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NBA Playoffs Lakers Suns Game 3: Lakers will find Suns much hotter in Phoenix

May 21, 2010, 4:30 PM EDT

GHill_dunk.jpgThe Phoenix Suns are not going to get well against the Lakers. Not this series, the Lakers are going to win it. Phoenix is not going to be able to do the one thing it needs to counter the Lakers — grow three or four inches a man.

But like taking a cold medication, for a few hours — one game or two — the Suns can mask the symptoms. They can simply outscore the Lakers in a shootout.

Their medicine: Going home. US Airways Center.

The Suns cannot stop the Lakers offense. Look at the Lakers big men’s numbers through three games: Pau Gasol 65.6 percent shooting, Lamar Odom 64 percent, Andrew Bynum: 77.8 percent. After Game 2, Grant Hill and Suns coach Alvin Gentry said they basically were not sure how to slow the Lakers.

But the Suns are capable of scoring a lot more points.

That the Suns do at home, and do it well. The Suns play at a faster pace at home. Like most teams, the Suns stars do not get a lot better at home but their role players do — guys like Channing Frye (who Gentry said the Suns had to start getting something out of this series) and Jared Dudley and Dragic Dagic suddenly seem unable to miss. They seem quicker, too. They play with more confidence.

We have seen the Suns do this for a spurt — the third quarter of Game 2. The Lakers “only” scored 25 that quarter but the Suns scored 34. They got some turnovers and converted them to easy buckets in transition. They drained three pointers. Grant Hill looked 25 again. The vaunted Suns offense started to really click.

It didn’t last into the fourth quarter. And let’s be clear, the “we’ll just outscore them” mentality will not carry the series for Phoenix. But it can for one game. The Suns are not going to roll over.

“You know, no one just let us get to the Western Conference Finals,” Gentry said. “We earned the right to be here. And we’ll continue to plug away.”

To a man, the Lakers said they know this. They talked about expecting the Suns to play better at home and that they need to step up. That their defense will need to be sharper, that their offense will need to continue as it has.

In the end, the Lakers have the winning hand — they are taller, they are better. But the games Sunday in Tuesday in Phoenix will be tougher than the first two, the Suns will not go down easily. The Suns still think this is a series.

  1. Omnius - May 21, 2010 at 7:09 PM

    Lost Suns may think they’re going to score more at home but the Lakers haven’t played much defense against them yet. Watch the Lakers step up their defense on the road and put a big damper on the offense of the quickly Setting Suns.

  2. Anonymous - May 21, 2010 at 7:56 PM

    The Lakers will sweep the Suns no matter what adjustments they try to make.

  3. luffy - May 21, 2010 at 9:11 PM

    Doesn’t matter if the suns get hotter in Phoenix, Lakers won’t get smaller anyways… Sweep or 4-1 if the suns get lucky?

  4. Foul Dwimmerlaik - May 21, 2010 at 9:36 PM

    It will be more difficult for LA, but Lakers will still prevail. Suns prolly might get game 3 but the Lakers snatches one in Game 4. If not a sweep, then it would end in Game 5 back home. I just hope that the Lakers are not too complacent. If anything, the ones that could beat the Lakers are the Lakers themselves.

  5. ocgunslinger - May 21, 2010 at 10:05 PM

    The Suns have a good team beyond doubt. For a variety of reasons they just happen to be playing a much better team in this round and consequently they will not win the series. Maybe one game.

  6. JD - May 22, 2010 at 12:29 AM

    I expect the Suns to play with better fundamentals and execution in games 3 and 4. The burden is on Stoudamire to play much better defense but Lopez, Amundson and Frye must also do their share. The games in Phoenix will be surprisingly low scoring in the upper 90s and lower 100s. This should go to LA at 2-2 with the Suns poised to steal game 5. Suns in 6.

  7. Anonymous - May 22, 2010 at 1:37 AM


  8. lakerfan - May 22, 2010 at 7:49 AM

    What planet do you live on??

