3 reasons the Phoenix Suns are better than the Los Angeles Lakers

In what has been an up and down season for the Phoenix Suns, we can now definitively say that they are a better team than the Los Angeles Lakers.
Los Angeles Lakers v Phoenix Suns
Los Angeles Lakers v Phoenix Suns / Christian Petersen/GettyImages
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Sunday afternoon represented a watershed moment in the season for the Phoenix Suns, as they beat the Los Angeles Lakers 123-113 in The Valley to snap a two-game losing streak coming out of the All-Star break. The manner of the victory was typical of this Suns season, but that is not why it was so important.

Yes the Suns were blistering offensively at times, and they got big contributions from role players Grayson Allen and Royce O'Neale. But they also allowed their opponents back into the game several times, and having been up by as much as 20 points in the first half of the game. Really though this game felt seismic as it was the Suns' second straight win over the Lakers.

Which is why the Suns can now proudly and confidently say, they are a better team right now than the Lakers.

That might seem like a bold statement - but prior to winning 127-109 last month - the Suns had dropped five straight to the Lakers. This included a painful and contentious defeat in the inaugural in-season tournament, as well as four other losses stretching back to March of last season. Through size, talent and some luck, the Lakers simply had the Suns' number each time they met.

That's no longer the case, and the manner in which the Suns won at home would suggest they are primed to win future head-to-head games between the two. But how is it that we can now say they are the better team? There are several factors at play here, with the first one particularly painful to the Lakers organization.

1. They have the better head coach

About the best compliment you could pay Suns' head coach Frank Vogel in his first season at the helm is that you don't hear from him much. He simply puts together what he thinks is the best game plan for his group, then stands back and let's the team go to work.

Which is exactly what the Lakers would love to have right now, but instead have a head coach in Darvin Ham who does not inspire the same level of confidence. The last time the Lakers did have a head coach capable of leading them all the way to a championship was back in 2020. His name? Frank Vogel.

It is clear they have downgraded since letting him go, and making him a scapegoat for the inability of the likes of Russell Westbrook to work alongside LeBron James and Anthony Davis. The firing of coach Vogel did always seem quite harsh, and his great work with a trio of stars in Phoenix would back that theory up.

Vogel has always been known for his excellent defensive sets, and this has meshed well with the offensive firepower of Kevin Durant and Devin Booker. Center Jusuf Nurkic is also playing some of the best basketball of his career, while Bol Bol has been resurrected in The Valley. Hard to see coach Ham having the same impact, giving the Suns the clear edge in this department.