Preview and Chat: The Phoenix Suns

Darius Soriano —  January 5, 2011

Records: Lakers 24-11 (3rd in West), Suns 14-18 (11th in West)
Offensive ratings: Lakers 111.2 (3rd in NBA), Suns 111.1 (4th in NBA)
Defensive ratings: Lakers 104.6 (10th in NBA), Suns 113.2 (30th in NBA)
Projected Starting Lineups: Lakers:Derek Fisher, Kobe Bryant, Ron Artest, Pau Gasol, Andrew Bynum
Suns: Steve Nash, Vince Carter, Grant Hill, Your Guess is as good as mine, Robin Lopez
Injuries: Lakers: Theo Ratliff (out); Suns: none (they have an excellent training staff!)

The Lakers Coming in:  It was only one game – and one against a pretty bad team – but the Lakers are coming off a strong showing at a time when those are few and far between.  All of their ills aren’t cured, but yesterday’s performance at least showed that they can play to a high level and that’s something that was questionable (outside of the Hornets game) for several games – and that’s being kind.  Now is the time to build on that however.  Momentum has been fleeting of late so the Lakers must try to carry that over tonight.

Now, a note on the Artest/Phil Jackson story that seemingly won’t go away.  I honestly think this is nothing to bat an eyelash at.  No one can convince me that players and coaches don’t have disagreements pretty frequently in this league and no one can convince me that what occurred between Phil and Ron is any different than what happens on other teams in those instances.  This is a story because 1). It’s the Lakers and everything is a story when it comes to this team.  When Kobe curses too much in an interview it gets press.  That’s the level of coverage this team gets and how much the media will look to the Lakers for their next lead.  And 2). The Lakers are a struggling team right now and that’s when the buzzards really start to circle.  If the Lakerswere playing great ball this likely gets some coverage but would ultimately die down.  However with the Lakers playing well below potential, this story feeds into the meme of general discontent and the unraveling of the team.  It’s easy to use this as one more reason for the Lakersstruggles, when in fact it’s not (in my opinion).  What this really was – to these eyes, at least – was some of the pent up frustration coming out from both sides.  None of these guys like losing or playing poorly and when it’s prolonged the way it’s been for the Lakers, tempers are going to be hot and more disagreements are going to occur.  As Kobe said, there’s no dysfunction here (at least compared to past Lakers teams) so in the end it’s just time to move on.

The Suns Coming in:  This group has lost 5 of 6 and their lone win was against the Pistons (you know that team from last night).  Granted, two of those losses came against the Spurs and the Heat, but the other three were the Clippers, 76ers, and Kings.  The Sacramento game was the kicker as the Suns’ late game execution went down the tubes and Sacramento went on a 19-2 run to close the game and pull out the win. 

Even worse is that the fact that this most recent streak of bad play came after the team tried to shake up the roster through a trade.  Gone are Jason Richardson and Hedo Turkoglu and in are Vince Carter, Mikael Pietrus, and Marcin Gortat.  These guys were supposed to help shore up the Suns defense while helping to diversify their offense with more post play while not losing much on the perimeter.  But so far, nothing has worked as the team just continues to drop games.  Now you’ve got Gortat criticizing his new team about their lack of defense and Steve Nash getting so frustrated that he’s saying things about referees that aren’t quite family friendly

And now there are reports that Nash might be available in a trade.  Who knows if that actually happens (I’m thinking fans would storm Robert Sarver’s house if Nash got dealt) but at this point I’m not sure where this team is really going to turn to improve.  If Nash sticks around anything is possible with this group because he’s one guy (along withKobe and a few others) that I never can truly count out due to his competitiveness and ability to lift the play of teammates.  But if he’s out, who knows.  In the end, it’s looking more and more like it may be time to bury the Suns.

Suns Blogs: Valley of the Suns is a great site with good insight on what’s going on in Phoenix.  Seriously, go check them out for a ton of great info.

