Suns vs. Lakers: What They're Saying

Much of the press isn't giving Hill and Co. much of chance against the Lakers.
(Barry Gossage/NBAE/Getty Images)
Posted: May 13, 2010

If you wanted to catch up on all of the buzz surrounding the Western Conference Finals between the Suns and Lakers, look no further. Here's what they're saying:

Bill Plaschke of the LA Times writes: "Before watching the Lakers take the court against the Utah Jazz for the fourth game of a 3-0 playoff series Monday, I figured the ensuing Western Conference finals would be a regular Nash pit. I figured wrong. The Phoenix Suns have no chance. Anybody who watched the Lakers tear apart the NBA's most synchronized team on its most important night at its ear-bending home would agree."

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Christopher Coffel of the Downtown Phoenix Journal retorted to Mr. Plaschke in this piece: "Someone should let Bill Plaschke over at the Los Angeles Times know that the Suns are a completely different team than the Utah Jazz. Mr. Paschke claims the Suns have no chance at beating the Lakers. He came to this conclusion not based on what the Suns can do, but based on what he saw the Lakers do to the Jazz."

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Sekou Smith of NBA.com writes about Kobe's search for revenge against the Suns: "The 'Let's go Suns' chants started in the final seconds Monday night at EnergySolutions Arena. What else could the Jazz fans do after being swept in four games for the first time in franchise history, the clincher a 111-96 Game 4 loss to the Los Angeles Lakers in the conference semifinals? Funny thing is, Lakers star Kobe Bryant was thinking same thing. 'Let's get to the Suns.'"

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Chris Tomasson of Fanhouse talked about Robin Lopez in this piece: "The Lakers are big. Robin Lopez is big. The Lakers are long. Lopez is long. So it looks like good news for Phoenix that the 7-foot, 255-pound center anticipates he would return from a back injury by the start of a likely Suns-Lakers West final, one that could get under way in about a week. 'Oh, yeah,' Lopez said after Sunday morning's shootaround in preparation for the evening Game 4 of a West semifinal against San Antonio. 'I could probably give them a few good minutes against the Lakers.''

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Bob Baum of the Associated Press writes on about how Steve Kerr's image has changed: "Not long ago, Steve Kerr would spend sleepless nights recalling how great that NBA analyst job was at TNT. Phoenix Suns fans vilified him as a general manager without a clue, a man who had ruined the franchise."

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Paola Boivin of the AZ Republic writes about how the Suns aren't expected to challenge L.A.: "The scent of disrespect must have hitched a ride on the Los Angeles-to-Phoenix jet stream. No one at Suns practice Wednesday was surprised by the heavy favoritism of the Lakers in the Western Conference finals. The latest jab came from Bill Plaschke, a Los Angeles Times columnist and ESPN personality who wrote Monday after the Lakers swept Utah that 'the Phoenix Suns have no chance.'"

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Alan Hahn of Newsday writes how D'Antoni sees the Suns' sweep as vindication: "Mike D'Antoni watched Sunday with a smile as the Suns, as he put it, 'slayed an old nemesis' by sweeping the Spurs in a Western Conference semifinal. He appreciated what it meant for his former allies Steve Nash, Amar'e Stoudemire and coach Alvin Gentry, but D'Antoni also took from the Suns' success a measure of personal vindication. That's his system the Suns are playing."

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Scott Howard-Cooper of NBA.com writes about how Kobe Bryant is healing in the playoffs: "A few weeks after aching his way through early first-round games against the young legs and speed of Oklahoma City, the last team anyone wants to see while hoping to mend, Kobe Bryant suddenly looks a lot like Bryant again, as the Jazz can attest through heavy sighs. He averaged 32 points, 5.8 assists and 52.3 percent from the field in the four games of the surprisingly quick Western Conference semifinals, doing so even with the concession that he is not at full strength (and probably won't be the rest of the playoffs)."

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NBA.com's Art Garcia writes about how the Suns' playoff run may have been paved with luck: "Karma or good luck? Perhaps it's a bit of both for the Suns. The Western Conference finalists have taken a somewhat surprising path through the first two rounds. Some might call a road lined with luck. 'No one even expected us to be in the playoffs,' Jason Richardson said. Phoenix, it could be argued, fell into the No. 3 seed."

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Ken Berger of CBSSports.com writes how the Suns' run will end against the Lakers: "Kudos to the Suns, who still score with the best of them but have embraced the ingredient that wins in the playoffs. It was defense that got Phoenix past Portland, and it was defense that finally got them past longtime postseason nemesis San Antonio. Now they face the next hurdle -- one that is difficult to imagine them overcoming despite their stirring playoff run. That would be size."

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Jennifer Floyd Engel of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram writes about how Dallas should have re-signed Steve Nash: "Mark, if he's right and you have gone into almost $200 million of debt in an effort to win a championship for your Mavericks, why did you not spend what amounted to about $20 million to sign Steve Nash six off-seasons ago? Nash has been on the forefront these playoffs, seemingly always on a TNT telecast near you slashing and scoring and eventually leading his Phoenix Suns into the West Finals."

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Elliot Teaford of the L.A. Daily News reports that the Lakers' Andrew Bynum may play a smaller role against the Suns: "Getting center Andrew Bynum going again was another topic of conversation. The 7-footer's production was hit or miss against the Jazz. For instance, he had 17 points and 14 rebounds in Game 2, but then went scoreless with four rebounds in Game 3. Bynum averaged 7.8 points and 8.8 rebounds during the Lakers' sweep of the Jazz. He was a significant contributor in only the first two games at Staples Center and something of an afterthought in the next two in Salt Lake City.

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