Preview and Chat: The Phoenix Suns

Jeff Skibiski —  November 14, 2010

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Records: Lakers 8-1, Suns 4-4
Offensive ratings: Lakers 116.1 (1st), Suns 111.5 (2nd)
Defensive ratings: Lakers 105.3 (10th), Suns 110.9 (28th)
Projected Starting Lineups: Lakers: Derek Fisher, Kobe Bryant, Ron Artest, Lamar Odom, Pau Gasol
Suns: Steve Nash, Jason Richardson, Grant Hill, Hedo Turkoglu and Robin Lopez.
Injuries: Lakers: Andrew Bynum (out)

The Lakers Coming in: The Lakers are looking to rebound big after their first loss of the season to the Nuggets on Thursday. With a few days off between games, the Lakers should be well-rested against Phoenix, which is probably a good thing since Phoenix will look to use their smaller lineup to spread the court and turn tonight’s matchup into a running game. It’s no secret that L.A. didn’t play well down the stretch against Denver, but the loss hopefully served as a reminder that talent alone isn’t going to help the Lakers execute down the stretch of close games.

The Lakers hit the road for three games after tonight, beginning with Milwaukee on Tuesday. Looking ahead to the month of December when they’ll play a majority of road games, I expect L.A. to come out with a focused business-like effort tonight.

The Suns Coming in: At 4-4, Phoenix is just about where most insiders expected them to be this season — a borderline playoff team, capable of beating a strong team on a good night, but equally susceptible to losing to the league’s lesser half as well. In their defense, they’ve had an extremely difficult schedule so far, already playing against L.A., San Antonio, Portland, Utah and Atlanta.

The seemingly ageless wonder Steve Nash is doing more than ever for the Suns, absent another marquee superstar a la Amar’e Stoudemire. On the season, the Canadian is averaging 20 points and 10 assists in just 34 minutes per game, with a PER of 24. In fact, in the Suns most recent win against the Grizzlies on Friday night, Nash came within three rebounds of notching his fourth career triple double, scoring a season-high 28 points to go along with 14 assists and seven rebounds. Jason Richardson has also emerged as a more consistent scorer for the Suns this season, averaging 21 points and scoring at least 15 in Phoenix’s first seven games of the season. While Hakim Warrick’s 13 points have helped ease the burden some inside, the Suns are still a team woefully lacking in that department. That and the fact that they give up just about the same amount of points as they score (107) has resulted in a mediocre start to the season.

Suns Blogs: Be sure to check our Valley of the Suns for the latest updates from the desert.

Keys to the game:

The Lakers will want to avoid the track meet they got into the last time these two teams met on Oct. 29 — a 114-106 win for the forum blue and gold. In that game, Grant Hill went off for 21 points on 10-17 shooting and Robin Lopez had one of his better games of the season with 18 points and 14 rebounds — numbers well above his season averages.

The Lakers need to control the battle of the boards against a much smaller Suns squad. I’d especially look for Pau Gasol to take it upon himself to dominate inside tonight after his largely lifeless second half against the Nuggets on Thursday. Lamar Odom always seems to play well against Phoenix and I’m sure the coaching staff wouldn’t mind a repeat of his 18 point, 17 rebound performance when L.A. beat the Suns earlier this season.

I’d also look for Kobe to have a strong rebound effort after shooting just 11-32 from the field against Denver and seemingly choosing to revert to 2006 Kobe in the final minutes of the fourth quarter. The Lakers have an enormous size advantage against the Suns and Bryant would be wise take advantage of that and play more of a facilitator role, at least early on in the game.

