 pm

    home court advantage, length, experience, champions, best closer in the game, sun’s too small, experienced coach. thats enough said. Lakers in 4 or 5. Forget about regular season games. Playoffs is a different animal. I hope its a good series. That will prepare the Lakers mentally for the NBA finals.

  • 15 John181818 // May 12, 2010 at 12:50 am

    I second the point made by Grinth. The two home games for the LAL had PHX on the second nights of B2B's. The Lakers never played the Suns on the second nights of B2B's.

    The Suns came together as a team in late January. Robin Lopez became the defensive player they had been hoped him to become. Despite that he went out in late March with his back issue the Suns barely, if at all, missed a beat. Now they are likely getting him back for this series. If he meaningfully contributes that is a huge plus for the Suns, making their bench six deep and that, if for no other reason, provides an extra six fouls that can be taken by quality players. If he doesn't contribute well then Gentry pulls him and the Suns play with the crew that wrecked San Antonio.

    I know the pundits will be selecting LA and I understand it. However I see the Suns surviving, in part, because they have wildly exceed all expectations, have nothing to lose, and will play their game.

    Suns in 6.

  • 16 asani // May 12, 2010 at 1:33 am

    I know the suns will win this series. Our starters are better than their starters and our bench is superior to their bench. The lakers cannot play small ball with us and I believe Gentry will force Jackson's hand to play this way for stretches. Farmer/odom/brown/vujic or whatever his name aren't anything compared to barbosa/dragic/dudley/amundson/frye. The bench will always give the suns the upperhand for this series. LA fans can say what they want but it is what it is. The Lakers had close games pretty much every series with far less talented shooting teams. I got news for you Laker fans, the suns are the best scoring and shooting team in the league. What are you gonna do put Gasol on Stoudemire? You can't do that so what will you do? I know exactly what ya'll will do. U will double team everything and when you do we will shoot ya'll out this series. Suns will show you what easy work is Suns in 5

  • 17 Ryan C // May 12, 2010 at 3:09 am

    Asani,

    Your forgetting one person in your prediction. His name is KOBE BRYANT. Maybe you haven't heard of this guy but he is pretty good. Lakers in 5 this series will not be close good luck next year suns fans….

  • 18 asani // May 12, 2010 at 3:29 am

    Ryan C you have always had Kobe Bryant but that means very little to us. He is a given. He will get his points but that is what we want. We want him to shoot and shoot and shoot while everybody else plays like scrubs. Kobe is the only guy on your team that is a closer with the exception of fisher when he is wide open. The suns have many guys who can close the game. Hell nobody on the lakers wants the ball other than kobe and fisher. Suns will get tear a new hole in the lakers

  • 19 Ryan C // May 12, 2010 at 4:19 am

    Asani,

    That is the most ridicious thing I have heard. This is really going to be disappointing series for you guys and I really hope you do not get your hopes to high, because they will come crushing down. Who on the suns has a killer instinct???? no one How many rings does Steve Nash, Amare or Grant Hill have?? Zero…. Artest is going to shut down JR and the series will not go more than 5 games. You guys had a good year beat an injured Portland team and an old Spurs team. You must forgot the LAKERS are the defending champions and have already been down this road. But you will soon realize your fate and I am sure you will not be on this blog after we take care of business. But good luck I just really do not want you guys to get your hopes high. The downfall is much harder that way.

  • 20 John181818 // May 12, 2010 at 4:58 am

    Who on the suns has a killer instinct????

    http://suns.planetorange.net/_Picture-5png/photo/

  • 21 asani // May 12, 2010 at 6:45 am

    That is fine with me

  • 22 SMASHonKOBE // May 12, 2010 at 7:57 am

    I can say this. I live in l.a. but been a die hard phoenix fan since 92. Don’t have cable so I miss a lot of games id like to see. But occasionally ill watch a lakers game just for the love of the sport, although, I dislike the lakers. Bynum is a big guy and can get the stats he needs. But correct me if I’m wrong but isn’t he prone to foul trouble? Odoms good too but I don’t think he’s consistently hot. I could talk on kobe and gasol but we know they’re good to go. Artest he doesn’t even concern me. Now as far as my suns. No matter what I say most laker fans are bandwagon and can’t rep their team when they lose. I’m in l.a. I see it all the time. They’ve hated the suns for a long time and won’t give crediti due when deserved. The suns are the underdogs in this series…but haven’t they been this whole season and playoffs? They’ve learned how to play a better D than usual. They work better as a team now. And honestly I think as the playoffs have gone. We got more heart than l.a. right now. Who’s got more to prove? Lakers who won last year? Or an underdog who hasn’t been to the finals since 93 and has risen from critics disbelief all season long? We’ll see Monday. Good luck to both teams.

