[Editor's Note: Logged on to create a game thread, and found out we already had a good one in the diaries. Thanks, Hawk42!
Update: srp is doing the recap after the game, so look for it first in the diaries tonight, and on the main page sometime tomorrow morning.]
Los Angeles Lakers
|8:30 PM Mountain / 10:30 PM Eastern|
|Steve Nash||PG||Derek Fisher|
|Raja Bell||SG||Kobe Bryant|
|Shawn Marion||SF||Luke Walton|
|Boris Diaw||PF||Lamar Odom|
|Amare Stoudemire||C||Kwame Brown|
Laker Game is Gut Check
Tonight's game in Staples will give us a good read on what's inside the collective heads of the Suns players . . .
We have a talented team that, when motivated, seems to be able to overcome their weak points (defense, rebounding, heart) and beat any other team. We have seen them scratch out victories on occasion when the 3 pointer isn't falling. But we have also seen that the team isn't well rounded enough to prevail against a good team when one of the big three (Nash, Marion, or Stoudemire) are not on their game and the bench does not come through. I don't think it matters who is the opposition. Phoenix's greatest enemy is itself. You can talk all you want about certain teams giving us problems, the truth is , we can beat anyone if the effort is there.
Against the Clippers, we saw a good effort from the three, but LB and Boris had horrible games. We are not going to win many games scoring 90 points. The Clips did not play especially well, either - if Cassell doesn't double his scoring average, we win the game. We miss Grant Hill, of course. I have written here before, and some have disputed it, but I do not think we will win anything this year with Boris playing so badly. This is why Atlanta gave up on him. There is no reason why a player of his talents plays so abysmally. Say what you want about missing draft picks, but this team would be flying high if Boris fulfilled the promise that led us to give him the contract. I believe the other players will fill their roles:
Nash - passing, scoring when we need it, the occasional charge taken
STAT - 20/10, unstoppable around the basket, reliable jumper, average defense PLAYING OUT OF POSITION.
Marion - good defense, hard work, the occcasional 3, rebounding, fast break finisher
Bell - good defense, the occasional 3, still not 100%
LB - scoring off the bench, still loses his man
Hill - passing, good jumper, finisher, slashing to the hoop
Skinner - post defense, an occasional jumper, rebounding
Boris, Banks - we don't know what to expect ($14 million, and we don't know what to expect?)
DJ, Tucker - It's safe to say they will not be given the chance to contribute
I see two problems here. The first is the last two entries (Boris/Banks and DJ/Tucker). The second is there is no room for injuries. Comments?