Keys to game:  If you scroll back up to the top of this post, you’ll see that I have no idea who the Suns are going to start at power forward.  In recent games the man that’s filled that position has been Grant Hill as he’s played as part of a small line up with Vince Carter playing SF and Pietrus playing SG.  Tonight, though, it looks like Gentry is going to go witha bigger player to match up with the Bynum/Gasol combo.  The only question is which big will it be?  Will it be Gortat? Channing Frye?  No one really knows but over at Valley of the Suns they’ve got a good post talking up Gortat as the ideal candidate.  Either way we’ll know at some point and we’ll update in the comments what we find out.

Whoever starts, though, it doesn’t change the fact that the Lakers need to continue to attack inside.  They can do this in a variety of ways and I encourage that diversity.  I’d love to see straight post ups for Gasol and Bynum, obviously.  If Frye is in the lineup he’s a natural target to attack on the block, but even if Gortat/Lopez start, I’d love to go into Bynum and let him work against guys that have size but not enough to really fight him for position for long stretches.  Outside of the Lakers’ bigs posting up, I’d also like to see Kobe continue his attacking ways off the dribble to try and get into the lane and finish in the paint (or at least draw some fouls).  This can be accomplished in early offense off drag P&R’s or in slow-down half court sets, but an attacking off the dribble Kobe will really help the Lakers offense.

On the other side of the ball, the Lakersare all too familiar withthe Suns attack and how it can compromise a defense.  Expect a heavy dosage of P&R with Nash at the tip of the spear attacking from all angles.  He’s a master of reading what the defense is doing and will keep his dribble alive as long as needed before making the play that he thinks will best help his team.  So, the Lakerswill need to rotate well behind the P&R to take away both the dive man and the shooters that will space the floor behind the arc.  Easier said than done, I know, but this is the challenge that every team faces when they play the Suns.

Obviously the other big key to this game is the controlling the pace and not getting caught up in a helter-skelter game.  The Lakers would like to run and can feast in early offense under the right circumstances.  But, what they can’t do is get caught up playing the Suns’ game of pushing the ball indiscriminately and just jacking up the first open shot that becomes available.  The Lakers aren’t built for that type of game, but the Suns are and they’ll look to speed up the game in order to suck teams into that style of play.  So, it’s imperative that the Lakers play under control even as the tempo to the game speeds up and that they pull back on the reins when needed so as to not let the pace of the game get out of control.

Tonight is a night where the Lakers can build up some momentum but it won’t be easy.  Despite the Suns recent struggles, they’re an excellent offensive team that is fully capable of knocking down shots (as we know from earlier this year when they went crazy in Staples).  So the Lakers will need to bring a disciplined game plan on bothsides of the ball and exploit the advantages they have in the post and with Kobe (who normally does well against Pietrus, Carter, and Hill).  If the Lakerscontinue to focus on doing the little things well they’ll walk out of the arena tonight with a two game winning streak.  If they don’t it’ll be back to the drawing board again.  Here’s hoping for the former.

Where you can watch:  7:30pm start time on KCAL and nationally on ESPN.  Also listen on ESPN Radio 710am.

Darius Soriano

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72 responses to Preview and Chat: The Phoenix Suns

  1. For Warren! :)

  2. ” a note on the Artest/Phil Jackson story that seemingly won’t go away”

    Unfortunately, much of the media is still looking for Artest to do something crazy – with most other players this would have hardly been mentioned.

  3. Mimsy’s Hubby (Jim C.) January 5, 2011 at 3:23 pm

    Nice preview.

    Couple of thoughts that I’d add.

    1. Re: Artest/Phil storyline
    This also wouldn’t be a big of deal if it was, just as an example, Derek Fisher and Phil Jackson. Unfortunately Ron, because of his past, gets a bit closer scrutiny in these sorts of situations regardless of whether the Lakers are playing well or poorly or whether or not they’re the Lakers or the Grizzlies.

    I can think of at least one player on the team who might sympathize.