  • 23 Lakeshow // May 12, 2010 at 12:47 pm

    Anything can happen — as we are witnessing in the Cavs-Cleveland series.

  • 24 asani // May 12, 2010 at 12:53 pm

    Come on Ryan C you are delusional. What does last year championship have to do with this years? First off you beat an Orlando Magic team who got there because they had a better match up than the team that was better than them. This years Magic team would beat the hell out of the Lakers. But that is besides the point. You have no answers for Steve and Amar’e and I mean no answers. Artest at some point is going to have to guard Nash because fisher cannot guard a damn wheelchair and steve still will get off on artest. Kobe defense is totally overrated so if J Rich wants to he can make Kobe work. Hell Raja Bell use to score on Kobe so J Rich should have very little problems scoring on him. If in fact you put Artest on J Rich then that means he has to stay at home with J Rich behind the arc. This means spacing and spacing for the suns is bad news for the LA Fakers. I mean listen to who has to guard Amare. Gasol has to lol this is totally laughable. Gasol is softer than a tissue flushed down the toilet. He has zero defense and has to have help or Amare will average 40 on him. Then you have clumsy ass Bynum who will not bring his fragile ass out to the perimeter to guard Frye. When has Phil Jackson beaten the phoenix suns in a series with nash and stoudemire? Last time we met ya’ll it was 4-1 and it won’t be much of a difference this time. Your weak bench will really hurt ya’ll. Odom is a scrub so he isn’t at all a concern. The lakers have three players worthy of paying attention to. Kobe, Fisher for open threes and Gasol soft ass down low

  • 25 Chris S // May 12, 2010 at 12:58 pm

    Asani- as a Suns fan please shut up. Its ok to be a fan and believe in your team but don’t come one blogs and message boards talking about how the Suns have all the matchups in their favor. Lakers have a better starting 5, the only clear advantage we have there is Nash over Fisher. It is our bench where the matchup starts to even out, but the lakers do not go deep into their bench and generally play the starters 34-40 minutes a game. Laker fans are fooling themselves if they think this is going to be a cake walk ionto the finals. You may have swept the Jazz but it was a lot harder than you are making out to be, every game was close (sans game 4) and Jazz had the lead in 4th in games 1-3. Suns are better than Utah so stop thinking this is going to be easy.

    Lastly ceck out simmons’ article on the Suns from last Thursday and how this is a Bizarro playoffs for the suns. I think destiny is lining up for the Suns as the 4 franchises that have historically always been in our way are the Blazers, Spurs, Lakers and Celtics. This could be the year that we change our history by going through all 4 teams en-route to our first NBA title!

  • 26 Ryan C // May 12, 2010 at 1:22 pm

    Chris S,

    Thanks for finding making some good points and I respect everything you mentioned but Asani does not make any sense at all. But in my opinion I think the Lakers will win in 5 games but I think all 5 games will be competitive. I think Gasol and Amare are probably a wash. I think Artest will do a good job on JR. He slowed downed Durant I am sure he can slow down Richardson. I promise you that Richardson will not avg more than 12 pts a game this series. Bynum will have to play better and that is why I am saying we will win in 5 games. I think Bynum is going to step up. You guys know you can not stop KOBE but that is no fault of your own. Nobody can stop KOBE 1 on 1. But you are right Nash is certainly going to give us problems. But again I wish you guys luck. I wish they would play today

  • 27 asani // May 12, 2010 at 1:23 pm

    How in the hell do the lakers have a better starting five when our starting five has averaged more points throughout the year? Don’t tell me to shut up fool I speak the way I want to speak. Nash isn’t the only clear advantage buddy you must don’t know much about basketball because Amare has a big advantage over Gasol. He lead the league in inside points and he is a threat to have an and one everytime he drives. Slow unathletic Gasol on Amare is definitely an advantage for the suns. They have a height advantage not a skill advantage.

  • 28 John181818 // May 12, 2010 at 1:33 pm

    Let’s discuss things from a math point of view, namely Hollinger’s **Qualified** PER ratings. (Since Jarron Collins is neither qualified nor likely playing significant minutes with Robin Lopez returning I am using Channing Frye as starting center and Robin Lopez and Lou Amundson off the bench. I am also only players who have averaged 5+ minutes, which is close to Like Walton’s average time, but his PER of 9.76 pulls down the Lakers average and I didn’t include him.)

