That didn't go as expected, right? Kind of.
Watching this game was really painful. We saw a tired and timid Suns team just going through the motions. We saw a powerful and rested team in the Lakers, playing with confidence at home.
The Lakers are the current NBA champions, they are tough, I get that. But I feel that the Suns could have at least tried a little harder. They looked flat out scared, intimidated, overwhelmed by the Lakers inside presence. True, we couldn't buy a bucket but this is when you have to fight through it and find a way to remain relevant in the game. Grind it out and stuff. But that's just me.
More ugly details after the jump.
It was obvious that the Suns were tired. They didn't run, they didn't get back in transition. They shot 37% from the field. They didn't defend with the same intensity that we have seen in other games.
At the end of the first half, they had 5 assists and had shot 32% from the field. Amar'e was 2-12. Amazingly, the game was still in reach and I expected a better effort in the second half of the game.
They looked even worse and it wasn't even close for the rest of the game.
One of the few (if not the only one) things that I liked about this game was Jason Richardson on Kobe Bryant. Jason didn't back down, he bothered Kobe, got under his skin a little bit and even exchanged words. That was until Sasha Vujacic came to Kobe's rescue (yeah right) and got in Richardson's face. The battle on the post continued but Kobe proved to be a handful, whether it was scoring or getting his team mates involved.
They abused Suns' players inside. Scoring 76 points in the paint. Bynum hit
puberty his shots at will and finished the first half with 16 points and 26 for the game. Oh, and Kobe scored 19 first half points and finished the game with 29.
This must have been a great game to watch if you are a Lakers fan. They saw their team play great defense, their starting Center had a great game after coming from an injury and they beat the "hot" team in the West with a blowout win.
As I said on the Game Preview, this is a regular season game, playing the 2nd game of a back to back on the road. This game doesn't change my feelings towards the Suns. I feel they are a very good team but this just shows you that they are far from being a Championship Team. They'll keep working and as the season moves along... they'll get better.
[Note by Phoenix Stan, 11/13/09 10:42 AM MST ]
Highlight of the Night. h/t to @sunswebgeek