    2. The Lakers are a flat-out bad matchup for the Suns.

    Yeah, Amare didn’t play any defense. I get that. But he was also the only truly reliable source of inside scoring that this team had. And yes, Jason Richardson was a bit of a gunner..but he fit this team and was a bit more mentally tough than a Vince Carter.

    Adding Gortat adds some backline defense for the Suns, but to my eyes this is a team lacking a defining identity. They aren’t a run-and-gun scoring machine. They aren’t a defensive juggernaut (to put it mildly).

    In the last few years, the Suns have traded doing a couple of things well (score the rock and play up-tempo) and having an easily identifiable weakness (defense) to doing a number of things decently after the recent trade while maintaining the same weakness.

    Gortat is a very good post defender 1:1. He should be a tough matchup for whichever of Bynum or Gasol he takes. If I was the Lakers I’d use the OTHER big as the prime post player in tonight’s game.

    The Suns have no other player capable of defending in the post without help. If the help comes from the perimeter, then you’d like to see good ball movement for open shots or the player being helped off of cutting to the hoop as applicable.

    If Gortat is coming to help, then his big should be heading straight to the front of the rim for a feed from the big with the ball.

  4. I’m Not the type of guy who cares what the media writes… And I’m definatley not the guy who cares if there is fight, a shooting or heaven forbid bad chemistry guys on our team. All I care about is talent and match ups. That is it… I’m a simple man with simple taste. Artest needs to learn how to be his old aggressive self without constantly having the ball as with his former teams. I think ronron needs to stop trying to be Derek fisher on the court and get back to being himself on the court. Be a killer… Get a tech… Play on the edge. I’m not worried about him. When the playoffs start and games turn into street fights like in the seventh game of the finals, Ron will be on our side and when it’s a battle… It feels nice to have him in our corner.

  5. Gentry will probably put Gortat primarily on Bynum. I don’t think he has the foot speed to keep up with Pau. Also, if Pau is operating in the high post he will have a decided advantage over Gortat. But if Pau finds himself under the rim Gortat’s strength and length will cause him problems.

    If the “good” Lakers show up tonight they should get the W. Just keep the Suns from hitting 20+ three pointers tonight.

  6. With no Richardson or Turk, they always seem to kill LA from deep, the Suns dont scare me( Jared Dudley is still on the team I almost forgot). Although LA seems to let at least one player on the opposing team have a career night. I expect the outcome to mirror last nights against Detroit. I have to disagree on one aspect, both Hill and Petrius seem to play pretty good D on #24. Lets see if Kobe sticks too the script or goes off on his own making a victory harder than it should be(hopefully not).

    Always liked Nash as a player who brought his A game night in and night out playing with a passion similar too Kobe. But I dont know what he was thinking when he resigned with the Suns. The writing was on wall that Amare was leaving, yet he remained to play on a team with nothing but role players. At his age I hopes he gets traded to a team that has a chance to make the playoffs. You hate to see players of Nash quality have to end their career on such a down note.

  7. Mimsy’s Hubby (Jim C.) January 5, 2011 at 4:10 pm

    T. Rogers:

    I’d agree. I’d put Gortat on Bynum if I was the Suns and play Bynum straight up. With Gasol, I’d send help from the perimeter take my chances the Lakers are missing their shots tonight and/or not playing defense.

  8. #6. I added that tid-bit about Pietrus because Kobe did major work against him in the 2009 Finals where I really thought Kobe got in his head and was taking it to him frequently. Since that time, Kobe’s had his number some. I respect Pietrus from his Warriors days and he’s come up huge in the playoffs against Boston and Lebron’s Cavs, but from my memory he’s not done as well against Kobe.

    As for Hill, I think he does a good job but I also think Kobe has figured him out. When you look at Kobe’s scoring numbers against Phoenix, he’s had very good games consistently and Hill has been the primary defender for a lot of that damage. Hill works hard and he’s crafty as all get out, but Kobe still seems to have his number too.

