Phoenix Suns: 2 Keys to Victory Over the Los Angeles Lakers

Phoenix Suns (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
Phoenix Suns (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images) /
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Phoenix Suns
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Phoenix Suns Keys to Victory over Lakers: Lock down the paint

With Westbrook’s inability to stretch the floor already plaguing the Lakers, they look like a team shaping up to live and die by their inside penetration. They simply lack the right assets to consistently run isolation plays and advanced pick-and-roll sets, leaving themselves with no other option but to attack the paint.

Geared to focus at the offensive end around fearsome penetrators Anthony Davis, LeBron James, and with Westbrook’s drive and kick talents, the Lakers will easily win this game if they do this, and break through Phoenix’s first line on defense. If accomplished successfully, this strategy first allows James and Davis to set themselves up for direct scoring opportunities inside, or draw double teams to kick the ball out to their many sharp shooters.

The Suns need to stay strong at the point of attack, whether James brings the ball up or Westbrook. This puts heavy pressure on wing defenders Jae Crowder, Mikal Bridges, and Paul should Westbrook start hot.

But regardless, it strikes as the clearest way to derail this Lakers offense. Additionally, those three seem up to the challenge, as they defended James specifically as well as can be expected during their playoff series against Los Angeles last year, and strike as the team’s top three players from a defensive standpoint to begin with.