It's THE ZONE. No, it's the BENCH. It's AMARE. It's the WEATHER. IT'S SHERIFF JOE!!
Whatever it is, for two games it's working ... but it ain't over yet. The Lakers can play better and so can the Suns. If the Suns are able to win this series, the reason will be fatigue and Kobe eventually having an off night.
If Kobe can play as well in Game 5 as he did in Games 1 through 4, the Lakers will be very hard to beat at home on Thursday. Here's hoping.
Another great video break down from Coach Nick:
- SB Nation Arizona Meetup Party: Wed, June 2nd - Bright Side Of The Sun
Come on now. Show up!
- Video: Robin Lopez enjoys Goran Dragic's approach to basketball - Ball Don't Lie - NBA - Yahoo! Sports
(Five crossovers + one spin move + one reverse layup) = 7 feet of ecstatic Robin Lopez(notes).
- NBA Playoffs Lakers Suns Game 4: Stop Me If You've Heard This One. A Self-Entitled Lakers Team Walks Into A Series Lead... | Hardwood Paroxysm
The only point that anyone outside of the Phoenix locker room will believe the Suns can win this series is when the clock hits zero of a fourth Suns win.
- SUNS: Postgame Quotes: Suns vs Lakers Round 3, Game 4
- The Bench Whisperer - now with a POLL (Name the Suns second unit) - Bright Side Of The Sun
In all my years watching the NBA, I've never seen this before. Ever. Can you think of a playoff team, any team, ever, who has played AN ENTIRE QUINTET of bench players for major stretches of do-or-die playoff games and WON because of it?
- The Official Phoenix Suns Blog " Blog Archive " Suns Still in Six
Think about it. Never in the history of the NBA has a team so good been given so little chance by so many —and that plays right into this team’s personality. The karma or mojo (or whatever you wish to call that easy to see but hard to define characteristic) of these Suns is off the charts.
- azcentral.com blogs - Coro's Suns dish - PaulCoro - Plenty in reserve
Lakers fans last week: "We want Boston." Lakers fans this week, you've still got Phoenix.
- Forum Blue And Gold " Lakers/Suns Game 4: Suns’ Bench Torches The Lakers
I thought the Suns’ defense on Gasol was brilliant. They’re the first team in a long time that’s been able to double Pau effectively and not get killed by his passing skills. The way I saw it, they did it with angles and energy. They swarmed Pau on the catch with 2 or 3 guys. Normally, it’s a recipe for Lakers success. But the activity and angles of the guys swarming him really cut off his vision and bothered him in a way I haven’t seen before.
- 'Net reaction: Lakers vs. Suns - Game 4 - Ball Don't Lie - NBA - Yahoo! Sports
- President Barrack Obama endorses the Los Angeles Lakers - Ball Don't Lie - NBA - Yahoo! Sports
Hey! What about HOPE and CHANGE!!
- NBA Playoffs Wednesday Night Viewing Guide: The Stats Lie About The Lakers' Offense Last Night - SB Nation
Here's a question Hollinger needs to ask himself: how did the Lakers really score so many points? The answer? Kobe Bryant hit some ridiculously tough shots. Just watch this highlight tape, and you'll know what I mean.
- KTAR.com - Ash: Best of 3 anyone?
Last night might have been one of the most enjoyable Phoenix Suns basketball games I have ever watched and slowly but surely this is becoming my favorite Suns team of all time and it has nothing to do with Nash and Amare! The bench of the Phoenix Suns is absolutely amazing.
- KTAR.com - Gambo: Don't count the Suns out, it's not over
Memo to myself -- it is not over until the fat lady sings or in this case until the Lakers figure out how to beat a zone defense. What a difference a week makes. Last week I had written the Phoenix Suns off for dead after two embarrassing losses to the Los Angeles Lakers
- The J-RICH Ad will be in this Thursday's Arizona Republic - Golden State Of Mind
We made it happen Folks! This Thursday it'll be in the Arizona Republic. They should still be in Arizona then, so hopefully J-Rich will get a look at it. Either way! We ARE the best fans in the NBA, and I thank you for making this happen! We collected $577.66 towards the add,
- U.S. 2010 World Cup Roster Reimagined: What If America's Best Athletes Played Soccer? - SB Nation
- Dragic, Bench Fuels Suns' Game Four Win Over Lakers | TAUNTR.COM
Funny Dragic Dragon animated gif
- NBA Playbook – A Look At The Playcalling In The NBA Through Videos, Pictures, & Words " Suns’ 4th Quarter Defensive Adjustment
This was a terrific defensive adjustment by the Suns coaching staff. Kobe Bryant was really going from the three point line last night (6-9 for the game), but the Suns were able to keep him from even attempting a three in the fourth quarter. In fact, Kobe only had 7 (he scored 38 for the game) points in the 4th on 3-4 shooting. This wasn’t because it was "passive Kobe" either. This was a defense keeping the basketball out of his hands (as shown in video 2) and forcing him to pass it late in the clock so he couldn’t get it back (as shown in video 1).
