Barbosa's only photo I could find from the Suns' sole win against the Lakers this season.  Dec. 28, 2009, in Phoenix. The Suns won 118-103. (AP Photo/Matt York)

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Barbosa's only photo I could find from the Suns' sole win against the Lakers this season. Dec. 28, 2009, in Phoenix. The Suns won 118-103. (AP Photo/Matt York)

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Since we have to wait until Monday to get this started, BSOTS needs to fill some space.  It will give all us arm-chair coaches a lot of time to discuss, analyze and pretend to know what we're doing.  Mental masturbation, that is.

We can all remember Dan Dan Tony's love notes to LB.  "Go to the hoop."  "Don't worry about defense."  Those sorts of things.  Now, LB is a tested veteran.  He really needs to show up.  If he cannot perform in this series, against a team he traditionally plays well against, it's hard to see him as a member of the 2nd Unit next year.

Fortunately, he's also shown some flashes of defense this year.  The Suns need him -- as he's usually been able to do -- to sprint down court and capitalize on the plodding tortoises.

I've only pulled stats from the playoff games, but he's had some good regular season games, too.  Here is some video, and the poster apparently put things up in a foreign language.  That's good public relations, now that our Southern Border is open and our Western Border is closed.

 

I dug up his playoff numbers:

 

Date

W/L

Min

FG

FG%

3Pt

3Pt%

FT

FT%

ORB

DRB

TRB

AST

STL

BLK

TO

PF

PT

4/23/06

W

28:29

3-7

.429

1-2

.500

8-8

1.000

0

1

1

1

0

1

0

3

15

4/26/06

L

27:19

0-5

.000

0-2

.000

0-0

1

1

2

4

1

1

2

2

0

4/28/06

L

30:30

3-7

.429

1-3

.333

2-2

1.000

0

1

1

4

1

0

1

1

9

4/30/06

L

15:50

2-7

.286

0-1

.000

2-2

1.000

0

1

1

1

2

0

1

4

6

5/2/06

W

24:47

4-9

.444

1-4

.250

2-2

1.000

0

0

0

2

1

0

1

2

11

5/4/06

W

47:22

7-9

.778

2-4

.500

6-7

.857

0

0

0

2

2

0

2

5

22

5/6/06

W

31:00

10-12

.833

1-1

1.000

5-5

1.000

0

1

1

2

1

0

2

1

26

4/22/07

W

34:59

10-22

.455

2-7

.286

4-7

.571

0

5

5

1

2

0

2

1

26

4/24/07

W

26:26

11-18

.611

4-8

.500

0-0

0

2

2

3

2

0

1

3

26

4/26/07

L

36:07

7-18

.389

5-11

.455

1-2

.500

1

4

5

2

0

0

2

1

20

4/29/07

W

29:21

3-12

.250

2-9

.222

8-8

1.000

1

2

3

2

2

0

2

2

16

5/2/07

W

32:59

6-12

.500

3-7

.429

3-4

.750

1

0

1

1

3

0

1

3

18

 

As a rule of thumb: in the wins, Leandro Barbosa shoots a good percentage and/or gets to the line.

Although the Lakers are better -- much better -- than those 2006 and 2007 teams, they are not any faster.  The additions have come in the form of Derek Fisher and Pau Gasol (plus the subtraction of Kwame Brown).  The team is no faster than it's been in the past.  Whether Trevor Ariza for Ron Artest was a good move (I suppose there is some debate), Ron-Ron is definitely slower down the court than Ariza.

I don't think the Suns can win 4 by simply trying to run the Fakers out of the gym every night.  The bigs will need to contribute.  However, the Suns will need to be able to run.  It is their strength in this series.  The other strength is the bench.  Let me combine an analysis of the two.

I don't see Lamar Odom having much trouble coming out to cover Channing Frye.  Additionally, he doesn't need to be a big rebounder for the Lakers.  Last I checked, Gasol was ripping down a bunch and Andrew Bynum is prone to do so every once in a while.  Similarly, Gasol should not have great trouble covering Frye, but if Odom is not around, that does bode well for the Suns' offensive rebounding.  In sum, though, it should be tough for Frye to come off the bench and contribute big numbers.

The Lakers' small lineup consists mainly of Shannon Brown and Jordan Farmar.  If Gentry can force Jackson to give those guys extended miniutes in order to keep up with the Suns, Gentry will be my new man-crush.  Even so, they can't run with Leandro.