  9. elamigo - May 22, 2010 at 10:00 AM

    planet orange

  10. JD - May 22, 2010 at 4:03 PM

    Don’t get me wrong, I think the Lakers are a very good team. I do think that the Lakers hot shooting has masked a lot of their problems defensively (e.g. late rotation, going under screens, not stopping the guy who has the ball, etc.) and they will find the road to be a completely different animal.
    The Suns, on the other hand, only have to fix Amar’e and his surprisingly lack of motivation to play some defense. I mean this guy should be averaging 25 points, 12 rebounds and about 2 block shots in this series. All the role players will shoot much better at home. But this doesn’t change the fact that the Suns are down 2-0 and must find a way to win one in LA, which is never an easy task.

  11. Ron - May 22, 2010 at 4:19 PM

    “But the games Sunday in Tuesday in Phoenix will be tougher than the first two…”
    No sh*t, Sherlock? The first two games of this series were the easiest the Lakers have had in the entire playoffs so far.

  12. Hiroller58 - May 22, 2010 at 5:26 PM

    LAKERS IN FOUR! For all you ILLEGALS that would be QUATRO!

  13. kurt - May 22, 2010 at 5:34 PM

    Man, what a bunch of whiners. Fakers won the first two games, at home. They were supposed to. Suns will win the next two, at home. They’re supposed to. Then, it’s a best two out of three series. Suns in seven wimpos.

  14. NickLA - May 22, 2010 at 6:22 PM

    Hiroller58, that’s hillarious man. qautro -cero !!!
    as long as the celtics keep winning, so will the lakers. they won’t allow the celtics to have extra rest time. if the celtics lose game 3, i would be concerned as a laker fan. on second thought, NOT ! lakers (USA) 4 Phoenix (Mexico) 0.

  15. Foul Dwimmerlaik - May 22, 2010 at 8:28 PM

    Another doofus with that “Faker” comment. If the Lakers were Fakers, what makes your Suns, eh? Where are your rings? Last I heard you guys only made it twice in the Finals (’76 and ’93) despite having the NBA’s fourth all time winning percentage at 56%. Guess who has the best winning percentage? Considered the best NBA franchise, the Lakers have the most wins (3,000), the highest winning percentage (61.8%), the most NBA Finals appearances (30), the second fewest non-playoff seasons with five (San Antonio Spurs have four), and the second-most NBA championships with 15, behind the Boston Celtics’ 17. Now, if this franchise is considered to be Fakers, then your team must be even rock bottom in the sewers along with the other bottom feeders. Lakers in 5 is stretching it. The Suns will go all out at home but they can’t stop the inevitable.

  16. kw - May 23, 2010 at 12:50 AM

    celtics will demolish lakers anyway… use worrying about it…

  17. Foul Dwimmerlaik - May 23, 2010 at 7:52 AM

    Demolish? Whoah. Strong words. If your yardstick is the Laker team in the Finals of ’08 with an injured Bynum and an absent Ariza, then you will be in a big surprise. Bar injuries, this year’s Lakers can beat the Celtics. With Gasol’s ability to disrupt plays and block passing lanes (see Nash and the Suns), Bynum pounding the lane and blocking shots, Artest putting up his defensive prowess in the perimeter, and Kobe likely guarding Rondo, the Lakers have the formula to take on the Celtics’ Achilles’ Heel. Neutralize Rondo’s play-making and the C’s will likely look like chickens with their heads lopped off. The Triangle will work wonderfully as the C’s will have to figure out which poison to choose. Go Lakers!

  18. Curt B. - May 23, 2010 at 10:48 AM

    And what difference will it make in anyones life no matter who wins? Watch the game for shear entertainment. The sun will still rise right on time and will set just the same. Because the Lakers and the Suns are a private business! You have no vested interest in these private entities. But these enterprises need your money! So just enjoy the talent and remember….the players are making a hellava lot more money than you or I are making. Thanks to those who buy tickets and support the sponsers who advertise during the games.

  19. 302 - May 25, 2010 at 4:51 PM

    What kind of fuc**n comment is that! Ignorant racist sack of sh*t!

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