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Lakers beat Suns 108-88, reaffirm they're kinda... well... good

December 7, 2009 | 10:23 am
In their own noble right, the Phoenix Suns have cobbled together a season worthy of back slaps Jaw_dropping_dogand fist pounds.  After all, they're sitting 15-6 in the standings during a campaign most pegged as a playoff long shot.  At best.  That clip represents an impressive start, both by league standards and preseason expectations.  But there's "impressive," and then there's "dude, how the hell are we supposed to compete against that?"  Last night, the Lakers' performance during a 108-88 shellacking of the Suns defined the latter, leaving Suns coach Alvin Gentry with little else to do besides express slackjawed admiration:

"We’ve played the other teams, and I think they’re by far the best team... I don’t know where their weakness is.  No one can be any more physical than they can. No one is more athletic than they are.”


As BK noted in last night's breakdown, Sunday's result left no shadow of a doubt as to who would Kobe Bryant hits a layup past Channing Frye emerge victorious in a seven game series between these squads, despite a deceptively small gap in the Pacific Division.  But it also provided evidence as to how dominant the Lakers can be when playing to their strengths and the top of their collective intelligence.  Once that kitchen sink is thrown in your direction, ducking feels like the logical reaction, because the obstacles presented are truly a daunting proposition:

    -Arguably the league's best player, surrounded by a crew of skilled tall dudes.
    -The ability to kick the ball back outside for clean looks when said "skilled tall dudes" are met with a double team.
    -Backup guards Shannon Brown and Jordan Farmar, now settled into a groove that allows strong first quarters to be built upon.   
    -Smothering defense, led by Ron Artest and his five steals.

On the surface, and frankly, seven layers below, there ain't much to gripe about, all things being equal and realistic.  It is, however, the nature of fans (short for "fanatics," as we're often reminded) to seek nits ripe for picking. To work overtime finding one fly in ten gallons worth of ointment.  But as ESPN/Clippers Blog scribe Kevin Arnovitz reminds us, that would mean missing the beauty:

At a certain point, there's little more for an observer to do than step back and applaud the choreography. On Sunday, the Lakers put on a beautiful exhibition of basketball in their 108-88 win over the Phoenix Suns. To underscore just how efficient the Lakers were offensively against Phoenix, those 108 points came on only 92 possessions.

What the 16-3 Lakers are doing should certainly be appreciated statistically, but it should also be admired aesthetically.

Unless, of course, you're the Suns, since the Laker aesthetics, while undoubtedly pleasurable, also represent a decided ceiling for the heights Phoenix can likely scale this season.  But hey, they do have the NBA's #1 Tweeter!  Hopefully, pride can be taken in Jared Dudley's laurels.


    -Phil Jackson doubts the NBA will feature the ladies anytime soon.
    -Allen Iverson will make his Sixers debut tonight, against no less than the Nuggets squad he used to Gregodenreactionjpeg-68d1f4b7816ae126_large.jpeg play for.  That's a "Christmas" storyline. 
    -Greg Oden underwent successful surgery for a fractured patella, but despite his formidable absence (part of a string of injuries piling up), Blazers GM Kevin Pritchard says a fortifying swap isn't imminent.  That's exactly what Andre Miller wanted to hear. Oddly enough,Oden wasn't injury-prone in high school at all.
    -Fans may want Nate Robinson in the Knicks rotation, but with the team going 2-1 since his residence in DNP-CD Country, don't expect Mike D'Antoni to change his mind anytime soon.
    -Manu Ginobli needs his mojo back ASAP.
    -Dwight Howard is actively spreading his cooties.
    -A look at the defensive responsibilities Trevor Ariza and Shane Battier share.
    -Tyreke Evans is flying somewhat under the radar in Sacto, but having a ROY-worthy season.
    -Don't look now, but the Memphis Grizzlies are racking some wins.
    -Tim Donaghy spills his guts.


Photo: Greg Oden on the floor, injured.  Credit: