Phoenix Suns Vs. LA Lakers Game Preview: THE RIVALRY CONTINUES

Tonight your Phoenix Suns take on the reigning NBA Champions, Los Angeles Lakers, in the city of angels.  I could take the high ground on this and focus on the match up at hand, our I could toss out a vitriolic preview filled with hatred and anger. 

The high ground is boring. 

Just typing the word Lakers fills my mind with purple and gold illness. I think of James Worthy's goggles, Michael Cooper's white socks, Vlade Divac's beard and flopping, the time Magic started a fight with KJ, and my healthy dislike for Phil Jackson, the zen master snide LA snob he has become. What is worse is that we have to watch this game on the LA home court with camera shots of Jack and whatever other random celebrity the cameras are paid to catch as they plug a new movie or TV series. Where else would you see Adam Sandler, Chris Rock, that fat guy, and David Spade all sitting together in the front row, side by side with blank looks on they're faces? Oh and by the way David, you went to high school and college in AZ. SHOW SOME RESPECT.

and onto the game.


FG 3PT FT Rebounds Misc
G M M A Pct M A Pct M A Pct Off Def Tot Ast TO Stl Blk PF PPG
Kobe Bryant 9 32.8 8.1 19.2 42.2 1.6 4.8 32.6 7.4 8.8 84.8 0.9 4.6 5.4 4.3 2.6 1.0 0.2 2.1 25.2
Pau Gasol 9 38.4 9.1 17.2 52.9 0.0 0.0 0.0 4.4 5.4 81.6 3.6 8.2 11.8 4.4 1.7 0.8 1.4 2.4 22.7
Lamar Odom 9 33.3 6.1 10.3 59.1 1.1 1.8 62.5 1.0 2.1 47.4 3.2 7.7 10.9 3.3 2.8 0.6 0.3 3.3 14.3
Ron Artest 9 30.2 4.3 10.3 41.9 1.3 3.7 36.4 1.0 1.2 81.8 1.8 1.8 3.6 2.0 0.8 2.0 0.6 2.9 11.0
Shannon Brown 9 18.6 3.9 7.9 49.3 1.6 3.4 45.2 0.8 0.9 87.5 0.3 1.6 1.9 1.0 1.0 1.1 0.2 2.2 10.1
Matt Barnes 9 19.8 3.6 7.6 47.1 0.7 2.1 31.6 1.0 1.4 69.2 2.4 3.3 5.8 2.1 1.4 0.7 0.3 2.7 8.8
Derek Fisher 9 28.2 2.9 6.7 43.3 1.1 2.0 55.6 1.9 2.2 85.0 0.0 2.2 2.2 2.8 0.8 1.4 0.1 2.1 8.8
Steve Blake 9 18.1 2.0 4.7 42.9 1.7 3.3 50.0 0.8 0.9 87.5 0.2 1.3 1.6 2.2 1.3 0.3 0.0 1.1 6.4
Derrick Caracter 7 6.0 0.9 2.0 42.9 0.0 0.0 0.0 1.1 1.1 100.0 0.7 0.9 1.6 0.3 0.3 0.1 0.4 1.4 2.9
Devin Ebanks 3 8.3 0.7 3.3 20.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 1.3 1.3 100.0 0.3 0.7 1.0 0.3 0.7 0.3 0.3 0.7 2.7
Sasha Vujacic 4 4.3 1.0 2.3 44.4 0.3 0.8 33.3 0.3 0.5 50.0 0.3 0.0 0.3 0.3 0.5 0.0 0.0 0.5 2.5
Luke Walton 3 9.3 0.3 2.7 12.5 0.3 2.0 16.7 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 1.0 1.0 1.3 0.7 0.3 0.0 0.0 1.0
Theo Ratliff 8 8.3 0.1 0.8 16.7 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.8 0.9 1.6 0.4 0.4 0.3 0.6 0.9 0.3

Tonight should be a decent compass as to where the Suns stand as a team after a difficult start. Don't get me wrong, the Lakers are in a different class as the Suns, however, as we witnessed in the their loss to the Nuggets this week, they are a beatable team. Denver's success came in part to inside dominance and the ability to get to the rim. Gasol picked up 20 boards, but of course, that doesn't make him a great defender now does it?

Let's face it, the Suns are going to have to play a near flawless game tonight in order to win. They played LA tough in the home opener, were only out rebounded by 3, didn't turn the ball over, and still lost by 8 points. I guess the question is has the Suns' defense improved since then? Can they make the stops down the stretch tonight?

So some questions to ponder:  

  • Where is Steve Nash's head right now? He's a professional, but a human nonetheless. The issues he is dealing with right now are pretty heavy.
  • Which Robin Lopez will show up tonight? '09 post door smash-pre back injury hopefully? Maybe Nash doesn't have to pull down 7 rebounds if RobLo puts some fly paper on his hands.
  • Which Hedo will show up tonight? Who is Hedo anyway? I think we haven't really seen the real Hedo. There must be a breakthrough some time, right? How about tonight?
  • The grab bag that is the Suns rotation: What will Alvin Gentry put together to maximize Hedo/J-Chill/DudzFrye/Dragon, along with the starters?  On that note, here are some numbers to play around with:

Top Five-Man Floor Units

RANKED BY MINUTES
UNIT
TOT MIN
+/-
1
Nash-Richardson-Hill-Turkoglu-Lopez 94.1
-1
2
Dragic-Childress-Dudley-Warrick-Frye 65.2
-1
3
Nash-Richardson-Hill-Warrick-Frye 33.7
-2
7
Nash-Richardson-Dudley-Warrick-Frye 10.2
+13

 

Obviously these numbers don't tell everything. Small sample size for example presents a problem. How can we judge anything with confidence in 10 minutes? How can we judge a team 8 games into the season? Nevertheless, the 7th ranked unit in terms of minutes has the highest +/- of any unit. That there's a fact.

And if all that didn't get you excited for the game, how about a tweet from Earl Clark?

Yall females really be butt ass on twitter#where yall popz at yo

Exactly, Earl.

More Game Related Links:

Barnes Enjoying LA LA Land

Lakers Enjoy Their Chemistry

Bynum Still Rehabbing Knee

Childress' Path to NBA

Warrick Enjoying Playing With His PG's

Suns vs Lakers coverage

Silver Screen and Roll

Suns vs Lakers preview

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