    Obviously, we’ll see if I’m right tonight. If not, it wouldn’t be the first time. :)

  9. Reign on Parades January 5, 2011 at 4:26 pm

    On paper the Suns offense looks like a good test to see if last night’s improved defense is an actual trend or just the Detroit Pistons being the Detroit Pistons

    However I don’t think their offensive efficiency is as good as the numbers state. It’s more a consequence of their defensive efficiency, which really is as bad as the numbers say.

    They lost half their engine with Amar’e and guys like Channing Frye, Goran Dragic, and Robin Lopez have really fallen back to earth as a result.

    Nash still hasn’t lost much though, and that’s saying something.

  10. Torn tonight should I be rooting for a Spurs loss, but that would mean a Boston W. The time is long past due for this Spur team to be exposed. Good health and hot outside shooting has them off to a great start. Rondo should make Mr. Longoria( thanks for the vision S. Elliott) have to work on both ends of the court. Pop will not play his boys heavy minutes on the second night of a back to back. Smells like a L is in the air for them Rodeo Boys.

  11. At the game and landed some nice seats. Watching warmups right now and The Rifleman is out early with Barnes and Blake. He, for experience and teaching skill, was a tremendous pickup for the Lakers. I’ll keep my eyes peeled for some live-insight.

    Hoping for a nice win.

    Edit – he was having Blake and Barnes work on their timing on alley-oops. Interesting on game day, no?

  12. DirtySanchez,

    We need to close the gap with the Spurs. We need the C’s to win tonight. I think that would cut it to five games back in the loss column for the Lakers.

    Close your eyes, pinch your nose, cover your mouth, and root for the C’s tonight.

    (I know, its easier said than done.)

  13. Penetration whether on the break or in the half court set by a guard with good handles and vision puts so much stress on the defense. Watching Rondo and Mr. Longoria score what looks like such easy baskets or setting up open teammates almost makes me want to cry.

  14. “Close your eyes, pinch your nose, cover your mouth, and root for the C’s tonight. (I know, its easier said than done.)”

    Just tell yourself firmly and repeatedly, that you are not rooting for the Celtics. You are rooting against the Spurs. Against the Spurs.

  15. The Spurs are so far ahead of our heroes for HCA that it’s a lost cause I fear …

  16. 5 games behind 35 games into the season is very attainable, considering if the Spurs lose tonight it will be their first back to back L’s of the young season. The Lakers are due to run off about 8 to 10 wins in a row, the wins would have to happen on a Rodeo Boys backslide for that to be remotely possible. Taking care of business tonight against the Suns will be a step in the right direction.

  17. Focus for this team needs to be to play well more consistently, not homecourt advantage right now. I honestly think with their schedule remaining, they don’t have a shot of cathing the Spurs even though the Spurs have had a lot of home games. And then there is still Dallas who scares me more than the Spurs do. If the Lakers are within 2 or 3 games come March, then I will worry about homecourt.

  18. SS&R’s drinking game for the night:

    Drinky drinky whenever:
    * Someone mentions the Phil Jackson-Ron Artest practice snit,
    * There’s an M-V-P chant for Kobe Bryant,
    * There’s a counter-M-V-P chant for Steve Nash,
    * Nash trade possibilities are discussed, or
    * There’s a new Fanpost from “Kobe is killing the Lakers” guy.

    Dex is trying to get us all to pass out before the half.

  19. Via the twitter feed of Mike Trudell, the Suns are going to start Gortat and Lopez as their PF/C combo. They lose a great deal of offensive spacing with that lineup but gain interior size, defense, and rebounding. We’ll see if that extra size helps them control Bynum/Gasol better. My assumption is that Lopez will be on Pau with Gortat taking Bynum.

  20. Spurs lost again Lakers with another chance to gain a game

  21. Bynum right out of the gate!

  22. 17. Joe

    Its not like the fans are in the locker room influencing play from game to game. Just saying that the race to HCA is not that far ahead in the month of January, its a marathon not a 100 yard dash.

