Records: Lakers 6-1 Suns 8-1
Offensive points per 100 possessions: Lakers 108.1, Suns 115.4
Defensive points per 100 possessions: Lakers 102.5 Suns 108.4
Projected Starting Lineups: Lakers: Derek Fisher, Kobe Bryant, Ron Artest, Lamar Odom, Andrew Bynum
Suns: Steve Nash, Jason Richardson, Grant Hill, Amare Stoudemire, Channing Frye
Short preview today as Bill Bridges did a great job breaking down the Suns.
The Lakers Coming in: I’m not sure I’ve ever spent as much time discussing a man’s let as I have Pau Gasol’s hamstring. I
Two great things out there worth reading. First, Dexter Fishmore over at Silver Screen and Roll did the smart thing — he emailed sports injury blogging guru Will Carroll. I’m not going to post his comments verbatim here, go check out the post, but basically he said calm down. He said to think of it as two injuries, the first one then the one he got trying to come back to fast. That is often why hamstrings linger.
Also, Kevin Ding has a great story saying Gasol is smart to take his time, and Gasol is about as smart a player as there is in the league.
Bottom line for me: If it’s Thanksgiving when he gets back, then we’ll give thanks. A healthy Gasol in April, May and June matters. November does not (especially when you are 6-1).
Keys to game: The Lakers need to get this win, because tomorrow night they have to travel to Denver for the second game of a back-to-back. That is a schedule-makers loss — play then travel over night to altitude and play a very good Denver team (with fans hyped for playoff “revenge”). The Lakers need the front end of this back-to-back.
The good news is they get the Suns on the second game of a back-to-back. (All these back-to-backs is anther way of saying don’t think what happens in these games can be extrapolated to May.)
As for what the Lakers need to do, I’d like to see Artest on Richardson and Kobe on Hill (allowing him to roam a little more. From there I’ll let Burgundy take over (from the comments):
The game plan is essentially this:
1) Use most of the 24 second clock each possession.
2) Go Inside.
3) Go inside (I mean, they were doing this with Kwame Freaking Brown [in 2006] and it was working because the Suns’ middle is so soft).
4) Don’t shoot three pointers unless it is late in the shot clock and you are wide open (we’ll see how Farmar and Sasha handle this directive).
5) Sag way the heck off Nash on D and keep him out of the lane. [Bill Bridges added a great point this morning, Nash prefers to drive to his left, if you force him right he is still good but it starts to throw what the Suns do off.]
6) Stay home on the shooters.
7) When Nash runs the pick and roll with Amare, double Amare off the pick and deny, even if it means Nash can get to the cup for two reasons:
A) An athletic big (like Lamar) can recover in time and still challenge the shot, because Nash is ground-bound and thinks “shoot” last.
B) Even if Nash gets a layup, the important thing is Amare DOESN’T. The less involved Amare is on offense, the less involved he is on D, and ultimately, the less involved he is in the game.
Where you can watch: 7:30 start on TNT nationally (well, more like 7:45 because you know the early game will run over) and Fox Sports here in LA, or listen to Spero on 710 AM, ESPN.
Just an apology in advance: Tonight is my wife’s birthday and taking her out gets priority, so I will not be watching this game live or really able to check comments. If things are held up in moderation for a bit, I’m sorry. I will try.
Happy birthday to your wife, and hope she gets a Lakers W as a present 😉
Joey Jo-Jo Shabadoo says
Oh we all understand. Your wife’s birthday or a November basketball game is an easy choice. If it were your wife’s birthday or a June playoff game, that would be something else entirely =P.
I had no idea Gasol’s gone Hollywood too:
He’s the last Laker I thought would appear on CSI. Or on anything.
Note to self: don’t marry a girl who has a birthday in May or June. I’m always learning things on this blog!
Definitely a nice post for sure Kurt, as well as Bill the post before. Can’t wait for tonight. Over the past 2 games, no complaints from me whatsoever from this Lakers squad. Everyone, I believe, is playing up to their capabilities. These have been 2 GREAT all-around victories for us. Usually question marks at times, but… Powell, Luke, Sasha, Farmar, Shannon, Mbenga, Fisher, even Ammo are all looking awesome. Albeit against the Griz and a team whose coach just was axed today. But without our two 7 ft studs, it’s huge. I’ve always thought that a big part of the declining bench play was playing time. But now with 2 of our main guys out, the bench’s mins have increased, thus positively affecting their play. Bench play could hinder us today with Bynum coming back.
