Phoenix Suns Looking to Find their Defense

by May 19, 2010

The Suns’ improved defense was something people were seriously talking about prior to Game 1 of the WCF. Now? Not so much. The AZ Republic reports on Phoenix’s search for stops prior to tonight’s game: “The Lakers scored 40 points in the paint in the first half, but it was not due to just the expected problems with the Lakers’ size. Upon game review, Suns coach Alvin Gentry counted 21 times that the Lakers penetrated the middle of the Suns’ defense Monday. That is triple the usual tally of a team that had held opponents to 43 percent shooting since late January. ‘We’re disappointed, not discouraged,’ he said. If the winds of defensive change truly took hold with the Suns, tonight’s Game 2 would be a pressing time to prove it before the challenge becomes any more trying. Lakers coach Phil Jackson won all 46 of his previous playoff series that began with a Game 1 victory. The Suns have not lost consecutive games since January, but they also had not been beaten that badly or scored on that much in a loss since January. But the perspective at Tuesday’s Suns practice at Staples Center was that this series is no Tour de France setup. They will not start Game 2 down 21 because of Game 1. ‘We’re not going to roll over and say, ‘Well, Phil won his first game, so the series is over,’ Hill said. ‘We’re still going to compete. We still believe we can win this series.’ Inquiries about zone defense or doubling Kobe Bryant, an expectation Jackson offered, did not pique Gentry’s interest. Gentry figures 10 of the 13 field goals Bryant made were tough shots, the type only a $23 million player makes even if there is a second defender.”