I'm looking at LB as more of a barometer for the Suns.  If he's getting good looks and/or getting to the free throw line, the Suns are able to neutralize the Lakers' size.  This should also mean that other Suns are getting out in transition.  And it's not so much about fast-break points as it early offense points.  Amare has traditionally had a tough time with Bynum and, to a much lesser extent, Gasol defending him in the half-court.  Making Bynum move on that bum knee is going to be important for the Suns.

Barbosa's good performance against San Antonio in Game 3 was over-shadowed by Goran Dragic (and rightly so), but I'm cautiously optimistic that this shows he is back in form.  Perhaps he didn't break out, but last I checked Parker, Hill and Ginobili are pretty fast.  I don't know that there are any Lakers as speedy as one of those three.  More importantly, except for Duncan and Bonner, most of the other Sp*rs have adequate speed.  On the other hand, Fisher might actually be slower than Gasol, Bynum and Odom.

What I'm looking for is two things: (1) whether LB scores more points than shots he takes, and (2) whether he gets at least 13 points (you can probably tinker with those numbers, but you get the point).  He doesn't need to score a ton, but he needs to score and score efficiently.


The Big Guys are coming (Photo by Jed Jacobsohn/Getty Images)

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The Big Guys are coming (Photo by Jed Jacobsohn/Getty Images)

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Due to the sudden death of the San Antonio Spurs, Atlanta Hawks, and Utah Jazz (RIP all), there will be three days this week without a Nightcap.  Now I know this comes as awful news for you all, but I urge you to live your lives without me.  Don't get me wrong, I'll miss you cutie pies more than life itself but I like to think that the absence will make our hearts grow fonder for each other.  I mean, I suppose I could write a Nightcap of what I actually did the night before or maybe even about hockey or something (I hear that's still a professional sport), but that would probably be about as interesting as a Blazer fan's analysis of the remaining playoff games. 

With the Lakers win over the Jazz, the Western Conference Finals are now set.  In case you missed yesterday or really the entire last week, the Suns are appearing in those Conference Finals.  So what's up, Laker fans? Nice to see you guys.  If you disagree with anything I write, I really couldn't care less.  Like not even a little.  Be a good house guest and take your shoes off before you enter.

Monday May 10th Playoff Results:

Los Angeles Lakers 111 Utah Jazz 96 (Recap)The sweep is over and the Lakers are on their way to the Western Conference Finals.  Considering the way the Lakers played in the second quarter, I'm surprised that Utah even had the game this close.  After a relatively tight first, LAL went into kill mode and headed into half with a 17 point lead.  Utah managed to cut the lead down to 70-65 in the third quarter before the Lakers decided they weren't bored anymore and finished them off.  Pau Gasol continued to use his ridiculous size advantage over Utah to the tune of 33 points (on 12/18 shooting) and 14 rebounds.  Don't look it up, but I'm pretty sure Gasol averaged 60.4 points and 38.8 rebounds per game for the series.  Former NBA MVP Kobe Bryant was again pretty darn good, scoring 32 points and getting to the free throw line for 12 attempts.  Utah got 21 from both Deron Williams and Paul Millsap but what really jumps off the page is the 12 rebounds for Kyrylo Fesenko -- you know ... because he's terrible.  The Jazz had not been swept since Golden State did the trick on them in the 1989 playoffs.  Also, just a reminder: Adam Morrison still "plays" professional basketball.  Hilarious.  

Orlando Magic 98 Atlanta Hawks 84 (Recap): What more can you say?  This was a lame game in a series of lame games.  Orlando won and never trailed.  Vince Carter had 22 and was one of five Magicians in double figures.  Atlanta was led by Jamal Crawford's 22.  Joe Johnson finished a disaster series by going 5/15 for 13 points.  Way to go strong into that last big contract summer.  Since absolutely anything would be more interesting than writing about that game more, here's absolutely anything:

He said points instead of goals in a hockey movie.  LOL-city.

Conference Semifinals Series Standings:

(1) Lakers v. (5) Jazz: 4-0 Lakers win series

(3) Suns v. (7) Spurs:  4-0 Suns win series

(1) Cavaliers v. (4) Celtics:  2-2 tie

(2) Magic v. (3) Hawks: 4-0 Magic win series

Tuesday May 11th Playoff Game:

Game 5 - Celtics @ Cavaliers: This is it.  The only second round series that didn't end in a sweep.  After watching Rajon Rondo go nuts on his team, LeBron James has asked for the defensive assignment on the young point guard.  Whether Mike Brown gives it to him is another matter ... as is whether it opens up a struggling Paul Pierce.  These are the games Kings win.  Show us what you've got, LBJ.