But back to the post earlier today, other than agreeing with mostly everything, I completely disagree with the statement that this is the best suns team with Nash at the helm. Frye a better fit than Marion at the 4?? Marion is thee perfect fit at 4 for a 7 seconds or less type offense/defense. A healthy Hill over Diaw? Debatable for sure. Anything over Bell, agreed. I believe in the suns hot start, but am going to need a full season’s worth to actually judge whether or not this team is the best one Nash has had. It sure is great though that Kobe actually has players around him now that can fully compete with a strong phoenix team. Bring it on.
Joey Jo-Jo Shabadoo says
That’s hilarious, Snoopy2006.
Or in mid-February! My last birthday dinner was cancelled so we could watch the All-Star game…
That’s two years in a row that the Lakers have had to play AT Denver the second night of a back-to-back.
Is the NBA purposely trying to give the Lakers a loss?
To even the odds, every player on the Nuggets should be required to drink a cap full of Nyquil an hour before the game. That should even the odds.
At least the Nuggets haven’t had a lot of time to make themselves at home. The Nuggets have been on the road for forever. That first home game after a long trip is about as disadvantageous a home game there is.
Man, I’d always give the Lakers priority over my wife’s birthday!!
Please don’t tell her I said that, OK?
off topic but a quick question. I’m watching the Heat Cavs game and I was wondering, if it’s just me, or do any of you guys notice how much Lebron uses his off arm while driving?
did anyone see how DWade immortalized Varejao? in front of Michael Jordan? to promote his new shoe? MJ’s one very lucky man
Joey Jo-Jo Shabadoo says
Use his off-arm to… push people/create space?
Mostly to create space for his first step or two. He seems to use it to get around his defender.
Warren Wee Lim says
Anderson Varejao will hate Wade forever !!! =D
heh, forgot that there was another Shaq storyline in that matchup.
Shaq vs. Magic (Shaq’s former team)
Shaq vs. Wade (Shaq’s former mate)
Shaq vs. Kobe (Shaq’s former mate)
Shaq vs. Nash (Shaq’s former mate)
As Michael Jordan sits courtside watching Wade and Lebron, you know all he’s thinking is, “yea, I could do better.”
wtf, the 2nd half of MIami-Cleveland just started and it’s 10:00pm ET… Are they supposed to play an entire half in 30 mins, or are we going to miss the entire first half of the Lakers?
Or better yet, have a wife (or girlfriend) that’s a Lakers fan as well. That way, you both get to celebrate. Now I wish my boyfriend were a Lakers fan. 😐
It works out very nicely. Canceling birthday dinner was my idea. 😉
IIRC, the start of the 2nd game is delayed up to around 7:50, and then TNT will join the game in progress.
Converting him is easy. Just base your mood around the lakers. Be happy and nice when they win and sour when they loose. Trust me he will watch and root for them to win so he can have a happy girlfriend. It works for me 🙂
lei, if your bf loves you, he’ll become a Lakers fan 😉 I credit Fisher’s Game 4 3’s last season for turning my gf into a Lakers fan.
Joey Jo-Jo Shabadoo says
I want a Laker fan girlfriend.
Oh man, I can’t wait to see who the Lakers match up with Joe Johnson and Shawn Marion. And what kind of antics will Phil Jackson pull this time to irk D’Antoni?
@lakergirl, that’s an awesome tip! Thanks!
Adding to what lakergirl said, I’ve found that cooking a celebrationary dinner whenever the Lakers do well helps as well. Blow-out = Prime Rib.
why is the miami game so delayed?
Does anyone know if the game will be delayed or if it’ll start as scheduled? are they broadcasting it anywhere else?
The Lakers are assisting on everything!
So is Phoenix just tired on the second night of a back to back?
Bynum going to work early(8 points). Not letting Phoenix get confident in their game.
Thank you TNT
whoa, TNT just switched their feed mid free throw…
35 – you spoke too soon
whoa, and they just switched back mid possession.
Jaybird, unfortunately those 3s by Fisher just made him hate the Lakers even more (being a diehard Magic fan ) and Mimsy, he does all the cooking, so if the Lakers lose, I get pretty bad food.
