TLN’s Postgame Report – Round 3, Game 2: Lakers vs. Suns — How’s This For Luck (112-124, Win)

“If we’re going down,” Phoenix Suns head coach Alvin Gentry told his team at halftime, “we gotta go down fighting.”

Well, the Suns fought… and then they went down, right into a 0-2 hole, courtesy of some of the best basketball these Lakers have played all season long.

Was it because of their much-heralded length?

“We have size and we know how to use it,” Kobe Bryant claimed.

Was it because of their stifling defense on the Suns floor general?

“He is a pitbull when he’s guarding Steve Nash,” Reggie Miller said about Derek Fisher.

Was it because of their rejuvenated bench?

“When we get an opportunity to play, we just play free and we’re very tough to beat,” Jordan Farmar said.

Was it the efficiency and aggressiveness of Pau Gasol?

”We’re making sure that we’re not playing it soft,” the talented Spaniard said.

The answers are an emphatic, “Yes, yes, yes and you better believe it!”

For all the talk that Amar’e Stoudemire did after the Suns were reduced to but a glimmer of hopelessness in Game 1, he was the guilty party lollygagging around the court, hoping that serendipity would cover all of his defensive assignments. He wished for luck in this game and he got it. Luck was a lay-up tonight for every Laker assigned to his watch.

Lamar Odom, coming off a 19 point, 19 rebound Game 1, was in every perfect spot for every perfect moment. He received lightning quick passes from Kobe Bryant and bounce passes from Pau Gasol to earn his 17 points. He was alert on defense, extending his long arms in passing lanes to collect three steals, attentive to the flight of the ball and then responsive for 11 rebounds ( 9 defensive), not to mention bothering Channing Frye into 0-5 from the field. And just for old times’ sake, being the gifted passer that he is, handed out four assists. Lucky THIS, Amar’e!

With BenchMob running mates Jordan Farmar (11 points, 3-3 from downtown, 2 steals) and Shannon Brown (8 points, 2 assists) contributing in all facets, the Laker reserves out-scored their Suns counterparts 36-26. So much for the Suns’ only advantage.

Ron Artest, constantly left open, was dared into perimeter shot after perimeter shot. Challenge accepted, to the tune of 18 points on 6-9 shooting (3-6 from downtown); one last second pass for a memorable buzzer beating three to end the 1st quarter.

Andrew Bynum, due for a relatively productive game since his Game 2 performance against the Utah Jazz in the last round, played an active 18 minutes. He was there to jump the ball to start the game, he wasn’t hesitant in his shots (he was 5-5 for 13 points), and he fought for rebounds whether the ball was on the floor or in mid-air. If he was in pain tonight, he surely didn’t show it.

Kobe Bryant had a quiet 21 points, but his impact was obvious in the almost melodic orchestration of the Laker offense. Maestro collected a new play-off career high 13 assists, handing out passes for open threes, lay-ups, dunks and jumpers. His awareness of every player on the floor, on both teams, is absolutely seamless.

The man who often benefited from those passes was Pau Gasol, who scored a game high 29 points, not to mention had 9 rebounds, 5 assists and 2 blocks. The word “efficient” is the most frequently used to describe Gasol’s game, but even that doesn’t seem a significant enough term for what he is able to do on the floor. It is no wonder he and Bryant developed such an instantaneous connection on the court. They are constantly thinking and planning ahead, and then executing to perfection.

Despite the Suns pouring in 35 points in the third quarter to tie the game, with Grant Hill, Jared Dudley and Jason Richardson doing the heavy lifting for the Suns’ offense, the Lakers did what good teams do — they move on. They forced the Suns into three straight turnovers to begin the final quarter and from there, they never looked back.

Just when the Suns thought they had gained some ground, the Lakers continued to rise, higher and higher.

“Every time we tried to make an adjustment to slow them down,” Alvin Gentry said, “they go somewhere else. You do a great job on Kobe, which I thought we did, then they go to Pau; and then we double-team Pau, and there’s Lamar; we get it out of Lamar’s hand then Jordan Farmar makes a shot. There’s a reason they’re the world champs. We’ll keep trying and see what happens.”

Good luck with that, Suns.

Pre-Game Thoughts: Hopefully, Andrew Bynum can get his game going tonight. He’s due.

Half-Time Thoughts: Lakers lead 65-56 and shot 57% from the field. 64% from 3-point land! So far, they’ve answered every Suns run with runs of their own.

Most Thoughtless Player(s) of the Game: Amar’e Stoudemire — Don’t talk the talk if you can’t walk the walk. Thanks for not playing any defense tonight. Lamar and Pau like the casual stroll to the hoop when no one’s there to bother them.

Most Thought-filled Player(s) of the Game: Kobe and Pau, for seemingly sharing the same, brilliant basketball brain.

