After Tuesday night's thrilling Game 4 victory, suddenly the Phoenix Suns have new life. And they're doing it their way, to boot. Playing team basketball, as SB Nation's Bright Side of the Sun wrote postgame:
Tonight, the story was of a team. A group of guys that love each other, that run through walls for each other, that gladly sacrifice their minutes and individual stats for the great glory of winning. And while the Kobe Bryants of the universe might be wired such that winning is all they know, this Suns team is wired collectively to succeed for each other.
It is the communal David beating the individual Goliaths.
The series is now tied at 2 all and guaranteed at worst, the Suns will have made this a long series and have bounced back from two tough beatings to earn the respect of their peers, fans and media. There is nothing that can happen from here on in that can take away from what's been accomplished so far.
At yet there's only two more wins to get to the NBA finals. 17 years after the 1993 team who followed 17 years after the 1976 team. Destiny awaits.
Now, to be fair to L.A., it's not so much as "communal David" beating "individual Goliaths." Really, Kobe was the only "Goliath" on the court for L.A. last night. That's not to detract from the Suns' performance—because Phoenix's zone has completely discombobulated Pau Gasol, Lamar Odom, and nearly every other L.A. Laker—but the idea of "Team vs. Kobe" is mostly myth. It's indicative of a situation the past two games that's arisen out of necessity, not by L.A.'s design.
While Suns fans might want to paint this series as a war of clashing ideologies, it's moreso a question of strategy, where they've allowed Kobe to dominate, while the zone's flummoxed the rest of L.A. No question, though: the Lakers know they can't win without Pau Gasol and Lamar Odom clicking, too.
And no question, that'll be the top priority as both teams head back to L.A. for Game 5. Can Phoenix—everyone's sentimental favorite at this point—continue to keep L.A. on their heels?
For more on the Suns, check out SB Nation's excellent Suns blog, Bright Side of the Sun.