Preview: Phoenix Suns (44-29) at Los Angeles Lakers (24-48)


Time: 6:30 pm MST

TV: FSAZ

Lakers

Lakers

Suns Logo

Suns

The Phoenix Suns head to the Staples Center tonight, enjoying the final bit of calm before the storm that is their April close to the season. The Suns have one more winnable game, and then eight games of storm that will decide their playoff fate. As of this morning, Phoenix sits in seventh place in the West. They hold a half game lead on the Memphis Grizzlies and Dallas Mavericks, and trail the Portland Trail Blazers and Golden State Warriors by 2.5 and 1.5 games respectively. It’s still more than feasible for the Suns to climb as high as fifth. It’s even more feasible that the Suns could miss the playoffs all together. To put a little more distance between themselves and ninth place, Phoenix has to take care of business against a Lakers team that is a shadow of its former self, but still dangerous if underestimated.

51 points in a quarter is awe inspiring. It doesn’t matter who was on the court for the Lakers during their third quarter drubbing of the Knicks last week. All that matters is their ability to put up a historic number of points in just 12 minutes. Though the Knicks have some definite defensive short comings, offensive fire power like that speaks for itself. The Lakers will not be a team the Suns can put away early and coast to the finish line against. LA, for all its flaws, injuries, and drama, can still score the basketball and surprise some of the best teams in the NBA. Just look at their win over the Thunder earlier this month. If Phoenix wants to win its eighth game in a row, they will have to fight their old Pacific division foes for all 48 minutes. For more on this game, let’s ask three preview questions.

Can the Suns complete the season sweep of the Lakers?

A victory tonight would be the Suns’ fourth over the Lakers this year. Phoenix has not swept LA since the ‘04-’05 season. A sweep this year would mean more than just four wins for the Suns’ season total. It would also be a symbol of the shifting power in the Pacific division. If this Suns’ team remains intact this offseason, they could easily bring out the broom for the Lakers again next year. Help is still a long way off for the purple and gold is seems.

Will Pau Gasol or Steve Nash have an impact in this game?

Nash returned from injury Friday night to play 15 minutes in the Lakers’ blowout loss in Minnesota. Nash hasn’t played two games in a row since before the All Star break, so there’s no guarantee he suits up against his former team. That said, Nash has yet to face Phoenix this year, and considering the fact that this could very easily be his last year on an NBA court, I could see him pushing through the pain to face the Suns one more time.

Pau Gasol has been dealing with vertigo for the last three games. He did not travel with the team on their recent road trip, and he is questionable for tonight’s matchup with the Suns. The Lakers fell to the Bucks and Timberwolves without Gasol in the lineup. The Suns could have a significant advantage in the paint if he doesn’t play.

Can Bledsoe and Dragic keep up their torrid pace?

Bledsoe’s four-game streak of scoring 20+ points came to a close against New York on Friday, but that probably had more to do with his only playing 31 minutes against the Knicks. Dragic had a monster game against New York, scoring 32 points, hitting five threes, and getting to the FT line seven times. Since Bledsoe returned to the lineup earlier this month, Dragic has continued to average better than 20 points a game. Eric looks like he is now back to 100%. Right now the Suns look unstoppable with these two driving one of the best offenses in the NBA. There is no one on the Lakers’ roster who can stop either of these guards. Look for them both to have big games once again.

Tags: Los Angeles Lakers Phoenix Suns Phoenix Suns Recap

  • foreveris2long

    I agree Ryan this will likely be a fight. The Lakers remain prideful especially at home when they play the hated Suns. While the hatred is not to the level of distaste that they have for the Spurs, the Suns remain hated nonetheless. I still recall when my man raja was a Sun the lakers refused to shake hands after the series ended. While it sucks to be a Laker fan these days they will take great pride in hurting the Suns playoff chances.

    Come on Suns, focus tonight, beat these bums. One game at a time boys. It looks like the Suns will get a break against the Clips who will probably be without Blake Griffin due to back spasms. If the Suns, who were destined for an excellent lottery pick in the pre-season, make the playoffs in the tough Western Conference, without one allstar, a center who only played 55 minutes last season, their lottery pick coming off two ankle surgeries, a rookie coach and GM, it will be one of the most impressive modern NBA miracles.

  • GoSuns

    It’s almost time for the final push, as long as we go out and compete I’m fine with whatever happens to this team, we have a bright future

  • sunsn7

    Suns 117 Lakers 98

    Dragic flirts with a triple double as Nash bows out of the game in the 3rd qtr.

    B E A T L A!

  • sunsn7

    …if he doesn’t bow out of the game altogether.

  • sunsn7

    Foreveris, this season is taking on similarities to the 2005-06 season when Amare was injured and Boris Diaw/ Tim Thomas picked up the slack. No true interior presence but uncanny comradery on that team where everyone held each other accountable because they REFUSED to let their teammates down.

    B E A T L A !

  • the real al

    Enough talk.. its playoff bball BABY!! ..Beat these bums in LA, and control your destiny… plain the simple…let go suns!

  • sunsn7

    Hey Al?