- Finally, Good Playoff Basketball: Suns Take Game 4 To Even Series With Lakers - SB Nation
Channing Frye broke out of his shooting slump and scored 14 points, as the Phoenix Suns used strong bench play to even the Western Conference finals with a 115-106 Game 4 win over the Los Angeles Lakers at US Airways Center.
- Suns 115, Lakers 106: The more things change, the more the Lakers better hope things stay the same - Silver Screen and Roll
If you didn't recognize tonight's performance, I don't think you qualify as a Lakers fan, because this was vintage. Once again, the Lakers were put up against a dangerous and desperate team in a Game 4, and once again they were out-worked, out-muscled, and out-smarted by a team that had no business doing any of those things.
- Lakers' reserves are only contributing to losses - latimes.com
The Suns were like a joyful college team, everyone playing, everyone scoring, the sidelines dancing. The Lakers were like a somber high school team with one star and five kids from shop class. Bryant scored a brilliant 38 points before eventually losing his lift to exhaustion. He was exhausted because he had to play nearly 45 minutes because he just didn't have any help from his cheerleaders.
- Suns’ Dragic an Able Substitute for Nash - Off the Dribble Blog - NYTimes.com
Along with a deeper and more energetic bench than the Lakers, the Suns suddenly have a backup point guard who may be allowing Steve Nash to tack on an extra year or two to his career. With the rapid development of Goran Dragic in his second N.B.A. season, the Suns don’t have to merely survive anymore when Nash rests early in the second and fourth quarters. "Dragic playing a pick-and-roll really hurt," Pau Gasol said after the Suns evened the Western Conference finals at 2-2. "Couldn’t stop it from getting into the lane and then he started driving and kicking, and they made big shots on the kickouts."
- Suns get even with Lakers, 115-106 - latimes.com
Somewhere between the desire to bust the zone defense of the Phoenix Suns and move decisively within a victory of the NBA Finals, the Lakers forgot about one fairly important concept. Their defense.
- Suns' aggressive zone negates work of unselfish Kobe - Chris Ballard - SI.com
Artest stopped to think about this. Walton grimaced. And, in that moment of quiet, one could hear, from somewhere far back in the locker room, one of their teammates summing up what has proven, at least for two games, to be the most unlikely Kobe Stopper of all. "F---in zone."
- If you want to beat the Los Angeles Lakers, you better get to the free throw line - Silver Screen and Roll
Orlando sees a difference of 5.5 FTs in home vs. road contests. Phoenix is similar, at about 6.1. Boston, they of the extremely physical defense, have a change in FT advantage of 8.1. The difference in FT advantage/disadvantage for the Lakers? 16.3, more than twice that of anybody still left in these playoffs. It should also be noted, as you can see above, that the Lakers aren't exactly getting the same returns on FTs at home as anybody else is either. Both home and away, the Lakers are seeing the worst FT discrepencies of anybody still dancing.
- Phoenix Suns' guard Steve Nash continues to take hits to the face
"Are you kidding me?" Gentry said when asked if he could have adjusted his own nose in such a situation. "My wife was in a car accident and broke her nose. Just to see him move his nose back over, she almost fainted. She said she can't even imagine the pain involved in that. He's as tough as they come. "But I'd like for him to avoid the facial injuries for a while. Maybe just a scratch on the arm. He's willing to stick his face in there, though. He'll do anything for us to win and that's why you have to love the guy."
- Steve Nash lends piece to the AGO | Pop Art | torontolife.com
Our favourite greasy-haired NBAer, Steve Nash, has donated a piece from his private art collection to the AGO.
- KTAR.com - Al McCoy waits for Suns title after 38 years
One of those hoping most for the Phoenix Suns to win their first-ever NBA championship is Al McCoy, who has shouted "Shazam!" with excitement and suffered through "Heartbreak Hotel" with the team for 38 years.