Don't kid yourself, the Suns were no where close to winning this one, as plucky as they looked and as weak as the lakers looked. The Suns had their chances, but it just looked like a game they didn't believe they could win. We'll get back to the Suns in a minute.
How about Kobe Bryant? Embarrassing his MVP bid again last night. Missed a few early and kept chucking to the detriment of the team. At a time when it was so obvious that the Lakers giant line-up should be punishing the Suns frontline without Shaq and Diaw, they started the game with the gaurds taking most of the shots from outside. The Penguin must have been pissed. Even the Lakers announcers were dissing them.
The announcers then went onto discuss Lakers D. Or the absence thereof. When they called their own team's defense the "Washington Generals" facing the globetrotters, I decided I like those announcers.
Lesson: they're human. They were playing mortal basketball. They could have been beaten last night.
However, the outcome of last night's game is a complete after thought. Nash gave an effort, but his mind and his shot (2 for 12?) was clearly elsewhere.
For some, last night was an audition. Last night watching the team I asked myself, what have we lost? What have we really lost?
PG - Sean was a working PG and Kerr says he'll be looking for another. Given how crowded the wings are, slide LB over I guess!
Wings - We are stocked here with shooters and good players who need minutes. Swapping Bell for Richardson only crowds the situation further with another big minute volume shooting player. We're better, but JRich, Barnes, Hill, Barbosa and Tucker (and Dudley?) are going to want scarce PT.
Bigs - Diaw had shown steady improvement this year. However, we already knew from summer that he (and LB) was on the block. I'm surprised we found a buyer. No doubt Diaw's play this year sweetened the deal. Whether When AdmunSun is on the court he always seems to be up to good stuff. Tonight it was 6 points on 3-5 shooting, 3 rebounds an assist and a steal in 16 minutes. Of course, one night a season does not make, and all these players need to prove themselves. He may not have Diaw's talent, but he also doesn't require that paycheck nor cause all that frustration. I never felt great about Diaw' playmaking anyway.
Preseason, Take 3
Steve Kerr has shrewdly bought the team another 20 to 30 games before more drastic (or Dragic) measures have to be taken.
Despite what the media is saying about Bell being, yet again, the end of an era, really, this is a doubling down on run-and-gun. Trading out Bell for Richardson is like taking off the snow tires and putting racing slicks on the sunsmobile.
Whether the Suns succeed depends a ton on if they can share. Once again, Amare seems completely unable to wrest control of the suns leadership baton.