That was a good old-fashioned ass-kicking and boy did it suck being here for it. The Lakers were hitting shots, the Suns were flat. The Suns were scoring, but the Lakers were scoring more. Kobe went nuts. The Suns went, oh crap.
A truly uninspired way to start the series, but still only one game. Just keep repeating that. It's only one game. It's only one game.
Can Kobe keep hitting contested shot after contested shot and get to the line 12 times as well?
Can Lamar Odom play this well for an entire series? Seriously, Lamar Odom was incredible and Gentry rightly called him the difference in the game.
Can Ron Artest keep hitting shots when it matters?
If so, this series will be over fast. But I don't think so. I certainly don't hope so. This was the Lakers best playoff game of the season by far. They were the (far) better team tonight. We will find out Wednesday if they are the better team overall.
The Suns can be pleased that the Lakers never got close to shutting them down despite only shooting 5 for 22 from three. Robin played very well in his debut and, in fact, well out-played Bynum.
Now it's time to see if the Suns are really the team we thought (hoped) they were. Resilient. Prideful in their defense. And able to take a punch and get back up.
If they are and if this truly was the Lakers best shot, then Game 2 will have a happy ending for the Boys in Orange. If not, we will be eulogizing a great season.
I wish I had more wisdom to share, but it is what it is and it was bad. Real, real bad.
So bad that Phil Jackson had to comment about it with his first sentence in the post game presser, "Well, you know it was a surprise for us. We thought this was going to be a close game."
The Suns were still very much in this game until the third quarter when Kobe went off for 21 points on 7 of 10 shooting and 6/6 from the line. Coach Gentry wasn't all that unhappy with the way his team played Kobe, stressing that when he's shooting like that, your only option is to double him, which Phil Jackson expects the Suns to do, but it doesn't sound as if Gentry is so inclined.
His concern was more about the middle drives the Suns allowed, especially to Odom and he was particularly critical of the team's perimeter defense.
There was a lot of talk about the Suns missing open threes and both teams expect that to change next game, but the reality is, the Suns offense was just fine. 107 points on 49.4% shooting has to be enough to win a playoff game. The adjustments for the Suns must come on the defensive end.
"We've got to play really, really solid defensively, try to make everything as tough as possible, try to limit the paint touches and catches and offensive rebounds," Nash explained.
At the same time, Steve explained that the Lakers aren't going to give up their biggest advantage, "They're probably going to continue to be taller than us as the series goes on."
Random Staples Center Wacko
The strangest part of being in Staples Center wasn't the court-side post game brawl between Mr. Courtney Cox and some security guards. It was this crazy Lakers fan, Vick, who is allowed into the press conferences and isn't shy about asking plenty of questions.
Nash even called him out on it. Instead of answer this guy's question, he wanted to know why a guy with a New York accent was wearing all this wacky Lakers gear.
Nash: It's just disappointing you've got a Lakers top on. That's all I'm going to say.
Wacko Fan: You're in my town, my brother.
Nash: New Yorker, this is our town?
Only in LA
- Good start for Suns...not so much for me. Got a little lost finding me seat in the rafters. Literally a bird's eye view but I am here and that's all that matters. No complaints
- Kobe and Bynum walking the floor early. Good sign
- Robin four early points already better than Collins
- Artest w/ 5 early points...not good
- Frye in about 7:20
- Lakers crowd...not impressed
- Nash getting wide open looks...so is Jason
- 20-15 Suns, 5:31. LA defense not looking good at all
- Doing a great job getting Amare the ball on the move and he's hitting his outside shots
- Suns rebounding well early
- Kobe on Nash early...need to find the mismatch and abuse Fisher
- 22-22, 3:51
- Wow, two cheap fouls called on Dudley guarding Kobe. That's sucks
- Fisher back on Nash...they switched Odom on to him. Steve Needs to be more aggressive there and not kick out to Frye
- Kobe down...Kobe is down
- He's up
- Lakers up 28-23. Suns shooting cold
- Lakers getting good balance scoring
- Pace a bit slow for Suns
- Mbenga in??
- Frye finally hits one...good pass out from Amare
- Kobe hitting Kobe shot to end the qtr. Lakers 35, Suns 26 end of qtr
- Don't panic is Suns bench doesn't get it done first time on the floor
- 37-28, Lakers
- Good steal, Goran
- Nice job taking out the camera man, LB
- LB and Goran both getting into the lane fairly easily
- Interesting the Gentry isn't matching Lopez minutes to Bynum
- 12 points in the paint for Lakers in 1st Qtr. That's not a good sign but Suns kept them off the offensive glass so that's good. Lakers hit 75% of their three's. That won't last
- Lopez in, Frye out
- Yes, Robin's got a little range. Don't be so surprised
- Suns need to pick up the pace
- Suns giving Nash a nice long rest. Pau resting as well w/ two fouls
- Sasha gets cheered coming in? Really?
- Even the damn Lakers girls are selling shit - wearing Karate Kidd T-shirts while dancing
- Suns cut it to seven. Can easily close this before half time
- But not if Odom keeps getting into the lane and all the way to the rim like that
- Nash back in. 52-43 , 5:00
- That was a nice fast attack right there. More of that!
- Nice pick and roll, Nash to Robin! after a great defensive stop by Hill on Kobe
- Nice D by Robin on Pau! Stuffed him like a Spanish Turkey
- Mbenga and Powell in to close the half. 1:30 to go. Suns need to make a push...nope
- Oh Grant...you don't have enough ankles left to break
- Offensive rebounding even at 4 each. Lakers getting back in transition and giving up the glass
- First team that plays defense in this game will win
- There's a band here...like a marching band
- Another Kobe shot
- Liked that quick Nash/Robin pick and roll
- Nice play to get Robin the ball rolling to the rim
- Got to get some stops though
- A T on Kobe? Not sure what that was about
- Another Kobe shot
- Suns getting open looks. Kobe hitting contested looks
- WTF! How is that a T on Grant? Pushing both ways. Is only Kobe allowed to physical?
- Damn Lakers fans can't even get a good MVP chant for Kobe...like two or three random guys
- 80-70, Lakers. 5:15
- Lakers rolling now, 87-72. Biggest lead
- Hate losing to the Lakers...hate it
- Long time outs suck
- Jason running off the curl is getting wide open all night
- Finally some better defense and couple buckets and Suns cut it back to 12 (91-79)
- Bench time
- Damn that shot almost fell for JRich
- 93-79...still time for a run?
- Suns need someone to step up here. LB, Goran, Frye, Hill. Someone
- Have to at least make them work. Can't let Kobe rest this entire quarter
- LB w/ the steal and the bucket. Nicely done
- Channing got benched for passing up the first open three, not missing the second one
- Man it's one of those nights. Jason was totally set right there and Brown tried to climb over him
- 106-87 with 8 min to go. Ugly. No defense at all
- Ok, game over. Ugly, ugly, ugly
It's only one game...but boy it feels a lot worse than losing Game 1 to the Blazers doesn't it?
[Note by Seth Pollack, 05/17/10 11:20 PM MST ]
Note to the asshole who broke the window out of my car while parked in the convention center garage. FUCK YOU!