Here is a look around the rest of the web with what others had to say about last night's game, starting with the opposing perspective:
The final game of the Bernie Bickerstaff era came to an end with a win over the Phoenix Suns. It was a game without much of showing defensively from either team, but as it goes, the Los Angeles Lakers simply had more firepower. Pau Gasol set the tempo draining wide open jumpers in the first quarter showing the qualities he can bring to the floor when his future coach Mike D'Antoni takes the reigns going forward. The Suns went blow for blow with the Lakers through the first three quarters but once the final quarter rolled around there wasn't enough left in the tank to finish the game, finally conceding victory. Lakers over Suns, 114-102.
The Lakers used their superior size to win the rebounding battle and took care of the ball while limiting turnovers to defeat the Suns at Staples Center. Los Angeles (4-5) was active and energetic on both ends of the floor and used its exceptional length inside to overwhelm Phoenix (4-6) in the paint. The Lakers won the rebounding battle by a convincing margin of 48-38 and had a balanced effort as they embraced a watered-down version of head coach Mike D'Antoni's new offense.
Nothing shocking here. The Lakers are a team that was built to win a championship now...They have superstars galore and the luxury tax to go with it. The Suns, on the other hand, are a team looking to re-establish themselves with young and inexpensive talent on cap-friendly contracts that provide the team with flexibility going forward.
The Lakers underperformed to start the season 1-4, which quicly resulted in the firing on ex-head coach Mike Brown, and the hiring of offensive guru Mike D'Antoni to right the ship. The Suns, many will argue, had actually exceeded expectations to begin the season going 4-5 thanks in large part to the "never say die" attitude that this team has adopted as their own.
At some point though, the odds even out and the chips fall where they should. Tonight was a perfect example of that. Although the Suns fought valiantly for four quarters, the fire-power of the Lakers was just too much for them to overcome in the end.
Here's what some Suns-friendly sites had to say about last night's game:
The Lakers pulled away in the second half Friday night at Staples Center for a 114-102 victory over the Suns in their final game led by interim coach Bernie Bickerstaff but with D’Antoni’s influence all over the effort, with five Lakers scoring in double figures.
The Suns’ starters managed not to dig a double-digit first-quarter hole for a fourth consecutive game, but the defense was not any better. The Suns just kept up with a style that D’Antoni’s naysayers would argue is also his — lack of defense.
We have learned that there is no quit in this team and that for stretches in a game the Suns will outwork a team to fight their way back into the contest. Occasionally they will have enough in the tank to fight all the way back (see Cleveland), but more often than not the more talented team will make that one last spurt to finish Phoenix off.
Along with Paul Coro's take on the lack of defense...which was certainly a big part of the loss, again, we see a familiar theme develop.
Perhaps Suns' head coach Alvin Gentry said it best:
"That team is in another area as to where we are and where we're trying to get to,'' Gentry said. "They've got much bigger fish to fry, and we've got to get ourselves to the point where we become significant again. And the only way to do that is to be consistent.''
If nothing else, it's refreshing to hear this kind of honesty from the head coach. Gentry's right, the Suns simply aren't in the same league as powerhouse teams like the Lakers, Thunder, and Heat right now. Hopefully that is something they will continue to build toward, but as of now, the Suns are a mediocre team at best.
The Suns' effort and fight was commendable last night, and there were quite a few positives to take away from the game as well; but ultimately the better team won...as expected.