Kobe Bryant and the Lakers dismantled the Suns in Game 1 of the Western Conference Finals, taking advantage of Phoenix’s poor shooting and paltry rebounding. As the Suns try to regroup for Game 2 in the City of Angels, here’s what they’re saying across the nation…
- Paola Boivin of The Arizona Republic on Amare Stoudemire’s Game 1 letdown effort: “There were moments Stoudemire looked disengaged, others when he settled for a jump shot instead of a drive. His 23 points were a team high but the statistic that told the greater story was rebounds. He finished with three. Steve Nash had more.”
- Also in The Republic, Paul Coro discusses the Suns’ trait that’s been a hot topic year after year–defense: “Might we seem some zone next game to control the perimeter and guard the paint? Problem being, that compromises the Suns’ ability to rebound and Odom already was devastating in that regard with 19 boards. Might they double Bryant more? That’s what Phil Jackson is expecting, comparing it to how the Suns defended Brandon Roy.”
- At Forum Blue & Gold, Darius Soriano is asking for three more games like that from the Lakers and was surprised at their offensive preparedness: “After both the Lakers and the Suns had a week off, one would have thought that maybe the offenses would have suffered. That maybe it would take some time for both teams for find their rhythm. That both teams might struggle to make some shots. Uhh, not so much.”
- On the ESPN Daily Dime, J.A. Adande says the Suns have no answer for Kobe Bryant, Kevin Arnovitz talks Robin Lopez, Marc Stein talks Steve Nash and much more from Suns-Lakers.
- Arash Markazi of ESPN Los Angeles says it’s time to forget everything you thought you knew about this Lakers team because they aren’t the same team you’ve seen before.
- The Los Angeles Times‘ Bill Plaschke says Kobe is still unhappy about his playoff past with the Suns: “This is Kobe with a bigger chip on his shoulder than in his knee. This is Kobe holding a memory as painful as his finger. This is, on or off the court, the most unstoppable Kobe that anybody can encounter.
This is payback Kobe.”
- Jeff Miller of The Orange County Register called Shannon Brown’s missed dunk “easily the most magnificent missed field-goal attempt of the postseason and yet the perfect signature to an oddly one-sided Lakers victory,” and says the Lakers are making it look too easy.
- At the TrueHoop mother blog, Henry Abbott shares some various thoughts on Game 1.
- Zach Harper writes on TrueHoop sister blog Hardwood Paroxysm about the interesting story of Lamar Odom after his big Game 1 performance. Complete with comparison to the Riddler of Batman fame.
- Trying to ease the pain of the Cavs’ early playoff exit, Mark Cameron of Numbers Don’t takes a very statistical look at the Suns to reveal some interesting trends.