Lakers vs. Suns Pre-Game Report: LA Hits The Road For Grammy Trip

NBA: New Orleans Hornets at Los Angeles LakersThe new-look Lakers continued their stellar play with a 111-106 victory over the New Orleans Hornets last night in Los Angeles, their third victory in a row. With Kobe Bryant playing the role of facilitator yet again, the Lakers led comfortably most of the game, save for a scare in the fourth quarter when the Hornets cut the lead to one. Lakers fans should surely be excited about the turnaround in the Lakers play, but the upcoming seven game Grammy road trip will be the true test and, perhaps, the final say in whether the Lakers are going to be a playoff team. At 5-15 away from Staples Center, the Lakers have yet to show that they are capable of winning on the road.

The Phoenix Suns enter the game tied for last in the Western Conference with a 15-30 record. They recently fired head coach Alvin Gentry, who was Mike D’Antoni’s predecessor  in Phoenix and instituted a similar system as D’Antoni. The Suns are an average home team, with an 11-11 record in their own arena. The Lakers must realize that they still have a lot to prove and must look to come out with energy on the first game of their road trip. The game will be especially emotional for Nash, as the former MVP makes his first return to Phoenix in a Lakers uniform. Nash is sure to receive a rousing ovation, as he is one of the greatest Suns of all time as well as one of the franchise’s most beloved players.

The current Suns team has zero players remaining from the 2007-2008 team, the last year D’Antoni was head coach.

Frontcourt: The Suns have the ability put up points at both front court positions. Luis Scola starts at the power forward position and he comes into the game putting up his usual solid numbers at 13.2  points and 6.4 rebounds per game. Scola makes up for his lack of athleticism with toughness around the basket as well as crafty post moves. Marcin Gortat, once Dwight Howard’s backup on the Orlando Magic, starts at the center position. Gortat has evolved into a good player at the center position and is not only a scoring threat from both the midrange and low-post, but also a good rim protector. Neither player possesses good lateral quickness or the ability to rotate defensively, so if the Lakers continue their trend of excellent ball movement then they should be able to catch the Suns bigs off guard.

The wildcard in the frontcourt for the Suns is former number two overall pick Michael Beasley, who has been relegated to a bench role. Beasley has been maddeningly inconsistent throughout his NBA career, but still does possess the ability to score in a variety of ways. He has struggled so far this year, but he still is capable of having a big game. He tends to drift if he does not get involved in the game early or misses his first few shots, so the Lakers must be sure to prevent him from getting easy baskets.

Backcourt: Goran Dragic returned to the Suns this past off-season, where he spent the first two and half years of his career as Steve Nash’s back up. Early in his career, Dragic demonstrated his explosive scoring ability by scoring 23 points in the fourth quarter of a 2010 playoff victory over the San Antonio Spurs. He enters this game as the Suns leading scorer at 14.2 points per night, and has evolved into a nice playmaker as well while averaging 6.3 assists a game.

Jared Dudley starts at the off-guard position for the Suns, and former Laker Shannon Brown is the Suns’ key reserve. Dudley is a solid role player who is a good three-point shooter, but he is best served as a reserve on a good team. Expect him to have a difficult time defending Kobe Bryant on the perimeter. Brown, a former fan favorite for his tremendous leaping ability while in Los Angeles, enters the game as the Suns’ second leading scorer and averaging a career high 11.9 points per game. Brown’s minutes have been dwindling of late as interim coach Lindsey Hunter has been using him in a bench role. He had been serving as a starter under Gentry.

Keys to Victory:

Continued Ball Movement: The whole dynamic of the Lakers team changes when they move the ball the way they have been the past three games. Pau Gasol and Howard instantly become more engaged on defense, everyone plays with more energy, and people are more willing to help one another out on the defensive end on rotations. The Lakers must feed off of one another’s energy on the road in order to withstand runs from not only Phoenix tonight, but from the other teams they face on this long road trip.

