After two rough games in L.A., Phoenix just made this series much more interesting. With improved defensive play and a flawed performance by their opponents, the Suns picked up their first win in the series to ensure they'd return to Staples Center at least once more.
Along the way, they might have shown us a little bit of strategy to use against L.A.
When the NBA introduced zone defense in 2001, the hope was it would rid the game of the rampant one-on-one and two-on-two basketball that had stagnated play. In Game 3, the Suns used it to fluster the Lakers. After watching L.A. average 126 points and connect on 58 percent from the field in Games 1 and 2, Phoenix shifted to a zone that kept L.A. below 50 percent (48.3) for the first time this series. "We did a really good job in the rotations in the zone," said Alvin Gentry. "They weren't scoring in the paint. We did have some lapses there against the zone where Pau [Gasol] got inside, but for the most part, I thought most of the shots were coming from the outside."
Not saying we should employ a zone, but you can be sure that Tom T. will pick up some tendencies on tape that might give us a hint on how to attack them in the Finals.
In other NBA news: The Cavs fired Mike Brown. No surprises there.