Lakers vs Suns – The Conference Finals Preview

On Monday the fun begins. Game one of the Western Conference Finals. Think about all the great teams that shared the goal over the course of the past year of being a part of this Conference finals…. The Mavs doing everything they could to become a powerhouse, the Spurs adding the missing piece Richard Jefferson, the Nuggets using last years loss to the Lakers as motivation,  Utah keeping both Millsap and Boozer, and a couple of teams looking to shock the world in Oklahoma City and Memphis.

But in the end, 13 teams in the Western Conference are playing golf right now. The dreams of making it to this point have disappeared. The dreams for each team in the Western Conference except for two….


2005-2008 must be considered the dark years for Laker fans.

2005 – Missed Playoffs
2006- 1st round lose to the Suns
2007- 1st round lose to the Suns

We know that the dark days have ended, ever since Memphis gift wrapped Pau Gasol to the Lakers, but it must be sweet for LA fans to have the chance to move to the championship for a third year in a row with the final step being to take out the team (Suns) that tormented them the most during those dark days.

On the flip side, this might just very well be the Suns last chance at gold with this current team. The team started the season off with a bang which shocked everyone, and even now, with the team getting to the conference finals is somewhat of a shock (Truthfully, a month ago who thought it would be the Mavs vs Lakers right now instead of Lakers vs Suns?) But with Nash in his mid 30’s, and Hill in his late 30’s, this team’s window has this year and MAYBE next year for a solid shot at a ring, unless major changes are made.

The question though is…. Does the Suns have any chance in hell of taking out the Lakers?

I see that some of you do believe that the Suns do have a chance, and personally I am rooting for the Suns to make it into the finals and for that one Championship that they have been missing for the past 6 or 7 years. BUT if I had to put money on one team, it would be the Lakers. While the Suns might have the better bench right now with Fyre, Dudley and Barbosa, I just don’t like how the Suns starting 5 match up against the Lakers.

The Key Players

Nash won’t be exposed on defense as he normally is, since Nash will be guarding Fisher, but Nash at the same time has never been a “blow by your guy” type of offensive player. So while players like Deron Williams and Russell Westbrook could take advantage of Fisher on the offensive end, Nash does not have that same ability. Don’t get me wrong here, the PG advantage is clearly in the Suns favor. But if the Lakers did have one disadvantage overall, it is at the PG spot, and Nash is not the type of player who takes advantage of those types of mismatches. Nash is the type of player who runs picks and rolls.

Kobe is going to be able to shut down Jason Richardson. The question is if Richardson and Grant Hill can give Kobe a tough time. Obviously Kobe can get 30 pts per game, but the important factor is if it takes Kobe 13 or 14 shots to get 30, or if it takes him 25 shots to get 30. The lower the shooting percentage, the better the chance for the Suns. I don’t see Kobe dominating this series, but he will have a huge game or two.

Artest is kinda useless in this series. Is he going to guard Grant Hill? It’s not like Hill was a major scoring threat to begin with. I could see Artest minutes being limited during this series as his defense is not necessarily needed.

Amare is, IMO, the key for the Suns. The Lakers have so many weapons that the Suns needs to match up against. The Suns can get big games here and there from Frye, Dudley, Grant Hill could put up 15 points in a game at some point, same with Richardson, who would drop 25 in a game….but the Suns are going to need a dominating performance from there two studs, Nash and Amare, each and every game in order for the Suns to have a chance to win. If Gasol can keep Amare quiet, like 15 pts and 7 rbs a game quiet, the Suns have zero chance.

The Call

So here is the deal….I really would like to see the Suns win. After 5 or 6 years of run and gun basketball, it would be nice to see them get one chance in the spotlight before the hourglass runs out. BUT, if I had to put money on this series, it’s going on the Lakers. And I will be honest, after watching the Lakers destroy the Suns 3 out of 4 times during the regular season, I can see the Lakers taking this in 5. I hope I am wrong, but if I had to put money down it would be in that fashion.



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One Response to Lakers vs Suns – The Conference Finals Preview

  1. Pingback: Game 2′s – Celtics vs Magic, Lakers vs Suns « The Program 101

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