The Suns only have 1 assist, 7 so far for the Lakers
Is no one bothering to watch on Fox and get Joe and Stu instead?
The game has started already. Its 20-13 Lakers.
a time out, spoelstra? come on.
god damn it, im missing us shooting over 70%
Anybody have a decent link?
Is no one local? i’ve been watching the entire game on Fox.
Wow, great play by Kobe there.
I’m on that link but it’s really choppy for me… OK for you guys though?
amare is getting shut down – guess he’s not used to finishing over the trees in the paint
I guess I am not seeing the Suns’ renewed commitment to D.
Not sure ours looks much better – they have missed some open shots. Though I think Ron makes life tough his man.
Did Luke just try to pass the ball off the backboard to himself? Umm that play is for atheletes only.
Bynum doesn’t get any cheap fouls tonight, he’s going to have a monster game. Suns have absolutely no one that can stop him and he’s extremely active tonight.
Ugh. Luke is having a rough few minutes.
Luke Walton contributes exactly zero to this team.
I thought Violet Palmer left the NBA to head the WNBA or DLeauge refs but i see she is working our game today..hmmm maybe it was just part time
This is not a complaint – just an observation. Phil has Bynum out there and then four bench players and the lead is slipping away.
I would change my name to Luke Walton if you paid me $5 mil, gave me courtside seats and the chance to run around with Kobe and the boys.
that’s a great pass by farmar – where only bynum can get it
Bynomite! nice pass too.
Sasha! Another 3! Farmar seems pretty active as well (from the box score)
Is Sharapova in the house? Machine is working ever since she’s been around.
Luke with some redemption.
wow, we have more assists than the suns. who would have thought. Farmar ties the entire suns team with 4.
j. d. hastings says
I love how the bench struggled so PJ called a TO, then put the same struggling lineup in. They eventually got it together, hit a few 3s, got some stops and the lead was back up by the time the starters came back.
Force feed them this PT to get their confidence up.
Fisher – 0 pts, 4 ast, +9per, plus a deflection.
Note to self: Bring earphones next time I plan to watch the start of the game at the gym treadmill.
The bench players are looking much better tonight. They move and pass, not to mention shoot, with more confidence than I remember from previous games.
Nash with only two assists – we’ll take that. And a Bynum swat.
how many people in this league not named LO can get a sick block, grab the board, then hit wide open guy on the fast break?
uhhh, so I guess that means Sasha is our team’s enforcer? I don’t think that’s a good thing.
what’s with the techs? what happened?
kobe with the hands on hips stare-down…LOVE IT
What’s with the FT shooting so far?
66 – That was one of the coolest ways to man up I’ve ever seen.
I rather Sasha run in there than Artest…
The word you’re looking for is “hothead”. Ron is still the enforcer… 🙂
I like it almost as much as I like his usual fingerpoint in the face
Lakergirl, I’m with you – let Sasha get the techs – keep Ron cool.
j. d. hastings says
Did Kobe and Artest just run a 2 on 2 where Artest got in the lane and immediately started boxing out while kobe took a 18 foot shot over Nash?
j. d. hastings says
HAHAHA- Nash makes the inverted hands glasses gesture to the ref
did nash just tell violet palmer to put on some glasses with his fingers?
I love that nash did the glasses with your hands thingie
JD i saw that too. There was also the play where he hustled to put a hand up at the corner 3. I like his hustle
I saw it too, how great is that?!?!
Odom close to a triple double in only 23 minutes.
Just following on the gamecast, and it looks like Lakers are forcing a lot of turnovers and passing very well. Wish I could see it though!
Powell has been shooting great the start of this season.
Josh Powell #1
j. d. hastings says
Bynum has 20 and 10, his averages, in 26 minutes. And the scary thing is that he can still improve a lot.
so when’s our true test coming?
j. d. hastings says
83, 84- it may have been the most naturally unselfish play I’ve ever seen.
WOW what’s going on with both teams’ FT shooting tonight?
Lakers have extended their lead 7 points each quarter. Very nice consistency.
If I am the suns, I start hack-a-Laker right now. At the rate we are shooting they could get back in it.
Hoping for a blowout 4th so all the starters can rest for Den game tomorrow.
i really hope bynum keeps this up when gasol comes back, he always seems more confortable with gasol out
According to Yahoo’s box score, neither team scored anything in the first quarter. Interesting glitch.