The Suns are a deep, but ultimately imbalanced team who rely too much on outside shooting and not enough on defense and rebounding. In seasons past, their bench has caused problems for the Lakers, but thanks to the Killer B’s, L.A. has hardly missed a beat when resting its starters through nine games. Phoenix’s energy has also been an issue for L.A. in past seasons, but Steve Blake, Matt Barnes and Shannon Brown have injected new juice of their own into the Lakers lineup. Perhaps most surprising on that front for Phoenix this season has been the aforementioned Nash’s resurgence. As he goes, so go the Suns, so the impetus must be placed early on stopping Steve from going on one of his signature hot streaks. As is always the case anytime L.A. plays Phoenix, they’ll need to control the flow of the game from the outset. For that reason, I’d look for the Lakers to come out of the gates with a strong first quarter, quickly establishing control of the game and ensuring that it is played on their terms.

Even without Stoudemire, the Suns play L.A. with confidence and have enough pieces leftover from their Western Conference Finals run to give the Lakers a strong challenge before they head out on the road for their first mini-trip of the season.

Where you can watch: Fox Sports West at 6:30 p.m. or listen live on 710 ESPN Radio.

Jeff Skibiski

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118 responses to Preview and Chat: The Phoenix Suns

  1. This one is for Warren… Go Lakers

  2. warren, we missed ya in the last game, and look what happened. I want to be doubly sure tonight.

    let’s hope we get the ol’ LO we’ve been seeing this season.

  3. To be honest, I think we out-match the Suns on every position except point guard.

    That said, any team led by Steve Nash is going to put up a serious fight and while I do expect us to win, I don’t think it will be an easy win. Nash is a killer, he has the same go-for-the-jugular-and-rip-it-out instincts that Kobe has, and when his team loses, they lose fighting to the end. Don’t let his nice manners fool you, Steve Nash is an assassin, that’s one of the reasons I have such a high opinion of him. He will find a way to give his team scoring opportunities, and he can create plays and fast breaks like no other.

    This is going to be a fun game to watch. :)

  4. I hope Kobe is on Nash. Fish can chase Jason Richardson around the screens and Ron can lock up Grant Hill.

    Pau and Lamar should feast on Turkoglu and Robin Lopez

  5. UPDATE: Via Kevin Ding’s twitter, Steve Blake is being ruled out due to a stomach virus. Ratliff is going to try and play with his sore knee.

  6. I guess that means Fish playing more minutes, and Shannon picking up some PG minutes as well… Let’s see what happens with Sasha

  7. #7. It will be interesting to see if Phil goes to Shannon as a PG or if he dusts the mothballs off Sasha for this game. Trying to put yourself in Phil’s mind is always an iffy proposition, but I would think he’d keep Brown in his traditional role as a SG and go to Sasha as a PG to match up with Dragic.

  8. 8. I was thinking the same about Sasha. He is quick enough to stay with Nash and has the height advantage.

    The big threat though is that Nash uses Sasha’s aggression to get him (Sasha) in foul trouble. We all know how fast, and for the most part stupidly, Sasha can rack up fouls

  9. Darius,

    I cringe every time I think about the Sasha/Dragic match-up.

    But where else are you going to find a heated match up between two bench players? It’s like watching the first undercard fight from an entire night of boxing.

  10. Sedale – I feel that cringe as well. But I also agree that the undercard feel is excellent. Sadly it seems that Dragic gets pumped for it in a basketball way, whereas Sasha gets pumped in a physical confrontation way!

  11. #10. I think last year’s run-in between Sasha/Dragic will live with us all for some time. However, if Sasha can keep his cool, he’s actually a good match up for the Lakers on Dragic. Sasha has good size and good lateral quickness to try and limit Dragic’s penetration.

  12. Hope for a bounce back game tonight, there is nothing else LO likes to see other than a jolly rancher(the Phoenix Suns). Its something about that orange jersey that seems to give him confidence and make him play to his potential. Since he didnt have a good game Thursday, I look for him to shine tonight and continue to play at the all star level he began the season with.

  13. Sorry for the double post, just had to send a shot out to Darius for using my comment last post Since I have been coming here Im starting to watch the game in a different way,not getting so bent out of shape about every little win or lose. Thanks for the knowledge, and how much do I owe you D. Just PlaYN…

  14. This is a good match up for the Lakers. A borderline playoff team (read possible 8 seed) coming off a loss. The thing about the Suns is that every time in the last few years we have played them and been patient and focused we have dominated them. When we fall in love with the 3, we end up in a close game. I’ll be watching to see how much this team has matured in terms of recognizing where they have an advantage and exploiting it. A lot of that is on Kobe. If facilitates and picks his spots we cruise, if he guns we may end up in a battle.

