It's finally time for Game 2! A lot of people complain about the time between the games in the first round of the playoffs. I think it's actually a good thing. The Suns get to rest their players and are able to keep their 8 man rotation without getting super tired. The 8 man rotation will probably come back to hurt them at some point if they start letting the series go 6 or 7 games but if they can keep the first round to 4 or 5 games and the second round to 5-6 games, they should be ok.
Now lets talk about tonight's game. Last year's playoffs were hard because the Suns didn't have Amare Stoudemire or Kurt Thomas. But more than anything, the Suns made the playoffs hard on themselves because they didn't adjust after the wins they had in the series. They would win a game and then think they could do the same thing in the next game. The problem is the coaches on the other team were probably spending 16-17 hours a day trying to figure out what to do to stop the Suns.
So I hope the Suns try some new things this game. They obviously should still be things that they tried during the regular season but they can't stay stagnant. I guess even more important than trying new things is trying to prepare for what the Lakers are going to do. In watching video, Lamar Odom really seemed to be able to dominate against the Suns. If I were Phil Jackson, I would pound the ball inside to Odom, wait for the double-team and then kick it back out to Kobe. It's not the way Kobe likes to play but I think that is the Lakers' best chance to beat the Suns. It allows more people to be involved in the game and uses Kobe's strengths in shooting.
If the Lakers do this, the Suns need to compensate by not allow Raja to leave Kobe's side to help double. And if Steve is flashing to Odom, he needs to flash to get Odom to pick the ball up and then get back to Farmar. I think Farmar is a pretty good shooter so the Suns definitely don't want to leave him open unless they have to. But it's better to leave Farmar open than Bryant.
Of course, all of the above only comes into play if the Lakers make the changes I think they're going to make. Maybe they'll make other changes that I haven't thought of yet. I don't know what they'll be but I do know that the changes will come. And when they do, I hope the Suns have talked about it and know what to do to adjust. In the playoffs, you're not going to surprise a team for more than a game. So the Suns HAVE to be prepared for whatever Phil Jackson has conjured up while sitting on his throne on the sidelines.