Am I going crazy here, or does it really say in the box that neither team scored in the first quarter?
Kobe starting the fourth.. Seems like PJ wants to end this now so that the starters can relax
Hrm, AB’s second foul, coming in the 4th quarter.
Wow. This guy used to not be able to stay on the floor!
You guys might not know this, but Doug Collins used to coach Michael Jordan.
Joel, I did not know that. Collins rarely ever mentions it.
Agent Jay from NJ says
My friends over here are singing Elton John……Dont let the sun go down on me
I heard that Phil Jackson used to coach Michael Jordan, too, before he got some real talent to work with.
Oh no, we unleashed the Ammo on the Suns.
Joey Jo-Jo Shabadoo says
AMMO against the Suns? Excellent.
why not put Mbenga in?
Can we get the petition going for ShanWOW to the Slam Dunk contest?
Yup and that’s why Doug has always been bitter towards Phil. He still feels that he could have taken those Bulls teams to the championship.
Wonder what they’ll say about the Suns after this beatdown… Granted, I don’t think this game tells us all that much that we didn’t know already (i.e. we are the champions, my friend).
we need to petition the nba to get shannon in the dunk contest
Shannon over James in the dunk contest? Awesome.
Did the suns get high on themselves or did we put in more effort?
WORST. REBOUNDING. EVER.
i’d say this was the Suns’ scheduled loss.
back-to-back against a better, rested team.
Aw, Mbenga. There goes Farmar’s highlight…
the other Stephen says
i don’t think i’ve ever seen a pass quite like the one jordan just made.
On to Denver; with a bunch of well-rested starters.
No tacos tonight. Looked like there was a shot but with the Suns you can’t count on it.
Hey, I like the new edit/delete feature …
Let me know where you put that ShanWOW slamdunk petition, and I’ll go sign it…
lol timeout with 10 secs left
Amudson or whatever his name is played to deny tacos. If he would have played like this through out the game then the Suns might have had a chance.
j. d. hastings says
The Suns were obviously tired. Bynum was great on both ends, but Amare won’t be that terrible everytime we see them.
I loved the Suns reaction to Amundsen robbing the fans of tacos.
j. d. hastings says
The Suns defense was also entirely sucky. That Bynum only shot 3 FTs says a lot- the fact that the lakers had something like 80 points in the paint and only shot 18 FTs is saying a lot.
The last 3 blowouts have all come against terrible defensive teams. Denver has been average. Probably depends whether they’re healthy.
Can someone explain what happened with Kobe?
I only caught a glimpse, it looked like he was staring someone down, and actually looks hostile (he’s typically hostile against referees, lets his game speak to other players).
well, regardless, I like that we won.
so Kurt’s wife did get a Laker’s W as a birthday present 😉
Joey Jo-Jo Shabadoo says
Nice job on Amare.
j. d. hastings says
123 – it was the result of all the banging he was doing with JRich for post position. Fairly chippy all game, no harm done
Bynum is the man in the middle for sure, and ShanWOW never seeks to amaze me with his athletism, he was several feet above the rim on his dunks. Kurt’s wife got the W tonight for her birthday, nothing but good times tonight.
wadya guys think Kurt is doing right now w/Mrs FB&G? ^_^
Amare just always struggles against solid Centers (thank God for him their aren’t many in the league. He was 2 for 15 to tonight… just awful. He needs Robin Lopez to come back from injury. That was the story of the game. The Lakers played without an All star PF… but so did the Suns.
also nice Mputback by Mbenga at the end there..
129. I think he’s watching the game on his DVR right now.
Great win 2nite. Big game tmrw.
@134 anon – Depends on if they have little Forums Blue and Gold….
They may be impersonating Sasha and Maria…
Warren Wee Lim says
The Suns played their 7th game in 10 nights in the seventh City… It was their scheduled loss.
Speaking of which, Denver tomorrow is one of ours… although, the momentum we’re in right now we are juggernauts. The @DEN game tomorrow has been penciled in as our only loss in our 1st 21 games… so I say the blowout (and non-recovery) from Phoenix gave us both a little energy but not enough to drain us when it was supposed to.