    Looking forward to the road trip and wanting the team to get a W. Also I unlike most it seems think home court advantage is a big deal and these are wins we will need to get it.

  15. Not that the Suns are a bad team, but there’s no excuse for losing to the Suns at home right now. Unless Nash goes for 50 point and 20 assists, the Suns will not win. Go Lakers.

    We want a nice easy blow out….please…

  16. help request from TN…any links for the game friends?

  17. Um, yeah. Kristen Blake has been non-stop tweeting the past few days about their 3 loveable tykes projectile vomiting… so, I didn’t at all anticipate any flu fallout for Steve. Nope.

  18. Kobe goes off the backboard for the basket

  19. Is Dragic/Sasha about the dust up that occured in the playoffs last year?

    Based on what I saw on TeeVee, Sash looked blamless, although Kobe and everybody else pretended he did something terribly wrong. The Sun’s guy talked trash, bumped Sash, and then flopped when Sasha raised his arms. Still don’t understand why he got a tech!

  20. Thanks for covering for me guys…

  21. Candyman going to work early and often on Turk.

  22. 22. Sasha elbowed Dragic on that play… Dragic definitely overplayed it and sold it nicely, but there definitely was malicious intent and physical contact from Sasha

  23. That Kobe spin move is amazing to watch.

  24. sorry if this is late…but was that a walk by nash when he got fouled going to the rim? looked like he took a bunch of steps…like manu does from time to time

  25. 22.

    Sasha, should you really be posting on FB&G in the middle of a game? :P

  26. 25. A little physical play by Sasha on Dragic, it was definitely about the timing of the foul more than the foul itself.. If ole Ron did that to Bron in the playoffs, it might be viewed a little different. Sasha’s play the last 2 years has caused fans to look at things he does on the court a little differently.

  27. Where is Steve Blake? Oh. Thanks, Darius. Didn’t see that one. Scrappy team out there. Me likey. Just need some points though.

  28. 29. DirtySanchez, I respect your opinion, but also suggest that you check this out: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7MK5c2QdjvU

  29. sloppy, sloppy ball control and 3 pt defense.

  30. 31. Just a little love tap, kinda like baseball when the pitcher throws high and inside. All in the spirit of the game( didnt see any blood) more like Dragic trying to get an award for best supporting actor.

  31. We’re in a little danger here. This is where I want to see LA resist getting in a shoot out by trading 3 pointers and go to their offense and play good set defense. LA down 8

  32. You know the Suns won’t make another 12 3-pts on the second half. But an area of concern would be they were mostly open shots.

    And yeah, Kobe’s in chase for a quadruple-double tonight.

  33. 33. I agree it was no major push… gotta love Sasha though… He should definitely try acting

  34. LA might want to consider putting a hand in a three point shooters face sometime before the game ends. 12 for 20(60%) from downtown is the difference in the game.

    JRich 4-5
    Turkoglu 2-3
    Dragic 2-3
    C. Frye 3-5
    J. Dudley 1-3

  35. Suns bench outscoring Lakers bench 24-4

  36. I like that they seem to be starting to figure out what to do against fronting defenses. Fronting has just killed us for awhile now.

  37. Phoenix is SO good at sucking us into this back-and-forth type game. It amazes me every time we play them.

  38. Very similar to the Denver game in that we are clearly superior and yet the other team is staying close (or leading) which will leave LA vulnerable to a run without time to recover.

    Must take care of the ball and must stop settling for 3. just ridiculous

  39. We have to outscore them, we have no answer on defense whatsoever

  40. The Laker offense has been more balanced than the past two games. Kobe and Ron with 11shot attempts a piece, while LO and Pau have 12.