Poll
Want to go to the movies with me during the week off? We can see Iron Man 2 (even though I already saw it) or you can pick something else.

  212 votes | Results


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In a shocking turn of events, Arizona residents have united with Mexican nationals in an emergency effort to move the border fence to cut off California. 

Immigration from California to Arizona has been going on for decades, policy experts say, bringing with them inflation, mental disorders of all kinds, crime and grave environmental problems, most notably, SMUG

However, recent events have exacerbated the problems along the Arizona-California border.  California's beach-burned mentality has erupted with news that rival teams will meet in the NBA Western Conference Finals.  

Sunday, the Phoenix Suns swept the San Antonio Spurs to return to the Western Conference Finals for the first time since 2004-2005.  There, the Suns will meet the Los Angeles Lakers in what is likely to be a contentious NBA Playoff battle.

Combined with California's weak economy and low moral standards, the upcoming NBA playoff series wraps gasoline in paper.  After the jump we tell you what's happening right now and what you can do about it.

 

We Report, You Decide!

 

In the past 24-hours, the Great State of Arizona has received a terrible and dramatic influx of Lakers fans. 


Protecting Yourself

Public health officials fear that idiocy, associated with Californians, is contagious disease and is often acquired from unsafe viewing of Lakers games. These officials caution Arizonans not to have unprotected contact with these rabid Lakers fans.

"You meet a basketball fan at a bar.  After a few beers, you might want to watch a game with them.  Ask questions first.  Talk about what other teams you've rooted for in the past before you view that game with them." said one safe-viewing advocate.

Our safe-viewing advocate explained to us that contagious, diseased Lakers fans are easy to identify, "They never lie about their condition.  They'll tell you even if you don't plan to watch a game with them."

 

What Arizona is doing to curb the infestation

In the meantime, the Governor's office has responded to the flood of complaints by Arizona residents and has mobilized the toughest Sheriff in America, Sheriff Joe Arpaio to hold off the Laker Horde.

Defending the abrupt change in border patrol, Joe Arpaio had this to say, "Hey look, we are still patrolling and defending our borders.... We are just choosing to defend our border to the West rather than the South."  Later he added, "That's where the public health concerns are."

Arizona State Governor Jan Brewer was quick to point out the issue was with "Californians" and not with Hispanics, who represent between 30 and 40% of the populations of both California and Arizona. The Governor went on to cite Phil Jackson, the climate and the economy as the main reasons Californians were so dangerous.

Several racist and bigoted think-tanks also supported the change.  "There's more Lakers fans in California than in Mexico anyway."

Some sympathy groups point out that Suns fans may have family on the other side of the fence.  For example, even here, our very own Mike Lisboa lives behind enemy lines.  This fence will cut him off from us forever.

 

Other Measures being taken by local citizens

Meanwhile, several well-known local entrepreneurs have looked into sprucing up the border's barriers with more historically pleasing and touristy solutions.  For instance, the McCulloch family has some interest in doing something notable. 

"The Berlin Wall, along with the London Bridge, would be a great addition to the Lake Havasu area." says one McCulloch.  "Our main issue is that part of the wall has been torn down.  Those German savages don't know the meaning of maintenance."

All Arizonans interviewed agreed that something radical had to be done, and fast.  Several fan groups have argued that if drastic measures are not taken, forced deportation may result. 

"It's in the best interest not only of Arizona residents, but also rabid Lakers fans that they are kept out of Arizona." explained one humanitarian.  "Lakers fans may suffer severe psychological, emotional and even physical humiliation at the hands of Suns fans."

Such deportations would not be the first conducted by the Sheriff's departments in Arizona.  In 1917, 2,000 deputized Sheriff vigilantes famously and rightfully deported some 1300 Laker Fans, their supporters, and innocent citizen bystanders on July 12. The fans and others were kidnapped in the town of Bisbee, Arizona and held at a local baseball park, forced to watch little league games indefinitely. They were then loaded onto cattle cars, pre-loaded with manure and transported for 16 hours through the desert without food or water. The deportees were unloaded at Los Angeles, California, without money or transportation, and threatened not to return to Arizona.

The morning of July 12, 1917, the Bisbee Daily Review carried a notice announcing that:

...a Sheriff's posse of 1,200 men in Bisbee and 1,000 men in Douglas, all loyal Americans, [had formed] for the purpose of arresting on the charges of vagrancy, treason, trolling, smugness and of being disturbers of the peace of Arizona, all those strange men and women who have congregated here from other parts and sections for the purpose of harassing and intimidating all men and women who desire to enjoy their local NBA team.


