Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Suns vs Lakers - sluggish start

Blast! That was a pretty lousy game to start the season. Nash led the Suns out of the gate to play a killer first quarter when they scored 41 points on 17/22 (77%) shooting. The ball movement was great, the defense (esp at the low post) was impressive - it was Suns' basketball at its best. Steve Nash had 7 assists in the first quarter alone. Amare showed a few flashes of his old self with a monster slam. This was the last we'd see of the Suns for the rest of the game.

The following picture sums up the rest of the game better than anything else. The Lakers had the Suns by the balls.

Lakers take over
To the Lakers' credit, they took over the game starting the second period. They pounded the ball in for easy layups, grappled for rebounds and played like their lives depended on every possession. Lamar Odom seems to reserve himself for the Suns. I don't know if its his rivalry with Marion, who was drafted the same year as him or just plain hatred for the Suns. He turns into a monster at the boards, unleashes his arsenal in the low post and puts the icing on the top with a flurry of three pointers every time he plays the Suns.

But Andrew Bynum? This 19 yr old kid was starting for the first time in his career and the Suns let him run all over them. He spent the whole of last season getting tutored by Kareem Abdul Jabbar and boy, has he picked up fast. He showed poise at the basket, never gave up and completely dominated the defensive boards. He finished with impressive numbers - 18/9.

Asleep at the boards
Rebounding was completely absent from the Suns. There was zero interior presence on both ends and they finished the game getting out-rebounded 35-51. I wonder if the Suns had any second chance points as they stayed out of the paint like it was a snake pit or something. Nothing says 'the Suns are losing' better than watch Marion jack up his ugly jumpers from three point land. He was content camping out, waiting for the ball instead of crashing the boards for offensive rebounds.

The biggest disappointment was Boris Diaw who looked listless throughout the 29 minutes he played. He was slow-as-molasses and looked uninterested in what was going on around him. He has a reputation of being an easy going guy but its time he started playing with a fire befitting the $9M paycheck he takes home.

The Clippers visit the Suns tonight. Hope the Suns put up a better showing.


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