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Phoenix Suns vs. LA Lakers Preview: The Never Ending Rivalry


Christian Petersen

What: Phoenix Suns (3-1) vs. Los Angeles Lakers (2-3)

Where: Honda Center, Anaheim, CA

When: 7:00 p.m. (AZ)

Listen: AZ Sports 98.7 FM (Locally or Streamed on the Internet)

The Suns are coming off a 121-90 blowout win on Thursday over the San Antonio Spurs in a game that didn't feature Greg Popovich, Manu Ginobili, Tim Duncan, Tiago Splitter, and Kawhi Leonard. The Suns easily took care of the Spurs in the second half. The Lakers are coming off a 98-91 win on Sunday over the Utah Jazz that included a 26 point game by Kobe Bryant and a 19 point game from Carlos Boozer.

The Suns and Lakers previous met on March 30th where the Suns lost 99 to 115 in LA. The Suns struggled shooting, especially the starters who shot a combined 13 for 44 from the field. The Lakers shot a combined 53% from the field led by ex-Laker Chris Kaman who had 28 points, 17 rebounds, and 6 assists.

Suns coach Jeff Hornacek stated that he's going tinker a little less with lineup over the next three games, but I still expect to see Hornacek dabble with Hydra again, having the Suns three premier point guards on the floor at the same time. Unfortunately don't expect Sir Lencelot, Alex Len, attempting to smack some sense into "Swaggy P" aka Nick Young this game because Nick Young is out with a torn ligament in his right thumb. Len is also questionable for todays matchup after recovering from a pinky fracture. Hornacek said if Len feels good he could end up playing. Len has been participating in full contact drills without complaints of his finger hurting. If Len is still out for this game Earl Barron should pick up some of Len's missed minutes along with Markieff Morris playing center in a small ball lineup.

  • Keith Appling and Jeremy Tyler will not be suiting up for Lakers after being released by the team yesterday.
  • Jordan Clarkson (left calf strain) is doubtful.
  • Xavier Henry (sore right knee) is out.
  • Ryan Kelly (sore right hamstring) is doubtful.
  • Jeremy Lin (sprained ankles) is doubtful.
  • Steve Nash (sore back) is doubtful.

Keys To The Game:

  • Slow Down Kobe Bryant. Expect to see the Suns best defensive studs, P.J. Tucker and Eric Bledsoe, guarding Kobe.
  • Defending the Paint. Lakers coach Byron Scott has been wanting the Lakers to shoot less threes, which means the Suns should focus on clogging the paint, not allowing easy baskets inside.
  • Run the Fast Break. The Suns have a lot more offensive firepower than the Lakers. If the Suns play a fast paced game the Lakers shouldn't be able to keep up with the Suns pace.
  • Markieff vs Boozer. Both players are more known for their offensive games at the power forward position. Who ever can step up defensively will win this individual matchup.

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