Anna Gonda has been the post-game editor for LakerNation.com since the 2009-2010 season. Between post-game reports, she's a full-time advertising coordinator for an academic publisher and a part-time photographer. Favorite Lakers: Kobe Bryant and Derek Fisher. Favorite Laker Moment: Game 7, 2010 Finals against the Boston Celtics.
  • KindSir

    I like Maestro as another Kobe nickname. It sounds good :D

  • http://Www.YouTube.com/michaelperez8882 Michael Perez

    For sure. Kobe “maestro” Bryant. Sounds great and really defines his ability to control the game. Brilliant

  • lakerfan106

    i think that amare talk all that shit 2 days ago, and kobe kept giving the ball to gasol, to abuse amare. Good shit Pau, u had hella of game!!!!

  • 242LakerFan

    Hey, Amar’ee”eee”’e’e!
    Nobody’s THAT lucky. Isn’t it time to just admit that you play defense like Betty White?
    And hey, Alvin Gentry, here’s an adjustment for you; Artest is eating your lunch! You MIGHT want to put someone on him. Alvin? Alvin? AAAAAAALVIIIIIN!!!!!!!

  • Rio Rondo College

    So I heard that Lakers fans want a piece of the Celts. They better be careful for what they wish for. The Celtics will defeat the Lakers in 5!!! The Lakers cannot match up in any position against the Celts!! GO GREEN MACHINE!!!

    • http://thelakersnation.com/blog/category/original-articles/benchmob-beat/ Anna Gonda

      Run along, little man. You just worry about getting past Orlando, and we’ll worry about our series with Phoenix. FYI, this Laker team isn’t going to be as deer-in-the-headlights as they were in 2008. We’ve beaten you 3 out of the last 4 times we played. Go talk your trash on some Orlando Magic blog…

      • seankobe

        hey rio keep watching game 2 of the 2008 finals and see who won that game! the refs!

      • Rio Hondo College

        You guys won the ring last year by default. You didnt have to go through us. We will win it this year. Sorry Anna!

        • daboss1848

          our fault u couldnt get there?

        • http://thelakersnation.com/blog/category/original-articles/benchmob-beat/ Anna Gonda

          Don’t be sorry…at least not yet =)

        • lakerman1

          The reason I want the Celtics is because I know with what the Lakers have now no way does Boston beat them and this time when PP rolls off in his wheelchair he will not return because if you think he can out muscle Ron then you must be smoking some of the potent seventies stuff. And when Ron is done with Pauline he will take out Karvina. That leaves Rondola and Ray Ann to account for most of the Offense. So if it makes you feel better keep toking & WATCH YOUR DREAMS GO UP IN SMOKE.

          • http://thelakersnation.com/blog/category/original-articles/benchmob-beat/ Anna Gonda

            What he said =)

        • TOUCHING_MYSELF

          First of all, Rio Hondo, get yo @$$ to a real school! Don’t come in here and try to talk sh!t when you’re frontin a remedial school as an actual college! That sh!tty place is not even a high school part 2, it’s the 13th & 14 th grade.

          Secondly, we kick your @$$ in every position except the p.g. That kid Rondo is bad ass and I’m not gonna front on that. Bynum, who didn’t play in 2008 (talk about DEFAULT), will foul that Gary Coleman wanna be, Perkins, out in every game! Then Pau will eat Gay G up alive! That gimp motha fcuka is not gonna be able to intimidate our Spanish Conquistador! Tru Warrior will make that girl in the 34 jersey cry even harder than in game 1 of 2008! Then there’s Kobe, you wanna compare that Gay Allen to the Black Mamba? I’m not even gonna dignify that one with an answer!

          This just goes to show how much inbreeding goes on in that hillbilly town called Cockston! You’re just a product of your mom and your brother while they got drunk off of the moonshine that your grandpappy made while your toothless dad filmed and threw it up on Youtube the next day! Lunacy! Idiocy! Please don’t come back on here again, you lower our property value by simply being on this site!

          Your “couple of actresses” (credit to Q-Rich) will never win another academy award! EVER!!!!!!! So STFU and go cry to your dad, I mean your brother, wait… he is your dad… Wait, now I’m confused! See, this is why we outlawed inbreeding in this country but you guys had to try going ‘Mommy Dearest’! Yeah, go look up that reference, I know you won’t get it. Oh, just don’t do it at Rio Hondo College… I don’t think that coloring books and the Alphabet books will help!

          GO LAKERS!!!!!!!!!!!!
          and GO SUCK A D!CK COCKSTON!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
          (all of your sports teams are no longer relevant!)

          • kevin 0

            oh sh*t rio hondo college OWNEDDD
            who ever he is, he could’ve not done it better
            rio hondo piece of shiit OWNEEDD!