    Stfu and drink! :)

  • Al

    I just hope there is no earthquake/aftershock during the game that may injure one of the Sun’s players (Goran or Bledsoe). On the other hand, I hope Kobe is at the game to watch…

  • sunsn7

    Yawn

  • phx suns fan in la

    Going to the game :) go suns

  • sunsn7

    Plain and simple, SUNS know what is at stake going forward. If the Suns are a true threat, not only to make the playoffs but to win the West, they show it tonight.

    IF.

  • JK

    This has blowout written all over it. After the Suns take care of business tonight they will really have to prepare themselves for the final stretch. Gotta win to get in! Hopefully Nash can make it on the court tonight to face his former team since I believe this will be his last year in the NBA.

  • sunsn7

    Ish Smith?

    When you see the floor, straight give it to Marshall. No bullshit

  • foreveris2long

    Sunsn7 good comparison to the 2005 – 2006 Suns due primarily I think to to the cohesiveness of the team. These guys are as close I think as I have ever seen a team. However that team I believe had an allstar or two whereas this team has zero allstar talent.

  • sunsn7

    Foreveris, respectfully disagree with you but the Suns have 2 all star caliber players in Dragic and Bledsoe, 2 future all stars ( yup quote me on this) in Goodwin and Len, plus the likes of P.J. Tucker and Gerald Green?

    Hey Im on record for the rebuild, I originally said “SUNS 2015 NBA CHAMPS”, back at the end of 2011-12 season..and maybe it was a bit “tongue in cheek” because there was no real reason to believe..but here they are, representing like none of us could of ever forecasted.

    I was for the “tank” leading into this season and stand by my original rebuild stance. But damn, said it before but isn’t great to be wrong in some instances?

    G O S U N S !

    B E A T L. A. !

  • sunsn7

    ..F I L E T

    L. A. !

  • sunsn7

    Every Suns player available should see some meaningful minutes tonight.

    IF

  • sunsn7

    Shots out to the Morris MEN too..

  • foreveris2long

    Oh Sunsn7 I am speaking technically when I say the Suns have zero allstar talent in that no one on the team has been an allstar. I definitely feel at least two will be allstars if not more in the future.

  • Raffi AKA Anonymous

    If the suns don’t blow them out by at least 40 tonight, I am going to be an angry man.

  • sunsn7

    Watching pregame show and GREATto see Nash having an L.A. meal with his understudy.

    Passing of the torch indeed! Game on.

  • sunsn7

    AL McCOY!

    AL McCOY!

    AL McCOY!

  • David

    Can’t even watch Channing frye try to defend kaman or hill

  • phx suns fan in la

    Bledsoe looks uninterested. Idk I was yelling at him to get out the game 40 57 lakers up

  • foreveris2long

    I am sure glad I did not go to see this one. They sure stunk up the arena in the first half. We cannot let Frye guard Kaman. With the Warriors and Memphis presently losing we are blowing a major opportunity.

  • Sunsfansince90

    IT’S TIME TO ENTER THE DRAGON!

    CMON SUNS LET’S GOOOO!!!

  • sunsn7

    Somethin’ bout them LA lights that star strike even the most subtle of all stars…original prediction was Suns by 19..Down by 18 at the half so I’ll revise my forecast and call for Suns by 1..

  • sunsn7

    Puh-LEEZ bench Frye! Wtf?!

    If Frye plays major 4th qtr minutes, then the Suns have ZERO shot at a rally.

  • Dave:f32

    I told you so!

  • David

    I agree that Bledsoe does not look engaged whatsoever I don’t understand

  • phx suns fan in la

    Yea david its so weird. He always seems like he gives 100 percent . But tonight he looks lazy.

  • John

    No excuse for this pathetic effort.

  • Avi

    If the Suns do miss the playoffs I bet they end up with a top 3 pick in the draft. Watch.

  • sunsn7

    It aint over

  • sunsn7

    Good call Weisert, Foreveris.

    After all the bullshit hype, should’ve expected for the proverbial Egg to bedropped…

  • sunsn7

    …it aint over

  • Dave:f32

    Its pathetic to see the Chuck n Duck offense, esp. how many 3s the Suns shoot.

    Looks like they never ran an offense that didnt require them not to shoot a 3-pointer!

    Instead of taking it to the hoop, the live by the jumpshot and die by it.

    These Suns can only be considered Pretenders, not Contenders…

  • sunsn7

    Gerald Green and P.J. Tucker:

    Love dem boyz!

  • Raffi aka Anonymous

    A very big game that we have away to one of the shittiest and my most hated team in the NBA. At least warriors and grizz lost

  • Sunsfansince90

    EMBARRASSING

  • sunsn7

    Damn Lakers CLOWNED. Regroup WANNABES.

    Digest this Suns fans.

  • Raffi aka Anonymous

    AND they got their tacos. I hate the suns right now.

  • sunsn7

    Hey Foreveris?

    You’re right. These “Suns” are FAR from ready from prime-time..smdh

  • sunsn7

    Tacos TOO??

    Damn.

  • Ellensburgbballfan

    Len and Goodwin play a total of 5 minutes in a game that was over after the 1st quarter…….why?

    The Suns came out and basically had one of the worst games of the season

    If we are going to get blasted by a crappy Lakers squad, atleast have the rooks play some quality minutes

    its not their fault everyone came to the game asleep

  • Scott

    My bet is that the LA club scene claimed another victim tonight: the Suns.

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