  23. Reign on Parades January 5, 2011 at 8:04 pm

    Andrew Bynum is dominating, other than at the FT line. I remember when he said of himself compared to Shaq, “I can make my free throws.” For some reason I think of that every time he misses two

    Also I almost flipped my lid when Grant Hill went sprawling into Drew’s legs. I was mad

  24. DirtySanchez, I gotta say that was a mighty impressive win over San Antonio without Garnett. Rondo is a Kentucky boy so I like to see him play well especially against our Western Conference Rivals.

    Also I LOVE the way Bynum is playing lately, his energy on both sides of the floor is what this team has been missing. It is scary to think how great this kid could be if he plays a full healthy season.

  25. Last season’s playoff run (especially the Finals) really helped Andrew grow up as a ball player. Mentally he is just a different player. Granted, it is a small sample size. But the sulking and frustration we saw a lot of early last season is gone.

    Andrew Bynum is a grown man out there. I just hope his body can hold up for the rest of the season.

  26. Can you believe this, Bynum’s titanium knee brace was bent by a Sun player who fell on his knee, and they are fixing it now. The guy should permanently play with dual knee braces, just to be sure.

  27. Well, we’re beating the Suns, just not Jared Dudley.

  28. kobe again and again leaves shooters wide open to double for no reason. Its so unbelievably annoying. how does he not realize that a soft double isn’t doing anything but leaving open a wide open three point shooter?

  29. Defensively I can not stand to watch this team, all year long it’s like they dare teams to beat them shooting wide open jumpers.

  30. Absolutely amazing. This is the 7,000th time the Lakers have played the Suns and they still have no f-ing clue what the Suns’ philosophy on offense is. Stand around the 3-pt line and bomb away. Figure it out! Pathetic. Oh, and once again, another team’s scrub is killing us. This time it’s Jared Douchebag.

  31. @sT (#26)
    So the knee brace did it’s job. Without it, we would now be looking at finishing the season without Bynum.

    Sickening.

  32. DARIUS, tell me, if you know, what is the purpose of the soft double by kobe? it seems like it never forces a turn over. all it does is allow them to swing the ball to a wide open shooter in his sweet spot. Its as if they ask for the double and kobe obliges. What’s the point? Especially against a team like the suns, but also, do you remember how many wide open threes Rj had int he spurs game? It was ludicrous! How have the coaches not adjusted? It’s as simple as telling kobe to stay with his own man. There’s no way dudley has 19 points if kobe doesnt leave him to double.

  33. Never did I think I would see anything about Sasha hitting a game winning shot against a team on ESPN’s bottom line ticker. Maybe Phil broke his confidence?

    Jordan, it’s called TEAM defense Kobe is leaving Dudley but so are many other guys.

  34. Alright, so I thought that Bynum was injured again. I just about had it haha.

    Lakers need to defend around the 3 pt. line, like the Suns always play every year!

    Lakers need to play more inside. They can’t handle Bynum when he plays tough.

    And when is Artest ganna shrug off that dust?

  35. But you should know the Lakers by now noles. They are slow on rotations and with the Suns, you got to be able to have quick ones.

  36. Lakers8884…it just seems that its usually kobe either sagging too much or completely leaving his man. and it doesn’t seem to have to do with slow rotations. I think he feels that pressure might result in a turn over, but it usually doesn’t. And you would think that once dudley got hot, we wouldn’t leave him, whetehr it be the team’s fault or kobe’s. There should be no reason he gets wide open threes after he’s hit a few already.

  37. I do not know about anyone else, but I just want the game to end with no injury’s, especially to any of our 7 footers, a win would be nice also, BTW. The Lakers are keeping my anxiety level up in this one for sure.

  38. You’re right, Joe. The Lakers just don’t individually defend players well anymore, so they’re either always sagging off shooters or in scramble mode because they have to help onto a player that beat his man off the dribble.

  39. Jordan, I know what you are saying he has been bad about it lately I just think he has gotten into a bad habit of roaming because he usually always guards the least effective shooter on the team, so just like everything else with this team he has a hard time turning it off and on as to when he needs to play sound defense.

