Western Conference Finals Preview (I’m cheating a bit)
I know I’m a bit late to this, with the Lakers already beating Phoenix last night, but I was out eating at Sammy’s Steakhouse, and didn’t have time.
So what did I miss in the first game? Well, Lamar had 19 and 19; Kobe dropped 40; Amar[‘]e played aight; Nash had a very quiet 13 and 13; Robin Lopez is back, and he shot a very nice 6/7 on his fg attempts, but only pulled down 6 rebounds and perhaps most importantly, only had a single block.
What can we glean from this? Well, the Lakers dropped 128 points on the Suns, who didn’t really play any defense. It was as simple as that, as Kobe took over in the 3rd quarter when they made their run. When Kobe was asked after the game whether beating the Suns is something personal for him (Phoenix knocked out the Lakers in the first round two years in a row—this was obviously before
they picked up stole Pau). Kobe answered: “What do you think?”
It was a typically cryptic response—and also the reason he’s a legitimate sociopath—but that’s why he won last year, and why they seem poised to return to the NBA Finals this year. It also seems like something he’s saying so that he appears super terrific ultra competitive like the guy he has wet dreams about. Rather than do the individual match-ups like I did for the Eastern Conference, I thought I would just talk about what needs to happen for the Suns to win.
Oh, also David Arquette got injured, so I guess those rowdy Suns fans are hard to contain at Staples Center (I miss calling it the Forum). If you don’t know who David Arquette is, good for you.
The only way the Phoenix Suns could win this series is if Robin Lopez somehow finds a way to stop Pau (he was 10-13 from the field in game 1), Bynum gets one of those dazed looks that Lebron patented during the Boston series, and Kobe starts panicking when Pau/Lamar/Bynum aren’t doing it offensively and loses all faith and starts chucking it again (memories of 2008 finals).
Most importantly is the Suns have to get back to their frenzied defense which helped them sweep the Spurs. Force the Lakers out of their triangle, and put enough of a doubt in Kobe’s head that he starts thinking he has to revert back to 05-06 Kobe. Kobe is such a crazy person that he’ll gladly take on the challenge of beating the Suns alone. Take advantage of that egoism/narcissism and force the Lakers to implode. They’re waiting too.
If Phoenix steals a game in LA, and hold it down at home, they’ll walk away with the series. But that’s a line straight from the Czar, in that, OF COURSE they’ll win if they steal a game in Los Angeles and win all three games in Phoenix. This entire paragraph is the reason sports writing can be unbearable to read. Sorry.