Monday, May 24, 2010
Suns take Game 3: The reactions
By Brian Kamenetzky
As the expression goes, all good things must come to an end. Even impressive playoff winning streaks.
The Lakers, looking for their ninth straight postseason victory Sunday night in Game 3, instead absorbed a 118-109 loss. It was a ragged and jagged affair in which the Lakers found themselves in early foul trouble and (no surprise) couldn't keep Phoenix off the line. But among the things generating conversation this morning around the water cooler was Phoenix's reliance on a 2-3 zone for the final three quarters.
"...They zoned out, making lazy passes to the tune of 17 turnovers, many of which were unforced, instead of penetrating the seams. "It was just … we made bad passes," Pau Gasol said, who made only 14 field goal attempts and two foul shots after 19 and 10, respectively, in Game 2. "We weren't sharp with our execution against the zone." No, instead of sharp they were soft, bombing away from the outside rather than making their way to the middle, attempting a postseason franchise-record 32 3-pointers and connecting on only nine, putting the Lakers 0-4 all-time in the playoffs when they shoot 30 or more triples. "Thirty-two 3-point shots," coach Phil Jackson said. "That's not really what you want to do as a basketball team..."
"...Despite what's going on in the Eastern Conference finals right now, the playoffs aren't supposed to be easy. You're supposed to be tested and challenged. You're supposed to face some adversity and get hit in the mouth a couple of times and fight back. The Lakers never experienced that before facing the Celtics two years ago when they came in as heavy favorites and eventually paid the price. While the Suns aren't likely to take the Lakers the distance, back-to-back sweeps would have been the worst possible fate for the Lakers heading into a Finals rematch with the Celtics..."
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