More photos » Ralph Freso - AP
6 days ago: Phoenix Suns forward Jared Dudley (3) drives hard to the basket over the defense of Los Angeles Lakers center Pau Gasol, right, during the third quarter of an NBA basketball game in Phoenix, Wednesday, Jan. 5, 2011. (AP Photo/Ralph Freso)
There's nothing better than staying up really late only to watch your team lose against the team and player you dislike the most. What's even worse is forcing yourself to root for another player you dislike because he happens to be wearing a Sunsjersey. The new guys were missing in action tonight and while Marcin Gortat got praise for calling out his teammates days ago, I would look at my stat sheet and overall performance tonight before I make such bold statements again.
I wrote on the game preview this morning that we could not afford the Lakers bench to play well. That's exactly what they did. Matt Barnes, that Brown guy with the girl name and Steve Blakewere able to spark the Lakers during important stretches of the game. Phil Jackson was able to rest Kobe to set up what would be the Suns 3rd quarter collapse that would prove to be too much to overcome.
The Suns played hard, they competed and seemed like they wanted it but that's not enough to beat the current champs. Again the Lakers do what they do best when they play us: expose our lack of size, rebounding and showing the world in national tv how bad our defense really is.
The Suns seem to have fallen in a trend where they only play 3 quarters in no particular order. They try to fight back but can't get stops and rebounds in crunch time. There's nothing worse than an offensive rebound late in the game. It's like a kick in the nuts and it just takes the air out of you. The Suns played good enough defense to force bad shots but loose balls seemed to fall in Lakers hands all the time.
Let's talk after the jump.
Do the Lakers ever have a road game? I mean, MVP chants for Kobe at the line? People cheering for a Shannon Brown dunk?
Fortunately Jared Dudley came to play tonight. He was officially on fire and helped the Suns overcome a 12 point deficit in th 2nd quarter. He showed everything he had tonight, pull up jumpers, put backs, three point shots, crazy reverse lay ups. He was te bright spot for the Suns tonight.
Losing sucks. Like we saw in the comments section in today's game preview, it affects some of us a little bit more than others. But after watching Vince Carterjoke around with Kobe towards the end of the game I'm sure Vince doesn't let it get to him. I can't expect him to care as much as Grant or Steve because he just got here but at least be a pro and have some respect towards your teammates who are clearly frustraded.
Robin Lopezlooks like a hunched old man trying to run with kids. This is not the player who dominated and was so important to this team last year. He looks lost and can't keep up. The Gortat-Lopez experiment failed as both couldn't get anything going on the offensive end while getting killed on the boards by Odom, Bynum and Gasol.
The Suns rallied in the fourth but weren't able to get stops. It all comes down to defense and rebounding and the Suns suck at both.
Tough loss. They put up a fight but it wasn't enough. That seems to be the trend nowadays.
[Note by Seth Pollack, 01/06/11 12:26 AM MST ]
Los Angeles Lakers Dominate Phoenix Suns On The Glass In 99-95 Win - SB Nation Arizona
"You can bring here Dwight Howard -- I don't care who you want to bring, you can bring Bill Russell -- if five guys aren't going to box out and five guys aren't going to put a body on the other player then then we're always going to lose rebounding...That situation sometimes that people reaching over the top, over ours heads and we don't do anything about it so we've just got to play tougher, that's all," Suns center Marcin Gortat said.
Who could he be talking about?
- A REALLY large man wearing a Gasol jersey is standing in front of me blocking out the entire game. I will check back in if he sits
- Suns defended that lane cut really well
- Both Carter and Hill have hit mid-range jumpers
- Bynum gets two offensive rebounds away from Lopez even though Robin had inside position. Gortat talking to him about it. Fun
- Ron Artest attacks Vince off the dribble and scores
- Suns just running really simple curls for Grant and Vince using Robin and Marcin as screeners. No pick and roll. No Nash dribble penetration
- Stupid foul from Robin
- Good job by Gortat to break up that lob pass to Bynum
- Now that was a nice little side screen and pop by Vince and Robin
- Nash has missed on easy shot and made one crazy rainbow...
- Crowd LOVED Grant Hill getting by Kobe with a cross over. Me too
- So far, so good. 14-11 Suns at the 6:05 mark. Defense looking pretty good
- That at least was a good hard foul by Robin but he should have never let Bynum get that position on him. That's two, in comes Frye. Odom in for Gasol as well
- I was just saying that the Suns killed Bynum on the pick and roll in the playoffs and on cue Nash/Gortat kill Bynum on the pick and roll
- Kobe hitting shots early
- Nice steal in the lane there by Vince...see, I can say nice things about him
- Blake and Brown in for Koke and Fisher
- Lakers fans are standing and cheering....that's always annoying as fuck
- 9-0 run for LA. Gentry forced to call time out to quiet the crowd
- Frye getting killed by Odom on the glass...that just proves that the reality show isn't a distraction for Lamar...and that Frye needs to get his ass in gear
- MP w/ the no fast break dunk defense contesting Shannon Brown's dunk attempt
- Suns haven't scored in a long time. They have turned the ball over though. Twice, leading to 5 points
- Really starting to get ugly fast and this is w/ Kobe out of the game. MP finally hits a three to give the Suns 22 points. The new "defense" has giving up 31 however
- Dudley has become the go-to guy at the end of the clock...it's that bad
- 31-24, Lakers
- Lakers shot 60% in the first quarter. DEFENSE!!
- Hakim Warrick sighting...Gentry pulling out all the stops. In other words, Robin's two fouls and general crap play didn't give him much choice, especially with Siler in Iowa (I kid!)
