Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Season Game 8: Los Angeles Lakers vs Phoenix Suns

November 12, Season Game #8: Lakers (6-1) vs Suns (7-1) @ Staples Center. 7:30PM PST, TV: TNT.

PRE-GAME

The best in the west face off. Suns only have one loss, Lakers only have one loss, but just one team is meeting its expectations. The champs are expected to play well and be the best not only in the Western Conference but in the league but to fathom any thought of the Suns playing like they're playing right now is ridiculous. Suns are playing their signature team basketball. Every game with 100+ points. It's basic Phoenix fundamentals, play with a high pace tempo, pass the ball to the open man and pick & roll. Success at its best.

I'm telling you right now, it is no coincidence the Suns are playing so well. Like I constantly tell me best friend Tim who is a die hard Suns fan and lives near Phoenix (by the way, Happy Veterans Day and thank you for serving this great country as a Marine), when the Suns picked up Shaq, like the tumble weeds in Arizona, the Suns franchise blew away. It was a very sad scene in Phoenix, watching a championship caliber team lose almost everything in just one season. I know the uncontrollable act of having to lose a key player had to happen but to think Shaq still had it in him to help turn the team around was a bit looney. With such a fast offense, Shaq only had one speed, slow. Evidently this was a bad move that cost the organization dearly. Now that Shaq is in Cleveland the Suns have nothing to slow them down. It's as if the leash has either been loosened or entirely taken off, I guess we'll have to see as the season progresses.

This will be a game that pretty much determines who really is the best in the west. Yes, a bit premature but who cares! I'm just amazed it's the Suns who will battle the Lakers early on and not the Spurs.

Due to Gasol still being out, there really is no easy decision of who will be the victor. I personally don't understand why Gasol is yet to suit up. He's been cleared to play and he is playing well in practice, what's holding him back? And now, Phil told the media today that they are now aiming for around Christmas for Gasols debut? Come on Coach, seriously, if this was any other decade, Gasol would be out there contributing already. Yes, I'm only 5-9" with a vertical leap that just clears a speed bump however I am also not a professional athlete whose job it is to play basketball. If I missed as many days at work as these athletes miss games I wouldn't have a job and my 5 readers would be subjected to more torturous blogs as time wouldn't be an issue. I love Gasol but he's making 15 million this season to play and not sit out when cleared. I just hope his prolonged unnecessary absence (in my opinion) doesn't cause the Lakers to collapse and fall into a hole that they can't climb out of. Christmas? Are you kidding me Phil? Really?

Lakers needs their starters back in order to beat the red hot Suns. If Bynum plays well right off the tip ball in his return game from his strained elbow then we have a chance to win this game. Just with Bynum's presence, the Lakers play better.

Sorry, I'm just venting my frustrations because I feel like I'm being tossed around with Gasol's return date. I'm done with the ETA's, I need an EXACT time of arrival not an estimated time of arrival...plus Gasol is on my Fantasy team which is probably the core reason for my frustrations.

The usual 2, 3 positions will have to play A+ ball tomorrow night against Phoenix's Jay Richardson, Dudley and Hill. D. Fish will obviously have his hands full again Nash and his 20 assists per game (2 times this season already). I've said it before and I'll say it again, Nash is THE best PG in the league. Why? Simply because he controls the Suns fast tempo offense that many teams can't keep up with and his peripherals are like no other, always finding the open man with passes that only he can make. He can pass unselfishly and turn the switch the other way and score selfishly anywhere on the floor. And I thought he was heading to early retirement, someone slap me in the face for that one.

This will be a great opportunity for the champs to prove to not only the media but to themselves that they can beat the elite teams in the NBA while hurt.

As always, I will post the final numbers and thoughts here when available.

This picture says it all. (Nash moving forward leaving Shaq behind)

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