With the Suns looking to avenge their Game 1 demolition at the hand of Kobe & Co., what adjustments can we expect for pivotal Game 2? SB Nation's Lakers blog, Silver Screen and Roll, anticipates quite a few defensive adjustments on the part of Alvin Gentry's squad:
First and foremost, it seems assured that the Lakers will see some zone defense tonight. They got to the rim unimpeded way too much in Game One. The Suns don't have the individual talent to keep Kobe Bryant or Lamar Odom from knifing into the paint or Pau Gasol from dancing around defenders in the post. They need a team-based approach to keeping the ball on the perimeter. True, the Lakers killed them from behind the arc on Monday, making 8 of 17 three-point attempts, but if the Lakers are going to shoot like that from outside, you're going to lose anyway. The formula should be to take away the inside game and hope Laker outside shooters revert to their season-long averages. The Suns played some zone in the last regular-season contest between the two teams. The Lakers didn't look comfortable trying to attack it. [...]
The other big adjustment one can expect from the Phoenix D is some double-teaming of Kobe. Le Mamba Noir had one of his all-time great playoff performances in Game One. He's probably not going to play at that level tonight - he won't have had a week's worth of rest this time, and those heights of magnificence are hard to sustain even for talents as immense as Kobe's - but if he's even close to being that deadly, Gentry really has no choice but to bring help and make him give up the ball.
Meanwhile, SB Nation's Suns blog, Bright Side of the Sun, tthinks it's all about attitude for Phoenix as they try to earn a split in LA:
[A]s Nash said, they have to take their game to another level to win against the Lakers in LA, in the postseason. And if L.A. shows up tonight as they did in the first game, the Suns must play a nearly flawless game to overcome their size, length, experience, home court advantage, and Kobe Bryantness.
So, if you are looking for keys to the game, I say, MAN UP. Not in the strategic sense of the word as much as the psychological connotation. This isn't an inexperienced postseason and injured-plagued Blazers squad; it's not the aging, less "physical", smallish Spurs squad. A Conference Finals matchup against the Lakers is a meeting of MEN. Deal with the size and length advantage of the Lakes, deal with the hometown zebras who won't give the Suns any benefit of any call.