  41. This is just a stunning display of shooting. I keep thinking that it will slow down, but they just keep right on raining them in.

    A 9-2 run in 53 seconds. Breathtaking.

  42. Lakers perimeter defense needs some work as the Suns are on fire from 3-point range

  43. What’s going on?
    What’s with the 3 point defense??

  44. If the Suns end the game shooting 60% from 3 then good game for them. I’m not going to get upset over a fluke.

  45. 44, It’s easy to shoot them lights out when LA doesn’t really care about the 3 pt-line. Almost all of their shots are open.

  46. I disagree Jeremy, all credit to the Suns, but the Lakers perimeter defense has been is horrendous this game.

  47. Maybe it’s just not the night to be a fan of LA teams.

    /much respect to the Phoenix roster’s three point shooting ability …

  48. Jeremy, I will be upset because you have to run shooters off the three point line after they hit the first 10 you don’t keep giving them space. On most of these threes there has been like 3 to 5 feet of space for the shooters. Poor defense

  49. #47– bunches of those 3’s have been wide open.

  50. Is it wrong that what really concerns me is that a guy like Jason Richardson has 7 rebounds? The shooting, like Jeremy said, is just what it is. If they bang in 60% on triples, then well done. But seeing us give up rebounds from missed FTs to JRich is a bit much.

  51. that last offensive possession was pathetic.

    Suns shooting 62% from 3 and we have 14TO (kobe w/ 7) and only down by 8. A very winnable game at home. Defense + take care of the ball + smart offense and we win.

  52. If Sasha fouls a Sun from beyond the arc, I’m throwing my monitor out the window

  53. The Suns shooting 60% in 3s is not a fluke, considering they were pretty much open and are capable of shooting them, scouting reports say so.

    At least stay on the 3-pointers. I’d rather get beat by twos than threes.

  54. 53. While weird I don’t think richardson’s rebounds are concerning. He leads the suns this game with the rest of phoenix basically hoovering around pathetic. I think it’s only because he is the only sun even trying to grab a rebound. They are bound to get some.

  55. Sasha vs Dragic = Must see Tv

  56. Sasha holds the fist pump just a tad too long…

  57. Mark I agree, at this point I rather the Lakers give up penetration than open 3 pointers. Cant let them shoot the open 3’s, they aint missing tonight

  58. horrible traveling call on sasha

  59. horrible travelling call

  60. Bad call on Sasha, that is not a walk

  61. At least they are closing out better I’ll take the Suns hitting these shots all night long, it’s as good as defense as you can play

  62. I bet Suns’ fans are wondering where this Channing Frye was in the WCF last season…

  63. Shannon’s shot so juicy.

  64. kobe BOX OUT!

  65. man I tuned into to the game in the middle of the 3rd and the lakers (starters) have been playing some lazy d and kobe refuses to rebound.

  66. Childress is a good player but against our lineup thats garbage.

    Looks like Phil was about ready to unlock the woodshed. Still Phoenix is regressing a bit and we seem to have figured some things out.

  67. Is it possible (assuming Kobe hits one mroe shot) that we could have 3 players go 20-10 and STILL lose?

  68. Darius, you should really reconsider the “airball” stat I’m talking about, I’m serious it happens on the opponents every game.

  69. ok I have to stand up for the rest but I was worried our run was running out of gas but it looks like Suns may be as well. We should win that battle because of our size.

    Look for Nash to try and take over, we stop his dribble we win

  70. pretty amazing to have a shot at winning this game considering the suns’ 21 threes. any word on steve blake’s lack of playing time? ive only caught a bit of the second half.

  71. #71. Mark,
    You’ll have to remind me of the stat you’re talking about.

  72. Horrible decision to bring Fisher in over Shannon for defensive reasons

  73. THAT WAS A FOUL!!

  74. horrible refereeing. Not why we’re going to lose, but that’s lame to T Lamar up like that in such a close game

  75. because everyone there paid to see the refs call a game-changing technical foul

  76. We cannot get over the hump this game lol, frustrating

  77. I despise that new rule, you can call that technical at other points in the game but by calling it at the end in a close game you are influencing the outcome of the game in a bad way.

