Ah the dreaded second game in back to back nights. The Suns flew out of Phoenix last night after the Kings victory to Los Angeles to play the Lakers tonight at 7:30 tonight. The Lakers are still very pleased with themselves after a last second Kobe three finished the Heat, 108-107.
The Lakers hold a game edge on the Suns atop the Pacific Division and are currently on an 8 game winning streak. Are you all worried? I am not. And here is why. The Suns can gain a moral victory tonight without scoring more points than the Lakers at the end of 48 minutes. Here's how:
- Play with confidence (unlike last time out vs. the Lakers)
- Make shots we should make (shoot the three, and a respectable FG%)
- Battle on the boards (put bodies on Bynum, Odom, and Artest)
- Play some defense (let Kobe get his 30, but don't let Pau and the others kill you)
- PLAY COMPETITIVE BASKETBALL FOR 48 MINUTES
Simple, yes? Look, there has been much made of late about the Suns and their confidence. From Gentry to Nash to Stoudemire, the sentiment echoed is the same. Against the Knicks and Cavaliers the Suns were tired and lacked confidence. (They also didn't make any shots). While we cannot say that the Suns won't be tired, it's a fact of NBA life. There's a game scheduled, and the Suns have to play it. Why not down an extra red bull before the opening tip?
Lakers: 104 ppg (6th). Opponents 96.7 ppg (10th). 46.3 %FG, 34.7% 3 pt FG%
Suns: 110 ppg (2nd) Opponents 105.8 (27th). 49.6% FG, 43.8 3pt FG%
Top Five Man Units (+/-):
Lakers: Bryant-Fisher-Gasol-Bynum-Artest: 117.5 minutes/+52/80% win percentage
Suns: Nash-Richardson-Stoudemire-Frye-Hill: 320.4 minutes/+50/ 53% win percentage
- The Suns are 1-3 on the second games of back-to-back sets, averaging 102.8 points to opponent's 116.3.
- The Lakers have not lost a game since Pau Gasol returned to the lineup
- In the Suns 5 losses, they have shot 35 percent from 3-point range. In their 15 wins, unsurprisingly, they shoot 46 percent from three.
- Amare Stoudemire's 21 rebounds last night was more than his combined totals versus the Knicks and Cavaliers.