Monday, the Phoenix Suns face LA, in a rivalry that goes far back in NBA history.
Unfortunately for the Lakers, they are missing their MVP player, Kobe Bryant as well as almost every other guard on their roster. Steve Nash, Steve Blake and Jordan Farmer are all injured and the only ones to not be effected are Jodie Meeks and Wesley Johnson.
Nash was the franchise player for Phoenix for most of the last decade and Johnson played in the valley of the Sun last season. The Lakers continued the trend of taking the Suns’ “scraps” by signing Kendall Marshall. He was drafted by the Suns a few years ago, couldn’t improve enough for management so he was included in the Marcin Gortat trade to the Washington Wizards, then was immediately waived. He had been playing well in the D-League, trying to make it back, and he did.
Marshall has fantastic court vision and awareness as well as passing ability, though the rest of his game is lacking. He shot had been improving before he left Phoenix, but wasn’t reliable. Also, due to his less than stellar athleticism, his defense was lacking.
Miles Plumlee versus Pau Gasol. Basically who gets the upper hand with their post moves, rebounding position and rim protection, will help determine who wins the game.
What the Suns offense should focus on:
Penetrate and kick out for threes. This Laker defense is not good. They are the third-worst defense in the NBA right now. The game will basically come down to how badly Dragic and Bledsoe torch the Lakers backcourt.
What the Suns defense should look out for:
Don’t let Nick Young or Jodie Meeks get hot. Get physical with both of them, don’t go under screens for either of them, use help defense to make sure they don’t get easy points in the paint, but contest every jumper. Cause they will shoot a lot of them.
Lakers player who could make a surprise impact:
Xavier Henry. They need to get a spark from somewhere, why not him?
Suns player who could make a surprise contribution:
Archie Goodwin. I could easily see the Suns up pretty big in this game, giving Goodwin some playing time. That combined with his speed, agility and athleticism could see him have a decent game as he drives to the bucket, time and time again.
Suns win 122-109