Oh boy, I wish I could pull a "Clipper Steve" on this one. As painful as it might be I'll have to pull it through, so here we go.
Yeah, I knew it was going to be tough but I did not expect The Suns to play like this. Give credit to the Lakers who didn't sleep on us. They came focused and determined to put us away early in the game.
The surprise of the night was Gentry putting Tucker as a starter. He did play with a lot of confidence during the first minutes of the game and did his best to guard Kobe who was hitting shots from everywhere on the field.
Let's move on to the game notes. I promise to keep it short
The Suns started the game with good energy. LB was running the show and seemed really comfortable doing so. Three point shots were falling, behind the back passes, lay ups, dunks. We where up by two and Phil Jackson called a timeout. The Lakers were not playing defense during that stretch and he let his team hear it. After the timeout Kobe and his crew decided to actually start playing defense and that's the story of the game.
You can see what happens when Nash doesn't play. We are 6-16 playing without him since he came to town. Everyone looked lost on offense, they just couldn't create anything. On the other end of the floor they couldn't defend to save their lives, The Lakers shot 57% from the field and seemed to create high percentage shots at will.
One of the things I mentioned in the game preview was that the Suns needed to avoid high scoring nights from the Lakers' bench players. Fail. Their bench scored +50 points on us.
I know we are short-handed and all, but I expected more from the Suns. Jason Richardson scored only 13 points and shot 6-14 form the field. This is a guy that is supposed to take over games like these. Right?
Grant Hill has been struggling as of late. Is the injury in his foot really bothering him? He's outside shot is not falling. He seems to have slowed down. I really hope he gets better for our sake. We can't afford another injury in this team.
Let me be clear, this was not a "must win" game for us. I would have felt better if we had at least showed up and played hard. At least the bench got to play a lot of minutes...I guess that helps or something. On the bright side, Tucker looked really good out there, although most of his buckets were in garbage time.
Let's put this game behind us. The Suns have to regroup and prepare for a very tough stretch. They'll have another shot at the Lakers on Sunday.