  78. Airball stat: LA has forced at least one airball in 9 consecutive games.

    I’ll try to watch those games, but I’m pretty much sure we have forced them every game. ;)

    And that non-foul call on LO was huge.

  79. alright, if they’re going to make 3’s even when we’re contesting them, you just have to tip your hat to them. It sucks, but what else can you do?

  80. And that shot by Hedo sums up the entire evening

  81. Kobe has been awful today

    and if kobe was going to defend Hedo, why wasn’t Brown in the game he was the only guy making shots.

  82. Concerning Kobe stat of the night: FTs 1/1.

  83. That 3 that Pukealoo just made is a sign that it is the Suns night, and not the Lakers night.

    4 feet beyond the arc, with Kobe closing out, and off balance, fading away, and nothing but net anyway…

    When he let it go I thought, “Yes! Terrible shot! Oh man, it went in…”

    *shrugs*

  84. Maybe this is the conspiracy theorist in me, but maybe Phil was lax on adjustments so he could let the team see for itself what happens when you don’t contest three-point shooters at the line? This has been a problem most of the season, it just didn’t manifest itself as badly until tonight.

  85. Well unless LA learns how to tighten it up on the defensive end then they can kiss home court advantage down the drain. Against crappy teams like the Twolves that effort may result in a win but against average to great teams there’s no chance at winning.

  86. 86, That was indeed a “lucky” shot, but 90% of those threes that the Suns took were not.

  87. Hedo always hits those long 3’s and he is clutch, not surprising to me at all.

  88. While it’s early in the season, it’s disconcerting that we’re yet to see the Lakers play a good game on the defensive end. The energy is inconsistent, the rotations are slow, and the IQ is here-and-there. I keep hoping that the Lakers will have a wake up call, but after a close win to Minnesota and now back-to-back losses, we’ll see what happens.

  89. Mark,

    I undestand what you are saying but even against the worst defensive teams in the league (which the lakers are not) the Suns are not going shoot this well. That’s what I mean by fluke. This is probably the best shooting night Phoenix will have all season. It just happen to be against us.

    Still a lot of mistakes by LA tonight.

  90. Lakers8884, you were saying the same stuff last year about how we’re not going to beat the clevelands and the magic of the nba… no home court advantage.

    look i get your point, lakers need to get better defensively, but you don’t have to be all “the sky is falling”.

    Suns made 21/40 3s? I mean some shots were nuts, Turks at the end, and we still had a chance to win. We couldn’t sustain it.

    And I didn’t mind Fisher coming back in there in the end. He’s the vet. Shannon got a majority of the minutes and he’s earned it, but geez, must we question phil jackson’s decision making? don’t you think he’s proven that he KNOWS what he’s doing?

  91. I know you don’t want to hear it Darius, but this Laker team is lacking killer insinct right now. I am sure it will pick up as the season goes on, but right now I just don’t see it.

  92. great shooting by the suns but still close til the end. if not for lamar’s t… who knows

  93. I am not surprised that the defense is not there yet.

    First and foremost, the defensive anchor is out. I know it is not popular to say it, but Bynum makes a huge difference defensively.

    Secondly, it is early, and we are still integrating Barnes and Blake. The effort is not as urgent, and the communication is not well honed.

    I suspect that the defense will improve remarkably sometime in mid-January, and be awesome starting in May.

    In the meantime, these games will happen from time to time.

  94. #94. Joe,
    I wouldn’t necessarily call it a lack of killer instinct, but I know where you’re coming from. They’re playing a nonchalant brand of basketball right now. Both offensive and defensive execution is at 70% of what it was in the Portland game and that’s not enough to beat good teams (like Denver and Phoenix). Even against the T-Wolves they were at that same level (as the stats bore out) but still came up with the win because, you know, they’re the T-Wolves.

