Suns-Lakers: Across the nation May 20

The Los Angeles Lakers displayed again in Game 2 of the Western Conference Finals why they are the defending NBA champions, putting the Phoenix Suns in a 2-0 hole. As the Suns try to rebound and find a way to match up with the Lakers, here’s what they’re saying across the nation…

  • Sebastian Pruiti of TrueHoop sister blog NBA Playbook breaks down Amare Stoudemire’s defense (or lack there of) against the pick and roll: “The Lakers ran a ton of pick and rolls in Game 2 with Pau Gasol as the screen man for most of them.  This allowed the Lakers to take advantage of Amar’e Stoudemire’s poor pick and roll defense since he was the Sun usually responsible for defending Pau Gasol. Now Stoudemire wasn’t asked to defend the ball handler coming off the pick and roll too much, but when he was, he didn’t do a very good job of it.”
  • TNT analyst and former NBA head coach Doug Collins answers playoff questions from bloggers, including Valley of the Suns’ very own editor Michael Schwartz.
  • Paola Boivin of The Arizona Republic lays out five ways the Suns can bounce back. No. 2 on her list involves the Suns underperforming backup center: “What happened to the guy who started 41 games this season, who kept defenses honest with his outside scoring, who had the second-best three-point shooting percentage on the team? He has been supplanted by his evil twin. Bad Channing is 1 for 13 from the field in the Lakers series. After averaging 27 minutes during the regular season, he was reduced to nine in Game 2, and contributed zero points, one rebound, one turnover and four personal fouls.”
  • Also at The Republic, Paul Coro reports on Suns GM Steve Kerr and coach Alvin Gentry’s takes on Amare Stoudemire’s recent remarks, which were out of character as of late.
  • Broderick Turner of The Los Angeles Times on the Lakers’ unexpected contribution in Game 2: “Kobe Bryant didn’t hesitate to answer what changed the momentum for the Lakers in the fourth quarter of Game 2 of the Western Conference finals Wednesday night at Staples Center. ‘Jordan Farmar,’ Bryant said.”
  • The owner of Tempe’s Caffe Boa Bistro have promised the entire Suns team quite an incentive to bounce back, according to The Arizona Republic: “[Owner Jay Wisniewski] vows that if the Suns win the championship, he will give the entire Phoenix Suns team — every player, every coach, every towel boy — free meals for life at the Tempe Caffe Boa.”
  • Phillip at Forum Blue & Gold discusses the Lakers’ resolve in this postseason, particularly against the Suns: “When the Suns came roaring back to tie the game at 90 at the end of the third quarter the Lakers were put in a position where they would have to show a title defense resolve that they hadn’t shown yet this postseason.”
  •’s Daniel Banks shares some behind the scenes stories from L.A. including Alvin Gentry’s vocal skills and Jared Dudley’s clutch shooting.

Tags: Links Los Angeles Lakers Phoenix Suns Playoffs

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