#2 Phoenix Suns vs. #7 Los Angeles Lakers
We can officially add the multiple Kobe Bryant debates to the ever-increasing list of annoying sports arguments that won't ever go away. Is he better than Jordan? Can he ever be a true team player instead of pure scoring machine? It's like he's NBA version of Michael Vick. The media can't help but debate this guy and his antics, although Vick's antics did give us this gem...
In ESPN the magazine this week, it was the very first question asked in the Stu Scott mailbag, "Stu- What do you think about this 'Kobe being better than Jordan' debate?" Which begs the two following questions: a) Why the hell was I reading this? and b) Who the hell cares what Stu Scott thinks about anything except booty calls to former NFL cheerleaders.?
OK, time to actually PREVIEW this series:
Remember last year when Kobe showed up on the TNT studio show to break down the Suns, amongst other things? The guy actually did a great job. He put Magic and Reggie to shame, in my opinion. And he made Kiki Vandeweghe, Allan Houston and Jamal Mashburn look like a trio of 12 year old girls yapping about the NBA. Then again, that's not all that difficult.
But Kobe's major point was: to beat the Suns, you need to break their collective will defensively. Simply scoring on them does nothing. In fact, sometimes they'd almost RATHER you score just so they can get the ball back quicker. And the best way to achieve this, in Kobe's opinion, was to get HIS guys more involved in the offense, that is, the more a guy scores, the more likely he is to be flying around on defense wreaking havoc.
That being said, the Lakers have no chance. NONE. They're simply bringing a knife to a gun fight, they don't have the horses, I could keep going with these loser cliches but you get the idea.
The Lakers could really use an upgrade at the point guard position. I find myself watching Laker games saying, "Holy shit, Smush Parker really sucks." And I don't think I'm alone on that one. They could really use any guy who kills it out there. Any guy who plays solid, tough D, and can guard the other team's best guard. A guy who's going to hustle for every loose ball and be happy playing a Scottie Pippen-type role to Kobe's Jordan (stay with me, I do have a point). Basically someone like Caron Butler. Imagine if the Wiz would ever bite on a Kwame Brown for Caron Butler trade. Get Mitch Kupchak on the phone. He should get on that. Or maybe he never should've made that exact trade in the first place.
Above everything else, the Suns have to win this in four, five at the absolute most. They totally fucked themselves last year by sleepwalking through the first two games and letting that thing go seven. And after ANOTHER seven gamer against the Clippers, no wonder they were gassed by the time they saw Dallas. The Suns are gonna need every once of energy they have to take down the Spurs and Dallas back to back. They can't be bothered with another dogfight in round 1.
Pick: lock-it-up, Suns in 4. - Absentee post by Team Der