The Suns pulled off an exhilarating victory Sunday night in front of the Orange-clad faithful, but people are wondering if they can do it again tonight. Let me let you in on a little secret: the Suns can beat the Lakers again and even up this series, and here are three reasons why.
Key #1: Amar’e Stoudemire
Amar’e Stoudemire was bashed by the media after his performance in the first two games of the series, but he rebounded in a big way Sunday night with 42 points and 11 boards. Stoudemire is the most offensively skilled big man in the game today, and even with his weak defense, his offense more than makes up for it. Stoudemire has too much pride (and too much skill) to not perform like he did the other night – at least for one more game in front of the home crowd.
Key #2: Zone defense
The Suns baffled the Lakers with their zone defense last night, and after realizing its effectiveness, Phoenix will continue to employ it against the Lakers. While the Lakers will adjust, Phoenix will bait them into shooting the three and L.A. doesn’t have the shooters to overcome it. Kobe, Jordan Farmar, Shannon Brown, and Ron Artest are all capable of hitting three’s but none hit them on a consistent basis. If the Suns force the Lakers into 30+ threes like they did the other night, Phoenix will be able to hold L.A. in the low hundreds and squeak out another win.
Key #3: The orange faithful
The US Airways Center was a pit of orange the other night, with fans yelling and cheering wildly. For a city that has supported the Suns for over 40 years without seeing a championship, these fans are desperate for one. Knowing that this could be the last run for this incarnation of the Suns with Amar’e most likely opting for free agency after the season, the fans will be even louder and wilder than usual, and the players will feed off that at least one more time.
What do you think? Will the Suns win Game 4?
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