Connect with us

Phoenix Suns

Big Takeaways from the Suns Loss To The Lakers

The Los Angeles Lakers and Phoenix Suns are now both 1-1 on the season after the Lakers defeated the Suns, 100-95. Phoenix was fighting an uphill battle in this one as both Bradley Beal and Devin Booker missed the game due to injury. The starting lineup for the Suns was Eric Gordon, Grayson Allen, Josh Okogie, Kevin Durant, and Jusuf Nurkic. What are some takeaways from this game?

Thank you for reading this post, don't forget to subscribe!

The Health Issues Exposed the Suns Lack of Play-Making

Will the Suns offense be impacted in a negative way due to the lack of a “true” point guard? Was one of the most asked questions about the Suns coming into the season. In their first game it looked like the Suns offense would be fine down the stretch as Devin Booker was able to succeed in the play-making role. He had three clutch assists to help seal the game for the Suns as they defeated the Golden State Warriors.

Booker was not able to play in the Lakers game. In the fourth quarter the lack of play-making or scoring threats outside of Kevin Durant really hurt Phoenix. They were only able to score 11 points as a team in the fourth quarter. The Lakers made it very tough on Durant as they showed him lots of bodies and didn’t allow him to get clean looks.

On this play you see that the Lakers game plan was to force the ball out of Durant’s hands. Durant who normally can see over the defense had a hard time seeing over the length of Anthony Davis and Christian Wood. LeBron James was able to come up for the steal because he wasn’t worried about the person he was guarding. If Devin Booker and/or Bradley Beal were in the game it wouldn’t allow the Lakers to play defense in this way.

Eric Gordon and Grayson Allen Have to Be Better

In the off-season the Suns picked up Eric Gordon and Grayson Allen. In the first two games they have not been able to help in the way they are expected to. Allen has a total of six points in the first two games. Gordon is shooting 31% from the floor and 23% from three. He also has one assist and three turnovers. These two players have to step up when one or more of Durant, Booker, and Beal are not playing. It’s only two games so there is no need to panic but Gordon and Allen better step their games up soon.

Minute Restriction For One Night Only

LeBron James averages 38 minutes per game for his career. It was reported that LeBron James would only play 28-30 minutes a game during the regular season. This is year 21 for James and he is coming off of a foot injury. So, it makes perfect sense for him to not play as many minutes as he has in the past.

In the Lakers first game against the Denver Nuggets, James played 29 minutes. The Lakers lost that game even with James’ plus/minus being +7. Going into the fourth quarter of the Suns game, the Lakers were down by 12. James had played 23 minutes up to the point. The 38-year old would go on to play the entire fourth quarter and led the Lakers comeback.

The idea of limiting James’ minutes is great in theory but there will be very few games where the Lakers can win without LeBron having a major impact. The league is so deep that there are very few “easy” nights on the schedule. They will revisit the minute restriction but it will be a short visit. It’s hard to see Lakers’ head coach Darvin Ham sticking to that with games on the line.

More in Phoenix Suns