The Los Angeles Lakers are in the desert to face the Phoenix Suns in the first road game and second of the season.

The Lakers used a second half comeback to knock off the pesky Houston Rockets on ring night while the Suns were pounded on the boards, lost the rebounding battle and game to the Blazers at the Rose Garden in their season opener. However, the Suns bounced back with a 16-point win over the Jazz in Utah.

Tonight’s game is the home opener for the Suns. It doesn’t seem like that long ago, but five months and 12 days ago the Suns extended the Western Conference Finals to six games before the Lakers made them understand that 2010 wasn’t going to be their year.

The Suns and the Phoenix faithful will ‘get up’ for this game against the two-time defending champions; the Lakers always receive an opponent’s best effort. This game will be a hard fought and entertaining grudge match.

The Suns put up a good fight in the playoffs, but a turning point in the series had to be the theatrics of talented Suns guard / thespian Goran Dragic. Proving that Sasha Vujacic either has the strongest bicep in the Western Conference or that Dragic put on an act and the officials bought it.

The Suns are a different team without All-Star Amare Stoudamire attacking the basket upon receiving a perfectly placed pass. Amare took his talents to New York. Phoenix will replace his production by committee. They will use free agent addition Hedo Turkoglu at power forward. However his role will change, again.

He was a point forward for the Orlando Magic and one of the main reasons that team made it to the 2009 Finals. He seemed out of position and simply didn’t work out in Toronto. Normally a shooter in the screen and roll game; he will be asked to roll to the basket more. Hakim Warrick was brought in to produce at the four spot.

The Suns still have perennial All-Star Steve Nash making them one of the best teams in the West. The Suns are an uptempo team that wants to run. In the half-court offense the Suns run several high and low screen and roll plays to attack the basket or free spot up shooters. L.A. needs to own the boards, slow the game down and play at their pace, get back in transition, play solid screen and roll defense.

The Lakers bench will be huge for them and provides the necessary match the Suns. Steve Blake is an excellent fit for the Lakers as a penetrating guard, floor leader and outside shooting.

The Suns like to spread the floor with their three point shooters. The Phoenix Suns have seven players that can knock down three point shots. Last season the Suns were the number one scoring and number one shooting team.

The Suns were the second best three-point shooting team in NBA history at 41.2 percent. The Suns were 25-8 when making 10 or more three-point shots. Solid numbers, but unfortunately for them they had to face the Lakers; the team that lead the league in defending the three and limited opponents to .328 percent.

The Suns are a small team that doesn’t match up well with the Lakers. The Purple and Gold will pound the Suns in the middle using their size advantage. They will be running their offense through Pau Gasol and asking him to be more aggressive. There is a chance that we’ll see both Ron Artest and Matt Barnes logging minutes at Power Forward.

Tip-off: 7:30 PM PST

Television

  • Los Angeles: KCAL 9 & ESPN (Joel Myers & Stu Lantz)
  • Phoenix: My45 KUTP(Gary Bender & Eddie Johnson)

Radio –

  • Los Angeles: 710 ESPN (Spero Dedes & Mychal Thompson)
  • Phoenix: KTAR 620 AM (Al McCoy & Tim Kempton)

Injuries

Lakers:

  • Andrew Bynum (Knee) Out
  • Luke Walton (Hamstring)

Suns:

  • PG Goran Dragic (Sprained Ankle) Listed as Day-to-Day
  • jkai

    22 pts 6 dimes
    1 W

  • Darrell Mendoza

    18 points 5 assists

  • 242LakerFan

    There’s no reason this game should be close. Pau and Lamar should be able to rule the lane all night. I hope Shannon throws one or two down tonight!

    • imfasterthanur

      Although I would like to agree, you can’t dismiss the emotional factor that will be apparent tonight. We basically embarassed their team last year at Pheonix — where even the “tough Canadian” Steve Nash drew a few tears.

      You don’t think they want redemption? I expect this game to be tough. A victory, but tough nonetheless.

  • http://57.amklac/ laffs atu

    there is one reason it will be a close game, kobe.kobe will shoot a lousy percentage, he will turn it over a few more times,miss a few more free throws then he should.kobe is becoming the weakest link,a liability for this team.a few years ago he was trying to ship out underperforming players,,,,,,,,,,,,,,soon,he might be the one being shipped out.

    • si pepe

      I always laff at your comments..its pointless and they always end up very very wrong. why bother to comment if it always ends up destroying your credibility? im so sad for you…

    • showtime4eva

      WAKE UP! dumb shit..your talking about the greatest player to EVER play.

    • laffs atu!

      there is one reason it will be a close game, Kobe will hit a game winner at the buzzer, and crush the suns hopes for any kind of confidence builder in the season. Laffs atu is becoming the weakest link in this site, laffs atu is a liability to himself! a few years ago laffs atu was trying to score with a guy, but was quickly turned away due to her size and hideous looks,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,soon she might be turning to booze and drugs!………………………Keepin it real

  • http://therealkobebryant24.com rspraymond

    Kobe ready to drop 40!

  • http://57.amklac/ laffs atu

    yea,on nba2k11

  • http://57.amklac/ laffs atu

    i have more credibility then you and your mom, combined.

    • laffs atu!

      i have more credibility than the real “laffs atu”. laffs atu is a high school drop out.

      • laffs atu!

        laffs atu doesn’t even know how to spell! He probably dropped out of preschool. Mi mame is waffs atu, ande i opprove thies massege…………….keepen it reel

        • laffs atu!

          Hey laffs atu! Keep a dictionary close by incase words become too difficult for you to understand, and spell. We wouldn’t want to hurt you’re brain which is the size of a pea!

  • imfasterthanur

    Again, why do you guys acknowledge Laffs atu?

    If his rebuttal includes “your mom”, the guy, or possibly girl, is clearly in its pre-adolesecnt stage, is mentally retarded, or simply is an individual attempting to get under the skin of Laker fans with his/her obviously insubstantial arguments based purely on hate as opposed to logic.

    But back to basketball, this game can be tough if we don’t take them out early. Like Lakers 242 implied, pound the paint, don’t give them any kind of momentum. Or, if Kobe would like, reenact game 6 of last year’s Western Conference Finals. haha

    “Coach Alvin Gentry butt tap part II”, anyone? haha

  • showtime4eva

    OUR KILLER B’S BENCH (BLAKE,BARNES AND BROWN) WILL BE TO MUCH TO HANDLE.AND AS THE G.O.A.T’S HEALTH IMPROVES THERE’S NOT MUCH TEAMS CAN DO AGAINST US. GO LAKERS!

  • http://57.amklac laffs atu

    so much fun watching your boyfriend miss shot after shot after shot.it was nice watching miami destroy orlando earlier,lakers play down to teams,never cover the spread………….my pinkie.

    • uwannasuckysuckyme?

      lol, u maaaad

  • si pepe

    lakers is simply the team to beat this year. its gonna be celtics- lakers once again.