Where: Talking Stick Resort Arena: Phoenix, AZ
When: 7:00 PM Arizona Time / 9:00 PM Eastern
Watch: Fox Sports AZ (Locally) / League Pass
Listen: 98.7 FM
The Phoenix Suns host the Los Angeles Lakers on Monday night in a battle of Pacific Division foes. The Lakers have one of the worst records in the league and just played last night, beating the Pistons at home for their second win of the season (2-8 overall). Yeah, those Pistons who beat the Suns just over a week ago and have come on hard times since with four consecutive losses.
Kobe Bryant is shooting 34% this season but of course leads the team in field goal attempts at more than 16 per game. He's not only taking all the shots, but he's taking minutes and touches away from their future star D'Angelo Russell. Jordan Clarkson is the other guard and he's not giving anything to Russell either.
Tonight, though, Kobe won't play against the Suns.
Kobe hates the Suns so much he's willingly sitting out tomorrow to give the Lakers a better shot at a win. https://t.co/JWzV4lhNgm— sreekar (@sreekyshooter) November 16, 2015
With or without Kobe, no one on the Lakers is a great distributor with their assist leader being backup 32-year old Marcelo Huertas (3.2 per game), while five other players make at least 2 assists per game. The Lakers are pretty bad on offense overall, despite the distribution of playmaking.
The Lakers do have some nice youth, though. Guard Jordan Clarkson was a second round steal, though he's no point guard with just 2 assists per game to his credit. Power forward Julius Randle and rookie D'Angelo Russell are offensively talented, and Larry Nance Jr. has occasional bursts of good play.
On defense, the Lakers aren't any good though they're ranked better on D than on O. Huertas, Bryant and the kids - Larry Nance Jr., Julius Randle and Clarkson and Russell - are net negatives. Metta World Peace has come out of retirement and was immediately labeled - along with Kobe who has the team's worst D-rating - their best defender by coach Byron Scott. He didn't mention former Defensive Player of the Year candidate Roy Hibbert.
That's all I have to say about that.
No word yet on whether Markieff Morris returns tonight, but the Suns likely won't need him to beat the Lakers. Expect Jon Leuer to get another start for the Suns.
For the Lakers, when Kobe sits it's been Metta taking his place in the lineup. Because Lakers.
Early Season Stats
Did you know?
Eric Bledsoe is one of only three players in the NBA with a nightly line of 23 points (23.2), 6 assists (6.2), 4 rebounds (4.4) and 2 steals (2.1), along with only Stephen Curry and LeBron James.
The Suns win this one. They really, really should. Though, the Lakers will be better without Kobe probably.