Thursday, April 27, 2006

Knotted up, 1-1 

So, the only NBA first round series I'm paying explicit attention to just got a lot more interesting. Game 2: Lakers 99 Suns 93.

After the first quarter, I noted that LA was looking pretty decent and absolutely doing as they pleased on the interior, but they weren't taking care of the basketball and turning it over non-stop. Then the second quarter began and, before anyone knew it, the Lakers went on a 16-0 run and the Suns scored just 4 points in 7 minutes. It was amazing! Holding Phoenix to 38 points at halftime??? I'm not sure I can adequately describe it. Suffice it to say, they were getting fewer open looks than in game one where the Lakers seemingly refused to guard the perimeter. I feel good about getting at least one victory in LA, but it's no gimmie. The Suns shot themselves out of the first half, but quickly shot themselves back into the game in the second half after being down by as many as 17. Lots of credit to the Lakeshow for not wilting each time Phoenix cut it down to three. Good win. I'm most impressed by how consistent we were, something everyone would highlight as a trouble spot for us. Lakers always have a hard time stringing together a good 48 minutes. But we did last night and look where it got us. And talk about a role reversal in bench production! Man alive! Sasha Vujacic, where have you been, buddy! Welcome back.

Kind of wish Smush Parker wasn't on the court during the second half. That guy just doesn't have a very good basketball IQ. Stupid mistakes all over the show from Smush.

We all know the blueprint for beating the Suns: dominate the interior, limit open shots, force a halfcourt game... but did the Lakers actually just execute that? I think they did. I think they just did! Ah, the benefits of having a good coach. And now that the Lakers have realized that blueprint for success against Phoenix, for the first time, I believe that we have a fighting chance at winning this series. Now for the tricky part: do it three more times.

Great lines for both Kobe (29/10/5) and Lamar (21/7/5) respectively.

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