The Los Angeles Lakers will face off in the US Airways Center against their toughest Pacific Division rivals the Phoenix Suns.
The Lakers are 1-0 after squeezing by with a win against the Houston Rockets on opening night. L.A. looked sloppy in the first three quarters of the first game giving up 82 points. Steve Blake sealed the game with a go-ahead three point shot late in the game in which the Lakers edged the Rockets by only two points for the W.
The Suns (1-1) will play their third game in four days. They will be in Phoenix after picking up a win against the Utah Jazz, who struggled with their shots.
The Suns were once a dominate force in the West. averaging 50 plus wins. Last year in the playoffs, Phoenix was eliminated by Los Angeles in Game 6. Steve Nash surely won’t forget that. In the off-season, the Suns lost key players All-Star Amare Stoudemire and Louis Amundson. Steve Nash recently has had doubts with his team being a playoff contender. Nash, now 36, has never been to the Finals. The two-time MVP won’t be in the league too much longer, and he won’t stick around on a losing team.
With the Lakers having a few days of rest, the Suns will be playing back-to-back games. For the Lakers to win tonight, they must dominate the paint. Pau Gasol and Lamar Odom should be able to power through the Suns front court players Robin Lopez, Hedo Turkoglu, and Hakim Warrick.
Fisher has always had trouble guarding Nash on the court. Now with the addition of Steve Blake, Nash will have a bit of a harder time getting the shots he would like on the field. On another note, Phoenix has a well equipped bench. With players like Childress, Frye, Dudley, and Dragic, the Suns are sure to give the Laker’s bench somewhat of a challenge.
The fired rivalry between these two teams would die down if the Suns can’t keep up with the Lake Show tonight. So far, the Phoenix Suns starting center Robin Lopez and forward Hedo Turkoglu hasn’t been showing they can perform up to par. Hopefully, the Lakers can take advantage of the game tempo early to eventually shut them out.
Lakers @ Suns
US Airways Center, Phoenix, Arizona
TV: KCAL, ESPN
Radio: 710/1330 AM ESPN