    Big picture, I’m not worried. Short term, I am concerned that they aren’t getting up for the games the same way they were two weeks ago.

  95. sure, the Suns were deadly tonight from 3, but.

    take a look at the bench scoring: 22-40. not good. (missing Blake didn’t help, of course – not that he defends the 3 that well.)

  96. This team lacked killer instinct last year and the year before that too. And during the threepeat. Didn’t keep them from winning 5 championships.

  97. 94. Nah, it’s early there are going to be games like this. We’re going to lose to some team like the Wolves or Knicks as well at some point in the season. I’m more disappointed by the Nuggets loss because we gave that game away.

    Let’s see how the road trip goes.

  98. Isn’t this the big reason why no one thought the Lakers would have HCA this year? Because they just don’t really care all that much about the regular season?

  99. Ray, didn’t the Lakers have home court advantage against Boston and win a close game 7 at home? My point exactly. I said the same stuff last year because it WAS and IS crucial against the best teams in the league. (I was not afraid of Orlando, I was concerned with Boston all year, and you know you were with Cleveland too after they beat the Lakers twice)

    Did I ever say the sky was falling? NO, however there is cause for concern on the defensive end. The biggest concern the Lakers have is staying healthy come playoff time but you as well as everyone else can’t say home court advantage is not huge in the playoffs. I can forgive the road loss to Denver but tonight was a very poor performance on the defensive end and it’s been a trend since the Lakers beat Portland.

    I do question why Phil took Shannon out, because you know what he isn’t perfect at coaching in every game. The past 2 games Shannon was the only reason the Lakers were even in the game in the 4th. Fisher goes in and guards Grant Hill in the post? Would you rather have him over someone with size (Shannon), that’s basketball common sense. And Shannon was doing a solid job on Nash too, more of a reason to not take him out. Let Shannon play

  100. “because you know what he isn’t perfect at coaching in every game”

    And who is?

  101. lakers8884,

    yah they had it over boston, but u were harping on how bad it was that we didnt have it over cleveland and orlando and thats why we were going to lose.

    Fisher didnt guard grant hill in the post, he guarded nash and got caught on a switch, same with how pau got stuck with nash lots of time in the switch. and phil doesn’t have to be perfect every game, but he knows what he’s doing to win championships. That’s all that matters. Lakers have things to work on, but we’re in a good spot. we’re better than last year.

  102. In any case, I hope these 2 loses will be a wake up call for this team to gain more focus. One good thing I liked is that Kobe did not try to get them back in the game himself, not until the very end when it was pretty much over. Offensive execution was actually pretty decent down the stretch.

  103. 103. Um Mike I dont get your point in that comment the answer is nobody, so the question is what try to say my comment was incorrect for leaving Shannon in. I have an opinion and so does everyone else here, so why bash anyone for voicing it? I felt he made a mistake so what.

    Ray, I never said Orlando. And quite frankly how was I wrong? How do you know for sure if the Lakers didnt have HCA they wouldnt have lost? You dont and neither do I, that’s why I know it’s better to be safe rather than sorry.
    And Yes Fisher did guard Grant in the post go back and watch the game, it happened on a switch. And had a switch with Jason Richardson in the post happened it also would have been a mismatch. Once again I never said Phil had to be perfect coaching, he’s the best in the world, but I voiced my opinion, just like you are doing because this is a message board after all.

  104. The Lakers deserved this loss.

    The player who played the worst was Kobe – I don’t know when I have had to say that. He was a p**s poor passer and he wasn’t guarding the door tonight. He sort of set the tone for the entire team.

    It would have served him right if Phil had subbed him out in the 4th qtr.

  105. 8884, you have the luxury of armchair coaching. We don’t have know what goes on in game, we don’t know what phil was looking at. And yes, i did say it happened on a switch and brown was guarding hill or richardson would have been a mismatch as well. so that wouldn’t have mattered.

    So what would have happened if the Lakers lost game 7 at home? would you be saying that HCA doesn’t matter?

