"All World All Sports"
Buckle up. The Western Conference Finals start tonight. Two high flying offenses are ready for battle. Defending champion Los Angeles Lakers will shoot for their second consecutive title. A short lived turmoil was brewing as LA survived shaky early round performances. They'll need to solve a red hot Phoenix Suns squad fresh from a dominating sweep of San Antonio.
Coach Phil Jackson needs to keep LA's top guns fresh and role players focused at all times. Kobe Bryant leads LA shooters with 26.9 points/game. KB needs to do a much better job protecting the ball (3.7 turnovers/game) while creating opportunities for his supporting cast. Paul Gasol is averaging 20.2 points on 56% shooting. Key for LA is transition defense. Mental lapses, if any, will cost them dearly. When LA is on, their tops. Obviously, they'll have to play like champions for another shot at the title.
Look out LA, the Phoenix Suns seem to be doing everything right. It's been a total team effort. Phoenix has capitalized on opponents mistakes throughout this playoff season. On offense, they've been exploding to the hoop creating opportunities on nearly every trip down the floor. Almost everyone is putting the ball through the iron. Jason Richardson (21.9 - 51%), Amare Staudmire (20.5 - 51.4%) and Steve Nash (17.8 - 51.2%) lead starters. Bench players aren't afraid to put it up either. Phoenix roster has shot 47.6% in 10 playoff games including 42% of 3 point attempts.
Phoenix and LA like to run. Both averaging over 100 ppg. It's all about Kobe in LA. Lakers bench cannot be counted on. Transition defense and ball protection are two major keys to this series. Wild card key to success is stamina. Both teams will be taxed after three quarters. Phoenix bench has been clutch. LA represents a most difficult challenge. Everyone's getting the job done for sharp shooting Suns. Phoenix stuns basketball world with a huge upset.
Phoenix Suns in 6.