The NBA has been kind enough to build in a lot of down time since the end of the conference semi-finals. As such, we were given ample opportunity to form an opinion on the Lakers vs. Phoenix. Would L.A. be able to contain the potent Suns attack? Would Phoenix's improved defense slow down the purple and gold, despite a serious size advantage for the champs.
We start with the action on Phoenix's end of the floor, breaking down Games 1 and 2:
The issue of Kobe Bryant, and whether or not Phoenix can double him. They can't, and we break down why.
Then there's Amare Stoudemire, and the incredible damage he's doing to Phoenix's defense. Fair to say, he should have kept his mouth shut- LuckyGate hasn't helped him in the slightest.
From there, we welcome the venerable Bill Macdonald of Fox Sports West/Prime Ticket, host of Lakers Live (and every other show on FSN, we think). We talk about his call of 81- he was sitting in for Joel Meyers that night- the series to this point, the stark nature of his Wikipedia page, and his prima donna tendencies when it comes to media dining.
After, we turn to Games 3 and beyond. How competitive is this series going to get?
And to wrap it up, more talk of Phil Jackson. If, as has been reported, his salary for next season will be capped at $5 million, what impact would it have? Is it an offer designed to be refused? Would it be a mistake to let the Zen Master walk? Or is this all just more smoke and mirrors in a situation that'll work itself out?