Let me just come out and say it. The Phoenix Suns are just not that good of a team. Their Western Conference Finals appearance is a fluke and really, the Lakers should have started their rest for the NBA Finals last night after Game 4. Right after Game 2 was over with, it pretty much seemed like L.A. was gonna steam roll over the Suns and and get some much needed rest before they go up against the Doomsday squad known as the Boston Celtics.
Like an episode right out of the Twilight Zone we’re now dealing with a tied 2-2 series and the Suns have all the momentum and confidence of a guerrilla army being led by Che Guevara himself. And the reason? Well, I can name three: HUSTLE, HEART and ZONE DEFENSE. Yeah, ZONE. With the proper tools a zone defense can be dissected and carved up like your Thanksgiving Day turkey but unfortunately for the Lakers they have neither quality 3 point shooters nor a point guard with dribbling skills and fresh ankles to slice through the lane. So all they’re left with is shooting 28 to 32 3′s a night and clogged lanes with no one to pass it to. Kobe is lighting his fire too late in the game, Fisher is aging in dog years, Pau is as soft as cashmere, Bynum desperately needs a Hoveround and Ron Ron needs to STOP chucking 3′s like he’s Reggie Miller. This Laker squad is in trouble. And if they can’t even figure out this Phoenix Suns’ defense, what are they gonna do when they collide with Boston’s intensity and smothering defense? I know Tom Thibodeau and his scouts are licking their chops over in Boston and are already planning a repeat of the 2008 series in the back of their minds. Gotta impress those folks watching in New Orleans, Tom.
Phoenix has exposed L.A. and now genuinely has a puncher’s chance to make it to the Finals. With Nash’s will, Amare’s pride, Coach Gentry’s patience and the entire team’s passion and heart…..these next 2 or 3 games are going to be heart pounding to say the least. Thank you Phoenix, for not rolling over. And kudos to you Channing Frye, for busting outta your coffin and walking amongst the living. We missed you.
Dave E. Gold