No New Stars: The Suns are a team that does not have a true go-to scorer. Dragic is their leading scorer at only 14.2 points per game. Though they have six people averaging double figures, the team only ranks 18th in the league in scoring as a team. If the Lakers are able to hold most of these players to their averages, especially the Suns bench players, then they should be able to secure a fourth straight victory.

Phoenix Suns  (15-30) vs. Los Angeles Lakers (20-25)

7:30 PM PST, January 30, 2013 

U.S. Airways Arena, Phoenix, AZ


Suns Projected Starting Line-up

PG: Goran Dragic
SG: Jared Dudley
SF: P.J. Tucker
PF: Luis Scola
C: Marcin Gortat

Key Reserves: G Shannon Brown, F Markieff Morris, F Michael Beasley

I just want to tell you that I am just all new to blogging and actually enjoyed you’re web site. Most likely I’m likely to bookmark your site . You really come with terrific articles and reviews. With thanks for sharing with us your blog.

  • I am really loving the theme/design of your web site. Do you ever run into any browser compatibility problems? A few of my blog readers have complained about my website not working correctly in Explorer but looks great in Chrome. Do you have any tips to help fix this issue?

  • There are certainly a great deal of details like that to think about. That is an excellent point to bring up. I supply the ideas over as basic motivation but plainly there are questions like the one you raise where one of the most important point will be operating in straightforward good faith. I don?t know if ideal practices have emerged around points like that, yet I am sure that your work is plainly recognized as a level playing field. Both children as well as women really feel the effect of simply a moment?s enjoyment, for the remainder of their lives.

  • I am usually to blogging and i truly appreciate your content. The write-up has really peaks my passion. I am mosting likely to bookmark your site as well as keep looking for new information.

  • When I originally commented I clicked the -Alert me when new remarks are added- checkbox and currently each time a comment is included I get 4 emails with the same comment. Exists any way you can remove me from that solution? Thanks!

  • Youre so trendy! I don’t suppose Ive review anything like this before. So nice to discover somebody with some initial ideas on this subject. realy thanks for starting this up. this internet site is something that is required on the web, someone with a little creativity. helpful work for bringing something brand-new to the net!

  • An interesting conversation is worth comment. I assume that you ought to create extra on this topic, it might not be a forbidden topic yet normally individuals are not enough to talk on such subjects. To the next. Cheers

  • When I originally commented I clicked the -Inform me when brand-new comments are added- checkbox as well as currently each time a comment is added I obtain four emails with the exact same comment. Is there any way you can remove me from that solution? Thanks!

  • Youre so great! I don’t expect Ive review anything like this before. So nice to find someone with some original thoughts on this subject. realy thanks for beginning this up. this internet site is something that is required online, someone with a little creativity. valuable job for bringing something brand-new to the web!

  • Youre so cool! I do not suppose Ive review anything such as this before. So great to locate somebody with some original thoughts on this subject. realy thanks for beginning this up. this site is something that is needed online, a person with a little originality. useful work for bringing something brand-new to the web!

  • Youre so cool! I don’t mean Ive check out anything like this prior to. So good to locate someone with some initial thoughts on this subject. realy thank you for beginning this up. this internet site is something that is required online, someone with a little creativity. helpful job for bringing something brand-new to the net!

  • You made some suitable points there. I searched the web for the issue and found most individuals will certainly accompany with your web site.

  • It?s hard to discover knowledgeable people on this subject, but you sound like you know what you?re discussing! Many thanks

  • Good web site you’ve got here.. It’s difficult to find high-quality writing like yours these days. I honestly appreciate individuals like you! Take care!!

  • There are some intriguing times in this write-up yet I don?t recognize if I see every one of them facility to heart. There is some legitimacy however I will hold point of view up until I consider it better. Good article, many thanks and we desire much more! Contributed to FeedBurner as well

  • This internet site is truly a walk-through for all of the details you wanted regarding this and also didn?t recognize that to ask. Glimpse right here, and you?ll definitely uncover it.

  • Aw, this was a very good post. Finding the time and actual effort to create a good article… but what can I say… I hesitate a lot and don’t seem to get anything done.

  • Leave a Reply

    Your email address will not be published.