Next stop, Altitude City where the walls of Kroenke’s Pepsi Center screams REVENGE. Nene has the strength and weight to push Bynum in the post… he won’t have the 26-15 he had tonight. Maybe 25-14 will do 😉
Denver is physical and delusional (that they are better than the Lakers) so watch out because it could be such a motivation.
Did anyone notice the quote from Mike Brown in the Daily Dime? He equated Lebron with Picasso. Think PJ would ever gloat over one of his players like that? I wonder if Shaq is already jealous? Brown will probably have to cater to the big fella’s ego soon.
I just wonder about Martin health, if he is healthy and could defend Kobe then it will be tough, if not then let hope the rest of their team can’t defend Kobe.
Personally, I’m looking forward to seeing Ron defending Carmelo Anthony. Bring it on.
Gr8 Scott says
Last night was a great team, but let’s be real here – we had 3 days off and they were on the second night of a back-to-back and their seventh game in 10 days. This type of scheduling happens to all teams – few win this kind of game. That is not meant to take away from our performance at all. Tonight is a good early season test to see if we still have Denver’s number.
On another note, I think LeBron is crazy to ask all other players who wear 23 to not wear it. Jordan was a great player, one of the top 5 for sure, but I don’t see players not wearing the numbers of George Mikan, Wilt, Russell, Magic, Bird, etc. Come on, I think we all know that had Jordan played now, in today’s constant media-crazed world of the internet, he wouldn’t be who he is. He cheated on his wife, was kicked out of the game for 2 years for his gambling and was a ball-hog – along with being a great player. Just another reason why LBJ won’t get the Kobe-like killer instinct.
I just read that. Tell me how Lebron is ever going to get better, if he is painting beautiful pictures like picasso. I mean Brown seems more of a fan than a coach. There is nothing wrong with praising your players but it should be done in such a way that you want them to do more.
Gr8 Scott, in the same way Phoenix was hurt by the schedule last night, we are tonight. Remember last year, the Spurs had a Clippers then Nuggets road back-to-back and Popovich sat Duncan/Parker in Denver basically saying “traveling to Denver and playing at altitude the second night is unfair, we weren’t going to win so why not rest them.” I don’t think this is a real test of where the teams are. But it will be interesting.
Texas Rob says
This would have been sweet…. I think they should have announced over the loud speakers to give tacos anyway…Just to see the fans cheer wildly and the Suns sit back down.
chris h says
great W against the hated Suns!
re: tonight, agree with Kurt and Warren, this one, like last year with Pops and his Spurs, it’s the logistics as much as the team/arena/fans that work against us. as PJ once noted, one advantage the Bulls had was the central time zone, whereas the coastal teams have that much more to overcome. not only are we back to back, but the altitude and losing an hour on the biological clock does have a measurable effect.
re: the game, agree with Mimsy, tonight will be a game where Ron can show us how he defends against one of the elite and stronger small forwards in the game. this is one of the main reasons we were all excited about Ron, allowing Kobe to not have to take on their best player, so he can focus instead on the offensive end, which he has been doing brilliantly!
questions; who do you think the Nugg’s will put on Kobe?
is JR starting now? who should we put on him? I think Shannon deserves more burn tonight.
(I gotta tell ya, I am so disappointed with sasha, he looks lost out there, and nervous, he should NOT be assigned JR, he doesn’t even do the shadow/annoy thing he used to do relatively well, like when he guarded Korver, any longer).
what was the story with Birdman? I heard he was out, is he back now? was it an injury?
should be a barn burner!
and lastly, where is the “edit” feature folks are talking about? I’m an old mac laptop, on safari, maybe I just don’t get it? (not that I would use it anyway, Kurt, how about spellcheck :))
Last night’s game was the game that wasn’t. As mentioned earlier, the Suns looked tired. And in comparison to Bynum, they looked small. Then, Kobe assaulted the post and painted area like few other times I’ve ever seen him. He was relentless in trying to establish his space and then seemed to just invent some beef with JR just to make himelf work harder and post up the next 5 times Richardson was on him. In years past, Kobe settles for some jumpers on those possessions where the shot clock is winding down and he’s handling the ball from 18-20 feet out. Last night, he just calmly turned his back to the defender, backed him down to the FT line and tries to create an easier turnaround J over either shoulder.
