To lose a game at Phoenix is a tolerable thing for the Lakers, but losing two straight might complicate things a lot for the reigning champions, which is why Phil Jackson was giving a lesson to his pupils about how to be successful against a zone defense during a training at US Airways Center as that was the strategy applied by the Suns in game four in order to obtain a valuable 118-109 victory that is getting them closer to Los Angeles in the series that is now 2-1.
Phoenix applied this strategy for much of the 2nd quarter and during the full second half, and Alvin Gentry, the coach for the Suns said that such way of playing was utilized more than he had anticipated, but that he prolonged it because it was working out outstandingly and also because nothing else was proving to be effective against the mighty Lakers, who had been averaging a total of 126 points per game in this series.
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It seems like Steve Nash hasn’t been very lucky lately in terms of injuries, as he played the 4th quarter of the Western Conference semis with a swollen eye after an elbow from Tim Duncan, and on game 3 against the Lakers he collided with Derek Fisher at the fourth period and was handed a small nose fracture, but the veteran player says he feels fine and is ready for some action at game 5.
And for Los Angeles, Andre Bynum only played a total of seven and a half minutes as he was injured on a knee, which is probably why he was not very effective as he only scored 2 points and had 2 rebounds, and Jackson said that the tall player might as well sit for game five, but that it is still not clear, as he spoke with him and he feels ok to play.
The Lakers are probably going to focus their efforts on game five in stopping Amare Stoudamire, the Suns’ superstar, and Phoenix on the other hand, will need to come up with an effective strategy in order to prevent Kobe Bryant to come up with triple doubles again.
Just last week everybody was giving it for a fact that the Lakers would be playing the Celtics at the NBA Finals, but with Orlando winning game 4 and Phoenix just one game away from putting thing even in their series to Los Angeles, there is nothing written on the wall just yet.
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