Los Angeles Lakers
) @ Phoenix Suns
Clippers @ Lakers 103-89 W
Suns @ Hornets 95-84 W
Projected Starting Lineups
(Chucky Atkins, Kobe Bryant, Caron Butler, Lamar Odom, Chris Mihm)
(Steve Nash, Joe Johnson, Quentin Richardson, Shawn Marion, Amare Stoudemire)
Factors off the Bench
(Brian Grant, Casey Jacobsen)
(Kobe Bryant, Amare Stoudemire)
I'll make this one short and sweet: contain Amare, and don't allow anyone to get hot from beyond the arc. Also, the Lakers need to really push the ball towards Richardson and make him work extra hard on defense, seeing that he's a weak defender...he may be put on Caron.
Amare is going to have a scoring-fest on Mihm, unless Brian Grant is used tonight to play an aggressive game against Stoudemire. Odom should defend Marion well in the post, but once he lets him out by the perimeter, he may have a heap of trouble playing against Marion, who is a true SF...and this may cause us to pull down less rebounds, if Odom is drawn away from the hoop.
Nash may end up throwing another 15 assists in this game...that is, unless Kobe has anything to say about it. The Lakers need to play like the Pistons to win this one...close the passing lanes between Nash and Amare, and intercept anything in the air (hands up at all times).
It's going to be a great game, no doubt...so grab a few bags of popcorn, tell your girlfriend/boyfriend to call you later, and plant yourself on the couch to watch the Lakers take the lead in the 4th and beat the Suns, 98-93.