    • 3Peat

      Talk is cheap

  • kobe-wan kenobi

    ANYBODY can post on youtube Kobe’s block on Amare?
    that was sick!!!!!!

    i wanna see it again

    please

    • 242LakerFan

      Right here. It WAS awesome, wasn’t it?

      • lakerman1

        And then Ron blocks the 2nd attempt. Sweeet

    • 242LakerFan

      Try this, too. Fun to watch.

      • lakerman1

        The crossover dribble fakes Grant out of his shoes the floater shot, two Suns swinging at air and the Josh P putback now that’s what i call sweet.

  • WifelovesLuke

    Bench points
    LA = 36
    Suns= 26

    Wasn’t the bench supposed to be where the Suns shined? Get it? Shined! lol

    • http://thelakersnation.com/blog/category/original-articles/benchmob-beat/ Anna Gonda

      Haha!

    • 242LakerFan

      “Shone”, the word is “shone”. It’s subtle, but there is a difference. “Shined” is used when you have made something else shine, like, “He shined his shoes before the interview.” “Shone” is used for the thing that is shining, “the sun shone brightly that day”.
      Class dismissed.

      • bdmf

        FATASS dont play the clever here bro

        • 242LakerFan

          I bow to your maturity.

  • LakersGal

    Go Lakers!
    Did someone notice yesterday on NBATV…McHale and Webber were making fun of Vick ‘The brick” jacob. With his “team is like a bamboo…it bends never break” saying. Webber started poking fun. Also McHale and Webber can’t hide their hate for lakers during the analysis.

    • lakerman1

      I will give C Webb a little credit but Mchale sounds like a high school commentator. And Phil really did not want to answer McHale’s inane question last night ( you can tell by the momentary pause like who is this dimwit ). At one point I thought PJ was going to diss him like the idiot he is. Kevin may have been a great BB player but his commentary leaves a lot to be desired. NBATV is starting to pick up a couple of has-been flukes. At least they got rid of Gary Payton who was totally inarticulate. And I am a brother so this comment is not racial. Gary was just stupid. I calls em likes I sees em.

  • Baron

    why lebron mvp if he no champion

    • daboss1848

      y kb mvp when he no champion? y nash mvp when he no champion? y dirk mvp when he no champion?
      .
      antanio, federito asked same question. relation?

    • lakerman1

      Because the Media puts the cart before the horse and are now left grasping for straws. They have done this every series the Lakers have played so far. They will find away to overhype Boston and then the Lakers will shoot holes in that. Now I understand the acceptance speech
      Jordan made in his hall of fame induction. Naysayers give players like MJ & KB ammo to prove them wrong and that is what will separate Mike & Kobe from all the rest including Magic who is starting to become an ESPN homer which befuddles me.

    • Toni

      Are you seriously asking this question? – LeBron is the MVP of the regular season because the MEDIA absolutely worships the ground that he walks on.

      However, Kobe is the REIGNING Finals MVP which is a lot more impressive on a career resume’!

  • deming

    let’s finish up with the Suns first before talking about the Celtics.
    personally, I would prefer Boston as the next match-up. no- brainer behind that one: REVENGE!
    also, even if the Magic DO(???) beat the Celtics; NO TEAM CAN TAKE THE LAKERS HEAD ON. and it’s not about kobe or pau, NOT ANYMORE.
    lamar has adjusted as the 6th man, crazy pills got CRAZIER, and the bench finally remembered how to play together.
    the only sad thing is that PJ hasn’t been offered a new contract. the last time that happened was when LA had the Fab Four (Malone, Stockton, Shaq & Kobe). WE ALL KNOW WHAT HAPPENED WITH THAT GROUP.
    let us all hope that PJ would not let that interfere with the chance to redeem Laker pride!
    GO LAKERS!!!

  • Betto

    Anna Gonda was witness to my prediction, you may call me Bettodamus!! lol Exactly what I said it was exactly what happened, Suns hitting on 3′s better than on game 1, didn’t make much of a difference but they did tie the game to end the 3rd quarter. Amar’e Stoudemire may have said a stupid thing about LO but I think it was a good thing, in a way it woke him up.
    For them people here rooting for Boston, go take a nap kiddies. The only reason the Boston is 2-0 is because Orlando wasn’t that good of a team to begin with, just like the Cavs it’s a one man show, not much of help from the rest of the crew. If you have seen the games like I have, Boston hasn’t even been able to get to 100 on that series and it’s not because Orlando is putting a good fight. There was a lapse on the Orlando vs Boston game 1 and 2 where neither team could score a basket in over 4-5 minutes, I was laughing so hard.. hahahaha Lakers do need to play a little better defense and stop teams from scoring over 100. On some games they did pretty good against OKC and Utah keeping them under 100.. My prediction for Lakers vs Boston.. Lakers in 5, Boston doesn’t have anyone to match with Pau or Kobe.