- Steve Blake hates the Suns. There's no other explanation for him
- Frye with the quick, confident shot and so of course it goes in
- Gasol, Barnes and Brown all talking about who screwed up and left Dudley wide open for that three
- Brown and Gasol cover the Dragic/Warrick screen and roll w/o needing help. That's a sure fire way to stop the Suns
- Frye somehow gets under Gasol's skin and draws a T
- MP passes up a wide open three but Dudley does his best Vince Carter (circa 2000) impression and drives the lane. MP usually isn't shy so I guess he just bobbled the ball
- Joe Smith and Steve Blake watching the Kiss Cam and enjoying it. At least someone is
- Crowd is very pro-Duck for some reason. Pac-10 I guess
- Nice pump fake and one dribble pull up two for JD. He has 11 points for Suns which is good
- 39-37, LA. 8:12. Bench offense doing a better job. Getting good looks even though Dragic isn't scoring
- 3rd foul on Odom trying to pick Dudley from behind (pause). Kobe back in
- Blake with the three, Dudley can't answer. It's a game of inches...or feet...maybe meters
- Luke Walton!!
- Bad pass by Grant. He had Dudley open for a sec but the bounce pass was in slow motion
- Dudley, your hero of the game (OReb putback)
- Dudley, your hero of the game (three pointer)
- Remember the good ole days when Luke Walton was an important part of the Lakers team?
- Dudley and Carter watch the ball fall and Artest just picks it up...and then runs right over Nash. So much about that play is typical
- I have to pee but there's 2 min left in the half. I am going to try and man-up and stick it out. Wish me luck
- Wait, Lakers have only scored 10 points in 10 minutes?
- Dudley, your hero of the game (three pointer) That's 19 points now for JB off the bench
- 50-49, Suns
- Heather Cox doing the Jared Dudley interview...love that
- Lakers went 7-19 in the 2nd quarter. I think that's some defense right there. Right? I'm not sure I've seen enough to actually identify it in the wild
- Btw, when you hold off peeing for a long time it takes forever to go. Or is that just an old man thing? I don't remember. You kids take note of these things now so in 20 years you can remember how it was
- Vince Carter was jealous of Dudley, so he hit a shot. Hey, whatever it takes
- Sweet move by Nash to ditch Kobe but then Gortat missed the wide open 3 footer
- Not a great start to the half. 61-55
- Robin not looking good. Suns doing ok when Bynum and Gasol not on the floor together but when they are...ugh
- Time out Gentry. Suns can't afford to get down 12 again. Frye back in for Robin...hits a three
- That wasn't good defense as much as lucky defense...still a stop
- Oh Channing, just shoot the ball. Don't hesitate. Remember that time a few weeks ago you have 7 three's and you said you were determined to shoot the ball every time it touched your hands? Do that
- 4th foul on Bynum
- Violet Palmer T's Frye...probably a good foul call. The T was a bit quick
- Great D by Gortat on Gasol there on that face up
- 66-62, Suns. Fisher T'd up. Cheap call, he barely shoved Gortat
- There you go, Vince. Attack!
- 4th foul on VC. Dudley coming back in so an upgrade on offense
- Nash getting some open looks but not hitting them all. I thought he was supposed to be perfect every night
- It doesn't look like the Suns are going to give up 120 points tonight....that's good
- 71-67, Lakers
- Another good stop by Gortat on Gasol. I am like the way that match up looks. Too bad Robin can't defend Bynum...or anyone really right now
- Eff U, Matt Barnes and your stupid baby feet neck tattoo
- Lamar Odom is really a very good basketball player
- 80-73, Lakers
- The Suns need a really good six minutes from the bench here
- MP for three
- Dragic needs to abuse Blake
- Bynum abuses Frye...that's Channing Abuse. Stop Channing Abuse
- Gentry in a heated discussion with his players who somehow botched that play
- Dudley, the hero, missed two FTAs
- Well done, Goran
- Lamar fell hard after that layup. Still down. Could be a wrist or arm. Looking at his left arm
- Odom back in after time out...not to wish harm on anyone, but Suns could have used him on the bench
- Dudley iso'd on Bynum pounds the ball for a while and then turns it over
- Suns in a zone. It worked well
- 84-78, Lakers. 9:15
- Damn, Goran needed that one to fall
- Barnes airballed three right to Odom under the rim. Damn
- Dragic three...there you go. Stay aggressive
- Lakers really helping Suns zone by missing shots
- Dragic loses a jump ball to Blake. White guys can jump
- Bynum is just so big
- Good aggressive move by Warrick to attack Bynum and hang a 5th foul on him
- Suns need an offensive explosion in this game but they've not shown the ability to go on a sustained run at all
- Lakers go small w/ Odom at the five
- It would be super if Carter somehow took over this game...not holding my breath
- 90-82, Lakers. Time out Suns. Time for Nash to come back in
- Suns bench was -1 over that 6:00 minute stretch. They needed more
- Somehow Odom failed to score over Nash from 5 feet
- Grant starting to look human...missing shots and what not. Hard to chase Kobe all night and still have offense
- YES! Grant HILL!!! BAMF!!!
- 92-88, Suns. 3:10
- Suns getting killed on the boards, 42-29. Yup
- Pretty good defense by Dudley, Kobe misses but Lakers get OReb. Point made
- Carter wide open transition three. 92-91, Lakers. 2:00
- Artest in for Barnes. Not sure that helps LA or not
- See, that was one of those go-to guy shots that Carter has to make. He didn't
- Artest hits the corner three. I guess that's the answer. 97-91