    On Another note can someone please show Ron how to shoot a proper jumpshot, he always fades when he doesn’t need to, he has bad habits when shooting the ball.

    These Refs better get a hold of this game its getting very physical.

  40. On that P&R I wish Pau would step up or slide back, he is caught in no man’s land and he is basically letting Nash set him up for wherever he wants to go. If he is worried about leaving his man he shouldn’t be, that’s why he has help defense.

  41. I thought a lot of Dudley’s shots came off the Lakers getting sucked in on penetration, not necessarily of Kobe’s soft doubles. If anything, I thought the Lakers were hurt most by LO’s foul trouble because they then had to go small and play Walton for a stretch that had nothing to do with trying to get the team to run the offense correctly. And it was Walton that had to guard Dudley for almost his entire stretch and that corresponded with several of his makes.

  42. Also, not to give the Lakers a pass on their defense (they’re not doing some things well at all), but to imply that because the Lakers have faced the Suns a lot or because they’re very familiar with the Suns schemes that they should be able to stop it is off base in my eyes. There’s a reason the Suns are 4th in the NBA in offensive efficiency and are consistently one of the best offensive teams year after year. Their system, with Nash (and now even Dragic) running the show, is a difficult one to stop. They spread the floor and space out defenders and play off defense’s natural tendency to help on penetration and on the P&R. When their shooters start to hit shots they will put up points. Against any defense. Even the elite ones.

  43. This is the Suns lineup that I don’t want to see us lose the lead to. With 4 deep threats, they can get going in a hurry.

  44. Its ganna be tight all through the fourth. We gatta bust through the middle with our 7 footers. They got no hight on us, just shooters.

  45. Oh no. Odom just went down. Looks like a hurt elbow. Let’s hope this isn’t serious.

  46. Hope it’s nothing serious. Just the thudding sound when LO landed sounded painful.

  47. NOOOOOOOOOOOO. Odom might be hurt. Possible elbow maybe the wrist. Its just the funny bone.

  48. Fingers crossed.

  49. Bynum with the great D wow, better than our guards lol

  50. Is it just me, or would this Suns bench 5 be a solid match for their starting 5? A little undersized, but better perimeter D, and more shooting.

  51. Next game can Bynum please get more touches? He is the most efficient offensive player on the team (other than his FT shooting).

    Lamar has been great off the bench again tonight.

  52. Gasol isn’t aggressive inside at all

  53. I dont care if Drew has 5 fouls, he needs to be in the game at this point.

  54. Come on guys, how long will it take until you figure out the zone defense?

  55. Right about now, it seems.

  56. Games where my enjoyment hinges on a late 3 by Ron are a little too nerve-wracking for my liking. I can handle it in the playoffs if necessary (and we all know it was last playoffs!), but I could do without it in early January!

  57. Drew would have muscled in that shot Pau missed

  58. Why does everyone refuse to give to ball to Pau on the high post against the 2-3 zone? I know that sometimes the passing lane isn’t there, but Its been there the past 4 times that the Suns have gone to the zone and Pau has flashed to the high post, but guys are just looking him off. Pau is such a good passer, mid ranger shooter, and good enough going to the basket that him in the high post would be a great way to break that zone.

  59. A win, no injuries, all is fine in Lakerland.

  60. only 10 turnovers. 14 o boards. i like it. Our passes seemed crisp as well. nothing really lazy. some good activity, and finally, a little HEART.

    Gasol needs to turn it up. If Gasol does so, and Bynum plays like he’s playing, we’ll be monstrous on the inside once again. And we need to use that to our advantage ALWAYS.

    I think we made some defensive adjustments as well. we didnt leave the shooters to double as much in the second half. thank god.

    honestly though, Im just happy we won.

  61. LOL AusPhil. Well put. But I don’t mind it. Brings a little excitement to an otherwise boring January.

  62. Some bad shots and good passes by Kobe down the stretch.

  63. This was the perfect game to leave Andrew in the game. He is a better target when the opposition is playing zone, as Pau really avoids contact and Phoenix was reduced to doubling Andrew – but not Pau – off the ball in the 4th qtr.

