That was a good old-fashioned ass-kicking and boy did it suck being here for it. The Lakers were hitting shots, the Suns were flat. The Suns were scoring, but the Lakers were scoring more. Kobe went nuts. The Suns went, oh crap.
A truly uninspired way to start the series, but still only one game. Just keep repeating that. It's only one game. It's only one game.
Can Kobe keep hitting contested shot after contested shot and get to the line 12 times as well?
Can Lamar Odom play this well for an entire series? Seriously, Lamar Odom was incredible and Gentry rightly called him the difference in the game.
Can Ron Artest keep hitting shots when it matters?
If so, this series will be over fast. But I don't think so. I certainly don't hope so. This was the Lakers best playoff game of the season by far. They were the (far) better team tonight. We will find out Wednesday if they are the better team overall.
The Suns can be pleased that the Lakers never got close to shutting them down despite only shooting 5 for 22 from three. Robin played very well in his debut and, in fact, well out-played Bynum.
Now it's time to see if the Suns are really the team we thought (hoped) they were. Resilient. Prideful in their defense. And able to take a punch and get back up.
If they are and if this truly was the Lakers best shot, then Game 2 will have a happy ending for the Boys in Orange. If not, we will be eulogizing a great season.
I wish I had more wisdom to share, but it is what it is and it was bad. Real, real bad.
So bad that Phil Jackson had to comment about it with his first sentence in the post game presser, "Well, you know it was a surprise for us. We thought this was going to be a close game."