Can we correct the terminology, please?
Yes the Sun's are playing a 'zone'. But, like he has done in so many aspects of the game this year and this postseason, the Sun's defensive effort in games 3 and 4 points to the genius of Alvin Gentry.
What the media calls a zone is actually something else - lets call it the 'triangle defense'' just for grins.
Phil Jackson rose to prominence with the 'triangle' offense. What Gentry has devised we can call the 'triangle defense'. Its is a zone, true, but where the defenders rotate to ensure the right coverage gets on the right player. This zone with rotations has turned the Lakers into a jump-shooting team, and a bad one at that (except for Kobe of course). Did you notice how the triangle defense neutralized the Lakers bigs last night? Pau Gasol got the ball in the post, and he was immediately double teamed and isolated and therefore neutralized, to the tune of 15 points. Same thing for Bynum. Did you notice how Gentry's triangle defense took away away drives to the lane by Odom? Same thing, the defenders rotated in from the zone to deny the lane. Have you noticed how Phoenix outboarded the 'mighty, tall Lakers'? Again, the triangle defense has players in position to get the board. In game 3, Lopez' position in the defense allowed him to box out the bigs so Sun's 'bigs' like Grant Hill and J-Rich could grab boards.
Just like Gentry has used a cast of underrated players on the offensive end to devise matchup problems and wear his opponents down so far this playoffs, he has similarly done so on the defensive side of the ball.
The success this year truly belongs to everyone, but, for me Gentry is truly the key.