    But could Jackson play some situation ball here? – nope, he just couldn’t avoid his entirely predictable substitution patterns.

    If I were Andrew I would be peeood too.

  64. Craig, for what it’s worth, Phil went with Pau at the 5 and Artest at the 4 for the game clinching spurt (including Artest’s three) after the Suns closed to within 1 with a couple of minutes left. That’s not a lineup you see a lot.

  65. Zone gave the Lakers trouble.

    The win disguised a lot of the Laker problems. Kobe didn’t even try to initiate the offense under 2 minutes in the game. There was no execution whatsoever. It was just him, iso’d on Dudley. I know that’s when Kobe takes it on himself to score points, but could there be a high screen and roll, off the ball movement, or any semblance to an offense? Not just stand around and watch aka Kobe’s greatness and we must watch offense.

    Maybe we need to change the Lakers mantra to…the Lakers will go as far as their offense takes them. When they execute the triangle and the spacing is there they are balanced and ready for transition defense. When they were struggling against the zone they were content passing the ball around the horn and not playing with a purpose.

    When they were making a conscious effort to get the ball in the post good things happened. I know the Suns constructed their defense to disrupt the Lakers post play. When there’s pressure on one side we need that pressure release pass. Which could create some hi-lo action. This will create the backdoor cuts that Barnes and Brown like and will provide better looks and MOVEMENT!

    It just looks like the Lakers aren’t connecting on all cylinders on offense. Recently they have decided to change up some principles in their defense now that Bynum is back.

    There’s progress but still much to work on.

    Glad to see Artest contributing on offense.

  66. Feels weird to say this but at least it is a win.

    As an aside, what is the difference in the Lakers ability to guard the 3 pt line this year. Last year, even with the sloppy play at the end of the season, they led the league in 3p% defense, but this year whether it’s denver, Phoenix, San Antonio, Miami, or even Milwaukee, teams are jet draining them all day against us.

    I rarely give the broadcasters credit, but Stu remarked today that after the first 8 games this year, the Lakers as a team are shooting around 25% from 3. That is embarrassing and would be worst in the league. Can we get a dang shooter!

  67. Maybe I’m reading too much, but Pau sure looked pissed as he walked off the floor.

  68. #67. I don’t like to read into things that much either, but he probably is pretty upset. 3-10, 6 points, no FT attempts and another sub par game. He did have a huge block on Carter though. That one essentially sealed the game.

  69. Yay! A win and no injuries! We need the height up

  70. I have to give #24 credit for playing within the offense, not being impatient and keeping his teammates invovled throughout the course of the game. But like a junkie claiming to be sober and stuff keeps coming up missing, he couldnt resist the temptation at the end of the game to go 1 on 1 and save the day. When ball movement and getting to the rim was of top priority, Mr. Bean seemed to have brain farts and want to take contested jumpers and dribble the air out of the ball. Now I did take into account that Pau was playing like he needed a blood transfusion the entire night, but he could have at least been used as a decoy at the end of the game. Overall a good performance with a little bad mixed inbetween, got the win lets hurry up and get out of town before J. Dude(ley) hits another three.

    Good:
    1.Bynum a beast in the post, this man has definitely been eating his wheaties.
    2.10 turnovers
    3.Holding the Suns to only 4 fast break points.
    4.Spurs taking an L
    Bad:
    1. Pau Gasol
    2. Pau Gasol
    3. Pau Gasol
    4. Finding Jared Dude(ley) behind that three point line. He gets us everytime.

  71. @ #67 & #68

    I’m glad he looks pissed off. He passed on a few open looks and wasn’t very aggressive when he had the ball on the block tonight. He probably knows he didn’t play well and that’s what I think Kobe was talking about he said it starts with people looking at themselves. Pau Gasol being aggressive & efficient is the reason he made the Lakers contenders when he came to the Lakers. I have yet to see that from him on a consistent basis this year.