In a stunning turn of events, the Los Angeles Lakers have assimilated the Phoenix Suns into their Borg. I guess, even if you CAN beat them you might as well join them too.

Steve Nash is the Los Angeles Lakers starting point guard.

And now Mike D'Antoni is their head coach.

After losing to the Suns a couple of contentious times in the playoffs in the mid-2000s during the Suns' short glory run, later beating the Suns in the 2010 Conference Finals to end the Suns' last gasp at glory, the Lakers have absorbed the Suns. Or at least, taken the losing team's best guys after sending them home for an early lunch.

Last summer, a fading Laker team (it's all relative, folks) decided they needed a driver and appropriated the guy who ran the best offense in the league - on two different teams - for a decade. When the car sputtered off the starting line, they hired the pit boss who kept the car on the fast track during most of that run.

What a strange turn of events.

Steve and Mike never were able to win that championship during their run-n-gun days in Phoenix. They changed the league forever, turning it into a high-scoring fast-paced league in a way that the earlier versions of high-scoring teams (Sacramento, for example) couldn't.

And even though the Lakers eventually beat the Suns, as did other eventual Finals teams in every year of the magical D'Antoni/Nash run of the 2000s, the lure of the most beautiful offense in the history of the NBA is too drool-inspriring for team's clinging desperately for that magic.

The Lakers had no need for Nash and D'Antoni when they were winning. "Defense win championships" was the mantra, and every fan around the league knew it. At least, fans of the Spurs, Pistons, Mavericks, Lakers, Celtics, and HEAT knew this without question.

But the Lakers are fading and Mitch Kupchak knows it. Only desperate men swing like this for the fences by hiring the enemy.

The Lakers are a storied franchise that knows how to win. Get a world's-best scorer, a world's-best center, play strong defense, and run the table.

Now, they have hired the world's best offense-only point guard to run a team that has not had run their offense through a point guard in twenty years, six Finals appearances and five league championships.

Now, they have hired a stubborn, offense-only head coach after not having such an offense-only head coach since Paul Westhead thirty years ago.

Can Steve Nash and Mike D'Antoni win a championship running their style, as they always claimed they could? Well, it helps having three Hall of Famers (Howard, Gasol, Bryant) in the lineup.

Can the Lakers, of all franchises, prove that offense-only scheming can beat all comers in a 7-game series?

We shall see.

The mustachio'd stunt double for the Pringles mascot and the once-floppy-haired-finger-licking best passer in the game now have a chance to make history.

And all Suns fans get to do is watch.

PHOENIX — Like a jilted lover following a bad breakup, Marcin Gortat was rather emphatic to anyone within an earshot of him during the preseason that he would be more than alright without Steve...

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PHOENIX — Like a jilted lover following a bad breakup, Marcin Gortat was rather emphatic to anyone within an earshot of him during the preseason that he would be more than alright without Steve...

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A familiar script played out in Salt Lake City Saturday night, just as it had the night before. But unlike last night’s history-making comeback, Phoenix could not come all the way back, succumbing to...

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This was an ugly, ugly game. The Suns' offense continues to be dysfunctional, mostly because their complete lack of an ability to get easy shots.It is really tough to watch this team play right now.

The Suns continued their slow start trend and found themselves down 29-19 after the first quarter. Big Al Jefferson set the tone for the evening by scoring 10 of his game-high 27 in the first 12 minutes, while the Suns as a team only shot 38 percent.

Jared Dudley, Sebastian Telfair and Luis Scola got it going in the second quarter and scored 19 of the Suns 24 points, and the defense picked it up and held the Jazz to 21 points. At the break the Suns had shave the lead down to just seven and were looking like they were back in the game.

Then the third quarter happened. The Suns have struggled mightily in nearly every third quarter this season and tonight was no different. The Suns were outscored 27-18 in the period and played some of the worst offense I've seen this year. Nearly every single shot taken was outside of 15 feet, and they shots they did get in the paint were either blocked or just plain missed. Phoenix shot just 6-22 from the field. The lead grew as big as 22 for the Jazz.

But if there's one thing that I really like about this Suns squad, it is that they refuse to give up. No matter how poorly they play in the first three quarters, they always give it their all in the fourth. The Suns came out and played their butts off defensively, and cut the lead to just five points at 79-74 after an 11-2 run to start the period. Unfortunately, it was too little and too late as the Suns ran out of gas and the shots stopped falling. Utah closed out the game on a 15-7 run to seal their victory.

Final Thoughts:

  • The Goran-Bassy backourt was used in both halves by Alvin Gentry and produced pretty good results; let's hope Gentry keeps using it
  • Bassy didn't shoot particularly well, but he was one of the only guys who was able to make something happen offensively, and you know you're going to get plenty of ball pressure with speedy little guy. Telfair finished with 9 points and 4 assists and led the Suns in +/- with a +12.
  • The designated chuckers combined to go 4-18 for just 11 points and a whole lot of long jumpers. You know who I'm talking about
  • Luis Scola wasn't great, but for stretches of that game he was the only thing going and had to shoot no matter what. He finished 7-19 from the field, but did record a double-double with 21 points and 11 rebounds.
  • Jared Dudley finally got himself going. He was 2-3 from deep, 7-10 overall and even got his first dunk on his way to 16 points.
  • Marcin Gortat must have been having flashbacks to last year's final game against the Jazz where he seemingly got swatted every time he attempted a shot. Gortat got blocked three times early in the game and didn't make a single shot. With him struggling so much, Gentry went small late in the game with Scola at the five.
  • Remember, this was the second night of a back-to-back after an incredibly draining game against Cleveland. Dragic in particular had to play nearly 40 minutes, and it's tough for anyone to be brilliant for that long on back-to-back nights.

Final - 11.10.2012 1 2 3 4 Total
Phoenix Suns 19 24 18 20 81
Utah Jazz 29 21 27 17 94

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