Phoenix at Los Angeles Lakers; series tied 2-2
The Los Angeles Lakers are supposed to break out, in a big way. That's what's supposed to happen. A game that's over by the nine minute mark of the third quarter, a blowout leaving you wondering how, exactly, the Lakers ever lost in Phoenix.
To deny this, the Suns have to play perfect basketball, again. They have to cherish every possession, force the Lakers into tough decisions every time down court (both in terms of dealing with the screen and roll defensively, and what to do against the zone on offense), and put real pressure on. Because taking two at home? That's not applying real pressure. That's what you're supposed to do. There that is, again. Supposed to.
The Lakers are supposed to win, probably by a sound margin. Patience and quick-yet-unhurried action is the way around a zone defense, and the Lakers have shown us consistently through the seasons that they are capable of such an approach. Phil Jackson's team has also shown that it can defend, quite well in fact, throughout most of 2009-10. Why they haven't been able to stay in front of the Suns over the last two games is mostly due to Phoenix, and the iffy knee and subsequent reaction time of Andrew Bynum(notes).
So while all signs point to the defending champs getting back on track, we could have another cracker on our hands, full of big plays and close margins. One can hope. Comment away.