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To nobody’s surprise, the Los Angeles Lakers finished off their series sweep of the Utah Jazz on Monday night a day after the Suns swept the Spurs. But thanks to TV networks ruling the world,...

[[ This is a content summary only. Visit my website for full links, other content, and more! ]]

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[Note by Mike Lisboa, 05/11/10 7:52 AM PDT ]

A special note for Laker fans (and whatever other fans take advantage of our hospitality): Don't "take advantage" of our hospitality.  This is first and foremost a PHOENIX SUNS blog.  We are here to discuss the PHOENIX SUNS.  If you've had a little too much of the Purple and Orange and think we need a little more Laker Pride... well, we don't.  That's what Silver Screen and Roll is for.  We'll play plenty nice as long as you don't grind your feet on our couch.  Cool?  Cool.

As someone who has by and large taken a sabbatical from the main page and dwells largely in the comments, the level and tone of conversation there is something that is near and dear to my heart, just like lil' Goran Dragic.  As such, I'd like to take a moment to try and delineate the difference between opposing fans, trolls and the really not-so-fine line separating the two.

The playoffs are contentious times for fans of both the Suns (whom no one seems to believe in) and their opponents (whom everyone seems to believe in).  Things can get out of hand quickly.  

Everyone rallies around their teams and believes -- has to believe, in fact -- that their team is the best and is destined to go all the way.

No one wants to hear about his or her team's weaknesses.

No one wants to hear about his or her team's shortcomings.

No one wants to hear about his or her team's cleverly (or not so cleverly) derogatory nicknames.

Except, all of those things exist and there's no avoiding them due to the blog cross-pollination that the intense focus and fandom of the playoffs breeds.  Things get heated.  Guidelines vary from site to site.  As we saw, The Trailblazer Insurgency was the unfortunate and unintended consequence of an ill-advised invitation to trash talk. I'd like to think we've learned from that and grown as the very special human beings that we all are.  But as examples like that demonstrate, the line between civil and uncivil blurs, distorts and disappears entirely if you don't keep your head about you.

Allow me to re-draw that line for you.

 

* Contrary to popular belief, opposing fans are welcome at Bright Side of the Sun.

* Opposing fans are likely to disagree with you, me, Seth and anyone else affiliated with this site.  This does not make them trolls.

* Opposing fans should be given the same respect and treatment as fellow Bright Siders.  Just because they're Lakers fan does not make them an automatic target for your vitriol.

* When you attack someone simply for being an opposing fan, you are managing the rare and completely un-awesome feat of trolling your own site.  Mad anti-props.  You've just made everyone else who calls BSOTS home look like an unconscionable douche.

* Just as not all opposing fans are trolls, not all of them are fine upstanding netizens with their papers in order (this is an Arizona sports site after all).  Some of them are trolls.

* Unless your name is on the masthead (or you're a ghost editor like me and a couple others), trolls aren't so much your problem.  We read the comments.  We make the call.  We act accordingly.

* When you bait and flame trolls, you make things worse and invite the banhammer upon yourself.  You know that old saying, "Never argue with an idiot... the people watching might not know the difference?"  Totally applies here.  If you want to dress down a troll, do it cleverly and without resorting to tired cliches about Faker fans, LA shallowness, and Kobe's troubles in Colorado, or whatever other lame jokes about whatever team the Suns are facing apply.  (Seriously, as an LA resident, that shallow stuff hurts.) Or, do the smart thing, let one of the mods know and watch the poster and comments disappear with a quickness.

* None of this is to say you can't run whatever smack you want about that team in this house.  That, in part, is what BSOTS provides a forum for.  What good is a playoff series if you can't mock your opponent?  Feel free to let loose on the team or its players.  Just not the good and respectful fans that choose to join the conversation here.  

* Keep the mocking at home.  When you go to another team's blog solely to talk trash, be smug, rub their noses in it or otherwise engage in decidedly uncivil discourse, you're on your own.  They will ban you, it will be swift and you will have gained nothing (besides, you know, that whole thing about making the rest of this community look like unconscionable douches.  Good on you, sir or madam.)  And you will almost certainly be called out or banned on this site.  That's just how we roll.

And in case you're wondering, none of these guidelines are new.  Check the "The Good, The Bad and the Ugly" link on the left side of the main page.  It's all there.  Now, get out there and spread the Suns love (with intelligence, humor and respect, of course)!


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