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NBA Playoffs, Lakers Suns Game 3: The Suns try to keep it simple, stupid

May 23, 2010, 2:40 PM EDT

Hill_Bynum.jpgAlvin Gentry asked his team to step up its defensive game as they came into the Western Conference Finals with the Lakers. He asked them to front to keep the ball out of the post, to pressure the ball out of Kobe Bryant’s hands, he asked them to do things a little bit differently and count on rotations. He asked them to take their defense to the next level.

Didn’t work. Not even close. In two games the Lakers have scored 132.6 points per 100 possessions, just a ridiculous number (best regular season number was 112.7, by Phoenix, ironically). The Lakers have done whatever they wanted.

And while we and others have piled on Amar’e Stoudemire for his defense — and it has not been good — the problem is much larger than one man. This is a whole team failure. There were no rotations behind Stoudemire. There was terrible communication and recognition of assignments. Watch these videos for the details. It was a team failure.

So the Suns are going back to simple back home for Game 3. Back to what they did prior to this series, Gentry said. Maybe that will help.

The Suns are also counting on scoring more at home. They will play at a little faster pace, and they hope to suck the Lakers into that pace more. Some of their role players will need to step up — backup guards Goran Dragic and Leandro Barbosa were a combined 2-10 with six points in Game 2. They should — they need to — play better at home.

Then there is Channing Frye, who has been a disaster this series and needs to show up if the Suns are to have any chance.

The Lakers role players have stepped up — Jordan Farmar is 8-11, Ron Artest is 12-23 and Shannon Brown 5-9 in this series. The Suns need to slow them down, because if the Lakers stars and subs are scoring you are doomed.

The Suns may be doomed anyway. They cannot change the core problems of size and skill inside. But they can mask the problem with some better scoring and some improved defense. That may come at home.

Just keep it simple stupid, and hope that is enough.

  1. Peter, Pan - May 23, 2010 at 3:38 PM

    Suns will win the next 2.
    Whoever win game 5 wins the series.

  2. Sports Fan With Attitude - May 23, 2010 at 3:44 PM

    I’ll bet my house, my cars, and my boat that the Suns don’t even win a game this series…4 to 0 Lakers!

  3. Ken - May 23, 2010 at 4:48 PM

    Game 3: Lakers will jump out and kick the Sun out of their building, leaving any doubt the Sun can compete. Game 4 will be a worst game for the Sun history, Lakers won by 55.

  4. brooklyn laker fan - May 23, 2010 at 4:51 PM

    Suns are toast, Kobe will burn them again,,,,,,,,,,
    Lakers VS Boston rematch, Lakers will win the 4 home games
    to repeat……………

  5. busted left nut - May 23, 2010 at 4:55 PM

    I bet ALL your stuff too, I can’t lose sheet.

  6. MackBlink - May 23, 2010 at 6:21 PM

    thats foolish thinking.. Lakers are sweeping

  7. Paul Porter - May 23, 2010 at 7:19 PM

    The Lakers will win in no more than 5 – likely sweep like the Celtics. What the Lakers have not faced is a hot, HEALTHY, tough, experienced and defensive east coast team in the play-offs….like Boston.
    It will be an awesome series. The Celtics will win it in 6. They will split in LA and win 2 at home. LA wins game 5 and the Celtics win it in Boston. This CEltics team is better than the one that won it 2 years ago….you can not say the same for LA.
    Go green….its in style.

  8. LA...LAKERFAN - May 23, 2010 at 7:32 PM

    face it…suns are done…black mamba like the sound of that …haha go lakers

  9. JD - May 23, 2010 at 7:40 PM

    I expect the Suns to execute better on the defensive end and shoot much better at home. The scoring will be surprisingly low scoring at high 90s to low 100s with the Suns running the offense through posts up to Stoudamire to put Gasol/Odom/Bynum in foul trouble. He will average 25 pts, 12-15 rebs, 2 blks in games 3 and 4. This will go back to LA 2-2.

  10. Bill-Sonora - May 23, 2010 at 7:55 PM

    Im a Laker fan but i find it hard to believe that the Suns cant win at least one game. I mean the Lakers are really good but are the Suns really that bad?! I really hope that the Suns put up a good fight because we need a challenge before facing the Celtics. I hope the Suns dont roll over so we can get some good practice before the hot Celtics. We will need it.

  11. oneforken - May 23, 2010 at 8:16 PM

    your a fool if you think they can’t win at least one at home!!!

  12. corent - May 23, 2010 at 8:21 PM

    we do what we get payed to do LA ALL DAY SO AT THE END OF THE DAY U STILL SAD HOLLA BACK

  13. Taco-The Under Dag - May 23, 2010 at 10:30 PM


  14. jamal - May 27, 2010 at 4:10 PM

    the lakers will win the series and chimpin ship again

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