All in all, about as good as could be expected. In fact, I was pretty darn impressed. Offensively, the Suns were extremely effective and defensively, well the Lakers are pretty darn good. No complaints here.
Here's the first recap from over at SBNAZ:
Phoenix Suns Put Up Good Fight But Drop Home Opener To Los Angles Lakers, 114-106 - SB Nation Arizona
The Phoenix Sun had a tough task playing the Los Angeles Lakers for their home opener and the result was as expected. But the home town boys gave the fans a solid game through a combination of gritty effort and skilled play. The Suns had no answer for Pau Gasol (not many teams do) and couldn't keep Lamar Odom off the glass but offensively Phoenix continues to make quick progress. There are no moral victories in sports but if there were, this would be one.
More recap fun (now, with quotes):
Both Phoenix Suns and Los Angeles Lakers Encouraged By Early Season Game - SB Nation Arizona
Phoenix Suns head coach Alvin Gentry said he was "proud" of his team despite losing their home opener 114-106 to the Los Angeles Lakers. Lakers head coach (and Zen master) Phil Jackson wasn't thrilled that his team took 27 three point shots but overall was "pleased with the way the team performed."
And check out these cocky bastards. I guess we shouldn't expect anything more from Laker fans. As the lady once sang, true colors shining through.
Lakers 114, Suns 106: Gasol, Odom Pound Squishy Phoenix D - Silver Screen and Roll
The Phoenix Suns have clearly faded since enjoying their 15 minutes of semi-glory back in May 2010, and frankly they were a pretty soft target even then. Amare Stoudemire at least gave them a puncher's chance of keeping up with the Lakers for a quarter here and there. Now that he's fled the conference out of an acute case of Pau-phobia, the Suns are little more than another of the Lake Show's intradivisional speedbags.
Game notes after the jump. Post game quotes, etc to follow.
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Pregame coaches notes:
At this point last year, fans treated Goran like a ball kid. Now, he's a rock star.
Question: Who are the Lakers gonna to play at the 4/5 when Gasol and Odom are on the bench? I suppose Derrick Character is going to get minutes and Theo Ratliff (who is listed has having a "sore left knee" will come in. Do those guys scare you?
So, while I don't think the Suns can win this game (thanks NBA schedule) the opportunity is there if you can get one of those guys into foul trouble and/or run them enough to wear them out by the 4th qtr.
Yeah yeah yeah, it's about that time. By which I mean: time for Kobe Bryant to show once again that he's the fastest gun in the West. You can usually count on the Suns' D to cooperate.
Warmth in the form 90 degree weather and love in the form of about a Gazillion "Beat LA" signs expected at the arena for the Suns home opener. Kobe loves that.
But first, I have a confession to make. I am sick of the Lakers. Not in the "I hate the Lakers!" kind of way as much as in the "I'm sick of the hubbub of the Lakers". All the extra hoopla and Kobe crap that comes with the annual arrival of "Bieber's Team".
Aside from all the basketball reasons why starting the season at home against THE GREAT LAKERS after playing last night in Utah, I'm just sick of seeing those colors. I'm sick of the crappy LA media they drag with them, and I'm sick of 2,500 Bryant #24 jerseys.
On the Bright Side, having them come to town this early in the season means it's over and done with (until January 5th). Bring on the Grizzlies and the rest of the NBA so we can focus on the game and not the circus. The following does not apply of course, to the mega-clusterf&*k that will come with the Miami Heat in December.
As for the game, what can we say. The Suns will be tired. Nash will be tired. Hill will be tired. You even have to worry how Goran's knee will hold up after playing just 15 (great) minutes last night. The Lakers are well-rested (as they always somehow happen to be when playing the Suns) and they look good. They've even added Suns-killer Steve Blake. Don't laugh, he kills the Suns.
This game comes down to Robin Lopez. He's the difference between a blowout and a competitive game.
To quote myself (a preferred source):
LA Lakers Come To Phoenix For Date With Suns, 7:30 P.M. AZT - SB Nation Arizona
On the downside, the Suns only got to the line 16 times and Robin Lopez in two games has a combined nine points and 11 rebounds. He fouled out of the Jazz game in only 20 minutes. Perhaps Robin is feeling the pressure of being "The Man" and understanding that the Suns are going to need big things from him this season, or maybe he just had a couple of bad games.
The Suns were able to survive without Robin on the floor much against a smaller Utah front line, but against the Lakers, he's going to have to play huge if the Suns have any chance of keeping this game close. That match-up between Lopez and Gasol will be the most important on the floor despite all the attention that will be paid to the Goran Dragic vs. Sasha Vujacic side show (should Phil Jackson even play Mr. Sharapova).
Stay tuned for more reasonable, rational and well-expressed thoughts on the game later this afternoon.
Remember, post your game (or Halloween costume) photos on our Facebook page.
Also, happy birthday to me because you only turn 40 once. I'm having a HUGE party at my house tomorrow nice. Stop by....and don't try and talk to me on Sunday morning.