Warmth in the form 90 degree weather and love in the form of about a Gazillion "Beat LA" signs expected at the arena for the Suns home opener. Kobe loves that.
But first, I have a confession to make. I am sick of the Lakers. Not in the "I hate the Lakers!" kind of way as much as in the "I'm sick of the hubbub of the Lakers". All the extra hoopla and Kobe crap that comes with the annual arrival of "Bieber's Team".
Aside from all the basketball reasons why starting the season at home against THE GREAT LAKERS after playing last night in Utah, I'm just sick of seeing those colors. I'm sick of the crappy LA media they drag with them, and I'm sick of 2,500 Bryant #24 jerseys.
On the Bright Side, having them come to town this early in the season means it's over and done with (until January 5th). Bring on the Grizzlies and the rest of the NBA so we can focus on the game and not the circus. The following does not apply of course, to the mega-clusterf&*k that will come with the Miami Heat in December.
As for the game, what can we say. The Suns will be tired. Nash will be tired. Hill will be tired. You even have to worry how Goran's knee will hold up after playing just 15 (great) minutes last night. The Lakers are well-rested (as they always somehow happen to be when playing the Suns) and they look good. They've even added Suns-killer Steve Blake. Don't laugh, he kills the Suns.
This game comes down to Robin Lopez. He's the difference between a blowout and a competitive game.
To quote myself (a preferred source):
LA Lakers Come To Phoenix For Date With Suns, 7:30 P.M. AZT - SB Nation Arizona
On the downside, the Suns only got to the line 16 times and Robin Lopez in two games has a combined nine points and 11 rebounds. He fouled out of the Jazz game in only 20 minutes. Perhaps Robin is feeling the pressure of being "The Man" and understanding that the Suns are going to need big things from him this season, or maybe he just had a couple of bad games.
The Suns were able to survive without Robin on the floor much against a smaller Utah front line, but against the Lakers, he's going to have to play huge if the Suns have any chance of keeping this game close. That match-up between Lopez and Gasol will be the most important on the floor despite all the attention that will be paid to the Goran Dragic vs. Sasha Vujacic side show (should Phil Jackson even play Mr. Sharapova).
Stay tuned for more reasonable, rational and well-expressed thoughts on the game later this afternoon.
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Also, happy birthday to me because you only turn 40 once. I'm having a HUGE party at my house tomorrow nice. Stop by....and don't try and talk to me on Sunday morning.