Live from Staples: Lakers vs. Suns
When last these teams met, the Lakers cruised to an easy 121-102 win. Kobe Bryant and Andrew Bynum combined to shoot 26-38 from the floor and the Lakers dominated in nearly every facet of the game. Meanwhile, the combination of Amar'e Stoudamire and Jason Richardson were 4-24, and Steve Nash was limited to 13 points and five assists. On the other hand, the Suns were on the wrong end of a back to back, at the wrong end of a brutal road heavy stretch of the schedule.
So while the law of averages says Phoenix should look a little better tonight, over the last few weeks they didn't manage to get any taller, and that's what ought to matter here. The Lakers, who didn't have Pau Gasol in the first installment of the season series, have an almost comical advantage in length and bulk. If they again go to it consistently, they'll be okay.
On the other hand, the Suns are like NBA mermaids. What they do looks all pretty and alluring. It's easy to get sucked in by all the clamshell bikini tops and start playing their game... which is the easiest way to end up at the bottom of the ocean, where it's exceedingly difficult to carry on a healthy and vibrant relationship. The only way I see Phoenix staying in the game is if the Lakers get away from their strengths and lose discipline in shot selection. What the Lakers do well- getting the ball in the post and taking shots at the rim- both creates high percentage shots for the home team and limits easy run outs for the visitors. In a half-court game, the Suns will have a much tougher time generating good looks against the length and mobility of the Lakers.
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