    The Suns starting lineup of Nash, Richardson, Hill, Stoudemire and Frye have a total PER of 90.15. The Lakers starting five of Fisher, Bryant, Artest, Gasol and Bynum have a total PER of 86.58.

    The Suns bench players likely to see five minutes or more are Amundson (14.44), Barbosa (14.05), Dudley (13.60) , Dragic (14.87) and Lopez (17.66). The Lakers bench consists of Odom (15.98), Brown (12.41) and Farmar (12.34). The two caveats in the benches are Lopez, who should see at least 5 minutes per game and Walton, who may see more minutes in this series than v. Utah.

    To me the numbers seem to say Suns. The Lakers have basically been playing eight deep and the Suns ten deep. If a Laker player gets injured that either cuts the Lakers down to seven deep or adds someone to the rotation who hasn’t been getting minutes. Do the same to the Suns and they are nine deep even ignoring Jarron Collins, who won’t see much time if Lopez can go and give 6+ minutes a game.

    As I said in an earlier post I know the Lakers will likely be chosen to win the series by most. However, what do the numbers say?

  • 29 Ryan C // May 12, 2010 at 1:39 pm

    Asani,

    How bout we just revisit this topic after the series is over?

  • 30 JoCaLa // May 12, 2010 at 1:46 pm

    get this laker scum off this blog. faker fans have nothing better to do. when phx wins, ill make it my personal mission to harass their boards all season long.

  • 31 amare // May 12, 2010 at 1:52 pm

    Ever laker fan is fake ok…..but phoenix is clearly the better team nash is gona go off because he really wants a ring…also nash got help alround him which is even tough to guard….suns in game 6

  • 32 Craig W. // May 12, 2010 at 2:10 pm

    John181818,
    The problem with numbers is they only tell half the story. If the stats are overwhelming in one direction or another, then you could probably draw some conclusions.

    However, when the numbers are close you have to watch the games to evaluate the players.

  • 33 John181818 // May 12, 2010 at 2:27 pm

    Craig,

    I can buy that but what would you suggest that the numbers aren’t revealing?

  • 34 Lakeshow // May 12, 2010 at 4:43 pm

    I love some of the fans arguments. Let me break some of it down: Suns’ fan(s) say –
    1.) “When has Phil Jackson beaten the phoenix suns in a series with nash and stoudemire? Last time we met ya’ll it was 4-1 and it won’t be much of a difference this time” – Were you using this argument when you all played the Spurs?! I don’t think so – because Spurs had your number in the playoffs as you guys seem to think you have lakers’ number in the playoffs – but like you all keep harping – different team, different year.
    2) “Odom is a scrub so he isn’t at all a concern” – LOL, I guess that is why he has always been a problem for you guys.
    3.) “Gasol is softer than a tissue flushed down the toilet. He has zero defense and has to have help or Amare will average 40 on him” – LOL – you guys weren’t saying that when they played you during the regular season. And he has zero defense huh? do you hear yourself?
    4.) “Kobe defense is totally overrated so if J Rich wants to he can make Kobe work.” – so J. Rich was just avgeraging 8.8pts against the lakers because Kobe was playing overrated defense on him? And he sure did make Kobe work to his usual Kobe self.
    5.) yes, let us talk about the points. As someone mentioned, they don’t tell all the truth. NBA has always been about matchups. Always.
    6.) Yes, I will say the same thing as someone else said – the Lakers have one of the most talented starting 5 in the league – I will give you Nash being better than Fisher, but good thing the Lakers’ offense revolves around the triangle offense and not PG centered offense, making the argument not as relevant. Amare and Gasol will wash out – and no, it might not mean they score the same points – whether it is offensive rebounds, help defense, etc…Gasol will hold his own.
    7.) “Suns have learned how to play a better D than usual” – which was nada before, so good for them.
    8.) “Kobe is the only guy on your team that is a closer with the exception of fisher when he is wide open” – I remember Gasol closing one recently. If the Suns have SOOOO many closers, how come Nash always seems to be the one with the ball when it is close out time…hmm
    9.) “Jackson cannot lean on his startes for 38+ minutes per game” – he has played the starters less minutes during this playoff than he has during the regular season, and none averaged 38+min. during the regular season.
    10.) “Farmer/odom/brown/vujic/walton or whatever his name aren’t anything compared to barbosa/dragic/dudley/amundson/frye.”
    I hear this argument so much. YES, the bench is better, but the Lakers 2nd unit won’t be playing your second unit. There is always 2-3 starters with the bench. Lol, like Jackson would put all those five together (maybe if they’re up by 20+)
    - my 2 cents

