May 25, 2010

How the Lakers Lost Game 3 of the WCF

Two relevant things came to an end yesterday: LOST, one of my all-time favorite television series, and the Los Angeles Lakers' eight game playoff winning streak. In game 3 of the Western Conference Finals (WCF), the Phoenix Suns dealt the Lakers a 118-109 defeat.

While LOST is indeed finished, the Lakers' playoff run is still ongoing and I, for one, would like to see it run till June. I could point to three things that made the Lakers lose:
  • Weak defense - Suns forward Amare Stoudemire virtually had a career game with 42 points. He demolished the Lakers' defense with aggressive drives to the hoop and had a double-double. This is an indication that the Lakers were not able to stop the vaunted pick-and-roll offense the Suns are known for.
  • Poor play from Lamar Odom and Andrew Bynum - For the Lakers to win this series, this has got to be more than a Batman & Robin act from Kobe Bryant and Pau Gasol. Kobe and Pau played to their strengths and got their numbers. Lamar Odom, crucial to wins in Game 1 and Game 2, was a non-factor, ditto to Andrew Bynum. Bynum is key to clogging the middle and making the Phoenix offense become a jump shooting one.
  • Free throw disparity - The Suns enjoyed a twenty two free throw attempt over the Lakers in Game 3 and the Suns won by nine. 'Nuff said.
You can argue that there were several more reasons how the Lakers fell short in Game 3. For sure, I definitely don't like to see the words LAKERS and LOST in the same sentence in this 2010 playoffs.


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