Phoenix has been one of the surprise teams during the early parts of the 2019-20 NBA season as they play fast, generate plenty of three-point looks, and convert those shot attempts at a high clip. The Lakers came into the matchup boasting the league’s best overall defense, but they had trouble stopping the Suns from getting the shots they wanted.
On the flip side, Los Angeles was also clicking on the offensive end as Anthony Davis and Kyle Kuzma paced the team in scoring while James continued his impressive start to the season passing the ball. The ball movement for the Lakers was nothing short of impressive as players routinely made the correct reads within the flow of the offense and made a concerted effort to make the extra pass.
James admitted it was a focus coming into the game after their second loss of the season, via Spectrum SportsNet:
“It was key and we talked about it a lot over the last couple of days after the Toronto loss. Yesterday, we talked about how we can not only get good shots but get great shots and tonight we showed that. I think we had 21 assists or 22 assists at halftime, something like that and we just kept it going in the second half and it was perfect. It was key to our win.”
James led the way with 11 assists, but the team as a whole finished with 39 assists on 51 made field goals. According to the Lakers, this was the first time they have tallied that many assists in a game in 10 seasons.
Although Phoenix is considered to be an average team at best on the defensive end, the fact that Los Angeles was able to move the ball so effectively for the entirety of the game speaks to the unselfish nature and basketball IQ of the roster. It is no secret they have been struggling shooting from the field, but the great passing afforded several players good, wide-open looks that they were lucky enough to hit.
With another win under their the belt, the Lakers return home to face a clearly struggling Golden State Warriors team.
After seeing their performance against the Suns, the Lakers should still be able to come away with another victory on the second night of a back-to-back situation.