Time to man it up tonight (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
Tonight, the Phoenix Suns are in L.A. to face to the Lakers, testing their modest two game winning streak as well as their patchwork squad versus the dreaded, and always competitive Los Angeles Bryant's.
Last season the Suns managed only 1 victory against the Lakers. But it was a very sweet one. Here's a refresher if you forgot this:
Of course none of that matters anymore and to hold on to such a freak, fleeting victory would be, you know, pointless.
The Suns are winners of three of their last four. Granted the competition hasn't been too elite, but the team needed confidence, and that's what they are gaining with each and every W.
In addition, if you can't get jacked up with Laker rancor, Suns pride, and L.A. celebrity animosity, then you may as well avoid this one and call your grandma or sort your socks tonight.
...Are sometimes unreliable, yes? But heck man, as it looks, we could be in for a all out, mix it up down below in the paint, defensive show down:
|TEAM||PPG||PPG. DIFF.||FG%||FG% DIFF||REBOUNDING DIFF.|
Individually here's how the Lakers shake out:
|Metta World Peace||10||21.4||2.5||6.8||36.8||0.2||2.1||9.5||1.2||1.5||80.0||0.6||1.7||2.3||2.0||1.3||0.5||0.2||1.5||6.4|
The loss of Lamar Odom is obviously a negative blow to the Lakers bench, but with bigs like Gasol and Bynum up front, the Lakers haven't done so bad picking the glass clean. The Suns are going to have to continue to bring the intensity on D and on the boards to have a chance in this one. And unlike prior years, they have the manpower to do it. Expect Gortat, Lopez, Frye, and the rook MM (shhhh don't let anyone know about the secret weapon) to battle hard against the Lakes. On the other end, the Suns must continue to dictate the tempo, and when Stevie Nash hits you on the break, hit the shots he so kindly created for you (hearin' me Shannon?)
Now, you may be thinking to yourself, isn't Kobe Bryant injured? Maybe he won't play in this one? Think again. Here is a a blurb about Bryant's latest performance against the Grizzlies written by Mr. Clark over at Silver Screen and Roll:
Chief among those who's merits outnumbered his faults, Kobe Bryant once again led the way with a complete performance. 26 points on 11-22 shooting, and nine assists, and outside of the turnovers, Kobe played a near perfect game. Working primarily from the high post, Kobe struck the perfect balance between playmaker and shot-taker, and he had the Memphis defenders off balance all night long.
So yeah, consider Kobe fine and consider yourself soft if you were hoping he'd sit it out. Who wants to beat the Lakers without Bryant around?
"Steve is doing Steve, man...everybody said, 'Aw, he looks old and he needs to this or that.' You can't say nothing about him. He gets the job done."
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