  106. You are right I do Ray but what the heck is the point of this site if I can’t come here to make a comment just like you or anyone else here does. You are no more right than I am. Brown guarding Hill or Richardson is not as much of a mismatch in the post as Fisher would be and you know it.

    No I would still say it mattered because it does, dont act like you don’t think the referees aren’t influenced by the home crowd. Like I said before it is better to be safe than sorry, would you rather play game 7 at Staples or in Boston? My point exactly

  107. Lakers8884, and you can certainly voice your opining. however, if you expect Phil to coach a perfect game every time you’re gonna be dissapointed often.

    Listen, if you want a kind of blue collar, hustling on defense all out style of play from your team you might as well stop being a Lakers fan because they’ve NEVER been that kind of franchise. Even during the Showtime years. They would routinely play to the level of their competition and, yes, sometimes lose.

  108. Relax. Even in a 7 game series we’re bound to lose 2~3 against this team, and there’ll be consecutive losses during playoffs as well.

    HCA or not, it’s far less important than having all our guys healthy, and since we are slowly but surely getting our players there with a respectable record, we should be fine.

    Lack of defense, especially from the 3 pt line is a bit disturbing as that was something we really nailed last year, but it will come back since we didn’t lose any defensive stalwarts during the offseason.

  109. 8884,

    you’re right, you do have the right to make the points that you want, and I have the right to disagree with you.

    I disagree that it wouldn’t have been as big of a mismatch, fisher is a veteran who, by appearances, is stronger than shannon.

    I want to see better defense. better team defense, kobe got beat by childress two plays in a row by not boxing out. steve nash was amazing at breaking down mismatches (what else is new), oh and the suns hit 22-40 3 pointers for an insane 55%. Do you think that is a common occurrence? I’d say no.

    I was only able to watch the fourth quarter, how was our offensive execution in the first 3? did we take advantage of the post?

  110. Mike, did I ever say I expect Phil to be perfect? You are proving the point I was trying make to Ray that Phil (as well as everyone else isn’t perfect) and that’s why I felt he made a mistake taking Shannon out.

    And Im not sure who you’re second comment is referring to because I don’t expect that, after watching this team all of my life I realize they play when they feel like it. I have concerns but only due to HCA, I know this team will bring it every night when Playoffs roll around.

    That’s fine Ray you take Fisher (undersized and lack of leaping ability but stronger ) against a much taller opponent and I’ll take Shannon (not as much undersized much better shot blocker and contesting ability who isn’t that much weaker than Fisher). I said the same thing about defense the whole night so we are agreeing there.

  111. I’m really not worried about the record, to be honest, I’m worried about the mindset of these squad, they have too much depth, that gives them the idea that “we can turn this on and off when we want to”. Now that’s not an overreaction.

    I take the blame more on the coaching staff for this one. I don’t know what was said there, but to start the game and continue sleepwalking on the 3-point line, considering this is the Phoenix Suns, something’s wrong. Maybe they decided to “let’s just try to force them to shoot themselves out of the game by giving them the 3-point line”. The Lakers were doing a good job clogging the lane, but you could really see that their defensive stance was not in tune to the perimeter defense.

    Again this is not a major concern, not yet. But like Fisher said, it’s disrespecting to the other team, and it gives the opponent some fuel to the fire. Now I don’t expect the Lakers to go 82-0, but I expect them to really “lock in” and not “wander”, I know it will help once Big Drew comes back.

  112. That was supposed to be “put the blame” not “take”.

  113. This team was never going to for 70+ wins- the Lakers deserved to lose this game, but they would certainly have won if not for a ridiculous 3 pt barrage from the Suns. We should feel good- without a shooting streak like that, the Suns are no match for the Lakers.

  114. The only positive thing to come out of the World Champion Los Angeles Lakers for me tonight, is that I ordered my Lakers Girls 2011 calendar, and that is a very positive thing, btw. The Suns shot the lights out with their 3 point shooting tonight, huh?

    “Things won are done; joy’s soul lies in the doing.” – William Shakespeare