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Thursday, May 13, 2010

Phoenix Suns and Los Angeles Lakers NBA Playoff 2010 Game 1 Preview

The Lakers have always had it going on. Ever since Kobe joined the team, the Lakers have been a dominant force in the NBA. With Kobe, Los Angeles has won four NBA Championships with titles in

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2000, 2001, 2002, and 2009. The Lakers are still up to the standard that they have set in the past with a star-filled lineup including Pau Gasol, Andrew Bynum, Kobe Bryant, Derek Fisher, and Ron Artest. Lamar Odom is also a star player who is the Lakers' sixth man.

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The Suns on the other hand also have a handful of stars and their starters include Amar'e Stoudamire, Jason Richardson, Steve Nash, Grant Hill, and Jarron Collins. The suns also have plenty of scorers on their bench including Channing Frye who averaged 11.7 points per game during the regular season, while shooting 44% from behind the arc. Phoenix also has Leandro Barbosa who averaged 9.5 points and Jared Dudley with 8.2 per game. Overall, both teams have quality benches, but the team with the better one might be the deciding factor in this series.

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Los Angeles started the postseason off with a little bit of a scare, winning their first two games at home, but then losing two games on the road to the Oklahoma City Thunder. The Lakers won game five and game six, with a little help from a Pau Gasol put back lay-up at the buzzer. Advancing on the play the Utah Jazz, the Lakers looked dominant in this series with a four game sweep, against a team that had just defeated the Denver Nuggets in six games. In game four of the series, the Lakers looked like the Jazz should have looked, as they played like a team scratching and clawing to avoid a series sweep. They controlled the whole game and ended with a final score of 111-96.

The Phoenix Suns are also looking very strong coming off of a sweep over the San Antonio Spurs. In the Suns' first series, they ousted the

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Portland Trail Blazers in six games. Against the Spurs, Phoenix scored over 100 points in all four games with 107 as their lowest point total. They are definitely one of the highest powered offenses in the NBA. Steve Nash, who had his eye swollen shut and had to get six stitches after receiving an accidental elbow to the face from Tim Duncan, was still able to score 20 points. According to NBA.com, the swelling in Nash's eye should be nearly gone by the time the series starts.

This series looks to be a close one. The match ups are pretty even, although the Lakers have the height advantage and probably more experience. Amar'e might have some trouble with Gasol and Bynum in the post, which could affect the Suns point total. To win this series, the Suns must have good contributions from their bench players including Goran Dragic, who scored 26 points with 23 in the fourth quarter of game three against the Spurs. Kobe and the Lakers offense could explode too as the Suns rank near the bottom in defense. The key to the Lakers success involves constantly moving the ball and attacking the much smaller big men of the Suns in the paint.

I believe the Suns take this series in six games. The Lakers could get too reliant on Kobe and scramble to find some offense. Meanwhile, the Suns have some veteran leadership, they can hit shots like crazy from three-point land, they have an up-tempo offense, and they know how to score with ease. Steve Nash can break down the Lakers defense and make them pay with his brilliant passing. With head coach Alvin Gentry leading them, the Phoenix Suns will win this series and advance to the NBA Finals.

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1 comment:

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