Back to Bynum for a second. Like Aaron was saying pregame, ‘Drew has Amare’s number at this point. Bynum’s size was overwhelming last night. He was catching lobs, shooting flat footed shots in the lane, and never once looked bothered by defenders that only seemed able to reach up to his forearms when both players had their arms extended. I agree that Lopez will help this team when he returns, but unless he’s dramatically improved his offense, the Suns will be giving up some of their spacing when Robin returns from injury.
“He can’t get the logo, and if he can’t, something has to be done. I feel like no NBA player should wear 23. I’m starting a petition, and I’ve got to get everyone in the NBA to sign it. Now, if I’m not going to wear No. 23, then nobody else should be able to wear it”
Seriously Lebron…who are you?
“if I’m not going to wear No. 23, then nobody else should be able to wear it”
Big enough ego there LeBron. Seriously does he not get enough media attention as it is, now he has to go and try to create some non-story about how no one should wear No. 23. I didn’t think it was possible but LeBrons ego might be bigger than Shaq’s.
152 – What’s remarkable is that he’s acting as if he’s above it all. You are wearing #23, buddy. You’re not a revolutionary.
As for the Picasso comment, Al Michaels called Kobe “Mozart in sneakers”. That compliment cannot be beat.
Bill Bridges says
The Suns excelled at two categories last night. Offensive rebounding and free throw defense.
Let me ask you. Say you live in LA and have a business meeting starting at 7:30 PM and ends at 11:00. And say you have another business meeting in Denver the next day at 7:30 Denver time. You also have a prep meeting around noon to prepare for the evening meeting. Would you
1. Take a 1:00 AM flight that gets in 4:00 AM Denver time resulting in a sleep time if you are lucky (after commute and checking into the hotel) of 6:00 AM. Of course your body clock is fried and you can’t get any real sleep before the noon run-through. Maybe you catch a nap in the afternoon but basically you are zonked for your big evening meeting
2. Go home and get to sleep around midnight in your own bed. Get up around 7::00 AM to catch a flight to denver in time to make the prep meeting. Check in to the hotel (because your employer had one available) for a nice afternoon nap and go to your evening meeting fully energized.
I know which scenario appeals to me and probably all of you out there.
Now what if you had a private plane and didn’t have to fly commercial. So no security, no check-in, no waiting.
What would you do?
I think the league forces teams to travel the night before – probably a throw-back to the time when teams flew commercial or charter. Or maybe when they took buses! The Lakers had to get League approval to fly on game day the day after XMas. So therefore, all teams must not be allowed ordinarily to fly in on the day.
But what logic is that?
matt moore over @ HP had some comments abt bynum.. he’s one of my fav writers but a perennial laker-hater.. i think he’s starting to see what all of us FB&Gers have seen for awhile now… probably cause pau is out.. his comments on dailydime blog were surprisingly pro-laker.. props to him for being able to separate his intellect w/his emotions..
also see his post on the “dunk so devastating it destroyed the world”..
Nike guy LeBron starts “retire MJ’s 23” campaign on same day Nike guy Wade picked to wear new Air Jordans, on the same day Jordan shows up to watch those two Nike guys face off on national television. I’m sure that’s a coincidence.
Bill Simmons wrote this about Kobe?
“Kobe Bryant won a title his way — by establishing a Kobe and the Kobettes dynamic that actually worked — becoming one of the ten best NBA players ever and proving he could prevail without Shaq. If that wasn’t jarring enough, Shaq’s exit from Phoenix marked the fourth time he left a team on bad terms, making everyone re-evaluate the whole “Was Kobe really the bad guy in the Shaqobe Divorce?” saga that had been buried years ago. Maybe Kobe wasn’t as much to blame as we thought. Maybe Shaq was the problem. Maybe the hotel clerk lied about him. Maybe he took a ton of flak for no reason. Maybe he’s … (gulp) … a good guy and a family man who works his butt off and never seems satisfied and kills himself to get better every summer and maybe … (gulp) … was greater than we thought. Damn it all”
Wow! I see he has grown up a bit
“He needs Robin Lopez to come back from injury. That was the story of the game. The Lakers played without an All star PF… but so did the Suns.”
I wouldn’t exactly call Robin Lopez an Allstar. He has the size to stay with Drew but he’s no where close to the talent level of a Pau Gasol. Actually he’s not even close to the talent level of his brother.
new post up
I think Aaron was referring to Amare when he said the suns were playing without an allstar forward. He played so badly he may as well have not been there.