  • 35 omar // May 12, 2010 at 6:05 pm

    look lakeshow you are only saying this because you are a lakers fan. now I know for sure that you guys have Kobe, Fisher, and Gasol but thats pretty much all you guys have. now look at the suns they have steve nash, jason richardson, grant hill who by the way is a good defensive player, and amar’e stoudemire who is better than gasol. on the bench we have channing frye, jared dudley, barbosa, and amundson. you guys may have two or three better players but the suns have more decent players and three amazing starters and a better bench then the laker.

  • 36 Ace Phoenix // May 12, 2010 at 10:15 pm

    The regular season is irrelevant. The post-season to this point is irrelevant. The only thing that matters is what happens starting Monday night.

  • 37 Chris S // May 13, 2010 at 7:09 am

    Ryan C – I dont think Artest will guard Jrich in the series, maybe at times but Kobe will have him for the most part. Ron will be on Hill because the Suns will post Kobe the entire game if he guards hill because hill will have a big size advantage on Kobe. Kobge would have to work too hard on D if he is on hill the whole the game, which is actually what the suns want, but expect Artes to be on hill for the series. Gasol and Amare are pretty much a wash because neither can defend the other, Amare is more of a force offensively but Gasol is a better rebounder. If Bynum’s knee is not ok, that could be a huge problem for you guys because of your weak bench. Should be a great series and one for the memories. LETS GO SUNS!

  • 38 Fanta // May 13, 2010 at 9:32 am

    I'll give you guys this. The key is stopping the offensive juggernaut known as the pick and roll. If the Lakers stop it, they will sweep. If they can't, I don't care how good a player's defense is, it's hard to guard catch and shoot wide open 3s, which is what J-Rich and Frye will be getting if they cheat on the pick and roll. Look at what Orlando did to Atlanta with the same play over and over again

  • 39 Speck // May 13, 2010 at 1:43 pm

    Chris S,
    I think Kobe will be assigned to Hill and Artest will be assigned to J Rich. Kobe had been defended by J. Rich and Hill and Dudley when they played them during the regular season, and none of them were effective shutting him down, so I don’t think it matters, but to preserve J Rich’s energy for offensive production, I wouldn’t make him guard Kobe.
    If I was the Suns, and even though Gentry is saying he doesn’t know yet, I’m pretty sure they will be putting Hill on Kobe. J Rich can not be expected to produce that much offensively when he is guarding Kobe, which I think happened during the regular season. Suns also hope that Artest doesn’t decide to post up, which the lakers exploit when defenders smaller than him defend him.

  • 40 truelakerfan // May 18, 2010 at 1:39 am

    hey to all you stupid laker haters! Suck it!!!! Its Monday!! The game came, it happend, embarresed or worst handed the suns their asses 128 to 107….
    Now, I don’t dislike the suns, they are a good team, but simply fall far from what the lakers are!! From what I noticed the laker weren’t even trying….cough cough… it just proves how sick the lakers are as a team!!! Its okay go ahead and cry….do your selves a favor gather all your panties close the suit case and goodluck next year… but guess what!! Were gonna win it again next year… so maybe 2013…
    Ps…. orlando ain’t got nothing on the lakers… so I’m hoping the celtics come for the revenge we’ve been wanting for 2 years now!!

  • 41 The Z. Man // Jun 20, 2010 at 1:35 pm

    Toss out the two on the road.

    They were on the back end of a back to back. Lakers then went to Denver for their own back end game. They were blown out even more than our Suns were. Game 3 was a game that we beat them all

    4 quarters, 4 out of 4!!!! That same week (vs. the Celtics) , we did the same. Then, that last home game loss came when Gasol should have been called for a flagrant foul. When ther NBA made the correct call, it was too late. That blown call, plus no Frye, cost our Suns that game.

    Frye & Louis & Barbosa & Dud & Gogi. They were more than competitive in the Western Conference Finals vs. the Champs. Suns look like they will lose STAT. They can't afford to lose Frye, Louis and/or our Brazilian Blur.

    MUST start and also finish with LB. Let's go SUNS!!!!

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