Five Thoughts on Suns-Lakers Game 2

Five thoughts from the Suns’ 124-112 loss to the Los Angeles Lakers in Game 2 of the Western Conference finals:

1. Jared Dudley is right. When it comes to playing the Lakers, the Suns need to institute some lessons taught by the Oklahoma City Thunder. That means realizing that the Lakers aren’t invincible. That means understanding that just because the Lakers play bigger doesn’t mean they have to score at will underneath the basket. Mostly, it means making this a series by doing what the Lakers have done — win your games at home. The Suns have two coming up, and now is the time to take it up a notch. “You saw what the Thunder did,” Dudley said after Game 2. “That’s our mindset.”
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8 Thoughts on Suns-Lakers Game 1

Eight thoughts from the Suns’ 128-107 loss to the Los Angeles Lakers in Game 1 of the Western Conference finals Monday:

1. For all the talk of Kobe Bryant and his 40 points, the game actually changed once Lamar Odom came off the Lakers bench. Until then, the Suns had been winning and doing a decent job of at least making the Lakers shoot from the outside. But Odom entered midway through the first quarter and the Suns immediately fell into an 18-4 landslide. [Read more...]

Amico's Suns vs Lakers Matchup Breakdown

(Barry Gossage/NBAE/Getty Images)

A look at the position-by-position matchups in the Western Conference finals between the Suns and the Lakers:

Point Guard – Steve Nash vs. Derek Fisher

Nash and Fisher are two of the toughest and smartest guys in the league, veterans who always step up their play at this time of year. Obviously, Nash is the superior true point guard, and at this stage of the game, it would be surprising if Fisher put up much resistance. That said, Fisher will still try to frustrate Nash with gritty defense and maybe even a little flopping, but clearly, Fisher has lost a step (or two). Nash, meanwhile, is still as crafty as ever at the age of 36. Give an advantage to the Suns here. So much that you can expect the Lakers to occasionally Ron Artest or even Kobe Bryant on Nash from time to time. [Read more...]

Spurs have never seen Suns like these

(Otto Greule Jr/NBAE/Getty Images)

Losing Game 1 on your own home floor can often mean very bad things. Unless, of course, you win two on the other guy’s floor.

That’s exactly the type of obstacle the Suns had to face in their first-round playoff series against Portland. It’s also exactly the type of resolve they displayed in winning Games 3 and 6 on the road.

And it’s something they will likely need to accomplish in their upcoming series against the San Antonio Spurs. [Read more...]

Season Results Begin to Quiet Doubters

(Melissa Majchrzak/NBAE/Getty Images)

I’ll be honest, I wasn’t sure Steve Kerr would last the season.

I had my doubts about Alvin Gentry, too.

I wondered how well Steve Nash and Grant Hill will hold up, and if Amare Stoudemire would still be with the Suns after the February trading deadline had passed.

Basically, I wasn’t sure what to expect from the Suns at the beginning of the year. I knew they had to do something relatively special. I knew making the playoffs again would be a start. I knew getting a little production from all those young guys on the bench would certainly help.

Other than that, I knew nothing. [Read more...]

Suns Find Good Fortune As Playoffs Near

(David Sherman/NBAE/Getty Images)

Did you ever think the Suns would dominate the Spurs in the fourth quarter without Steve Nash?

Did you ever think Nash would be sitting this late in the season in a key game against the Spurs … by choice?

Did you ever think Amare Stoudemire would shoot like Steve Kerr from the perimeter?

Did you ever think the Suns would be this good this deep into the season? [Read more...]

Suns Getting Ready for Stretch Run

(Barry Gossage/NBAE/Getty Images)

There are few things more enjoyable in pro basketball than watching the Phoenix Suns these days. And that’s coming from a guy in Cleveland.

I’m talking about the previous two-plus weeks, as the Suns have won eight of their previous 10. One of those losses came by a measly three points in San Antonio (113-110 on Feb. 28). The other was a close one against Utah (116-108 on March 4). Overall, in the past 10 games, the Suns have outscored the competition by an average score of 108.4 to 99.7. That’s almost 10 points a game, folks. That’s what we call domination. [Read more...]

Have Suns Surpassed Expectations?

(Harry How/NBAE/Getty Images)

(Harry How/NBAE/Getty Images)

The Suns have often been very good, rarely bad, and overall better-than-solid.

They are nine games above .500 at 31-22, and own the sixth playoff seed heading into the All-Star break. They have played 28 road games, more than anyone in the Western Conference except Dallas and New Orleans (both have also played 28). Prior to Wednesday’s loss against Portland, the Suns had won a season-high five straight.

The question is, are you satisfied? [Read more...]

Suns Return to Earlier Form

(Layne Murdoch/NBAE/Getty Images)

(Layne Murdoch/NBAE/Getty Images)

For the Suns, it’s all a matter of returning to what worked early. [Read more...]

No reason for panic over Suns’ recent struggles

(Kent Smith/NBAE/Getty Images)

(Kent Smith/NBAE/Getty Images)

Right now, the Suns are about to find out if they are the team they truly believe they are.

That’s just the way it works when you’ve lost four in a row — as the Suns have now done following a 125-118 setback to Memphis on Martin Luther King Day. All four losses have come on the road, and three of them (Indiana, Atlanta, Memphis) were relatively close.

The biggest problem lately has been defense, and that comes straight from Coach Alvin Gentry. Also, in the loss to Memphis, the Suns committed 16 turnovers that resulted in 23 points. [Read more...]