After a week of waiting, players seem to be running out of answers to questions we're running out of ways to ask. The rest has been welcome, no question. Kobe Bryant and Andrew Bynum got one more day each of much needed rest, for example. But at this point I'm fairly sure everyone just wants the games to start.
I know I do.
Frankly, the most intriguing part of Sunday afternoon's run in El Segundo came watching the tail end of today's scrimmage. The second unit, comprised of Luke Walton, Adam Morrison, Josh Powell, Jordan Farmar, and D.J. Mbenga was assigned the task of simulating Phoenix's run-and-gun, quick-to-shoot style. This, of course, put Mbenga in the Channing Frye role. Now you might think because Mbenga has fewer three point attempts in his career (two) than Frye took in the first quarter of Phoenix's Game 4 win over San Antonio last week this would be an assignment ill-suited to the big man's skill set.
Mbenga actually knocked down his fair share. "At some point, Brian Shaw said, "We're playing him in the wrong position. We should have him on the three-point line shooting three pointers," Phil Jackson laughed.
I said, "Well, maybe."
All season long, fans have clamored for the "Big Lineup" of Kobe, Pau, Artest, Bynum, and L.O. But maybe this is truly Jackson's ace in the hole? D.J. "The M'mad M'bomber" Mbenga?
As the saying goes, this I would pay to watch.
For more on today's practice, enjoy the moving pictures below....
I posted some video from yesterday's practice from Derek Fisher about the need to make Steve Nash work defensively. Here, Fish talks about the process of trying to contain him and what it looks like, and also the need for L.A. to hit the offensive glass when possible, in part because it slows down the Suns:
More Fish, on his improved play:
Lamar Odom, on the matchup, how the time off has helped, and more:
Pau Gasol, on enjoying deep playoff runs, Robin Lopez's role for the Suns and more:
More from Gasol, on the importance of transition defense against the Suns, and the Nash-Fisher matchup:
Phil Jackson, on Kobe not practicing, momentum and the Suns:
More from Jackson, on Magic Johnson's Game 6 to secure the 1980 championship, Bynum and more: