Lakers-Suns Playoff Preview

image via NBA.com

Lakers–Suns 1st Round Playoff Preview

After an exciting win in the play-in game against the Warriors , the Los Angeles Lakers have solidified themselves as the 7th seed in the Western Conference . They will face the Phoenix Suns in the first round of the playoffs on Sunday . The Lakers will have their work cut out for them as the Suns have been playing well all season . They are led by their leader Chris Paul and sharpshooter Devin Booker . Both players are very good offensively and can shoot anywhere from the floor . Paul is an elite guard that can find his teammates with ease and make winning plays. He’s done it for his whole career which makes him dangerous. Booker can score at will and can do it in bunches too. He’s had career highs in which he’s scored 70 and 60 points in an NBA game. Those two should definitely not be taken lightly. DeAndre Ayton is their big who can give the Lakers bigs some fits as he’s got size and skill around the rim. He’s averaging double digits in rebounds, so the Lakers will have to be weary of him around the glass. 

If the Lakers are to win this best out-of- 7 game series, they will have to attack the Suns in the paint and have excellent ball movement. In their final regular season game against the Phoenix Suns, the Lakers took advantage of their size and punished the Suns in the rebounding game and dominating them in the paint.  Anthony Davis will be the x-factor for the Lakers in this series. If he can get his game going from the inside and out, it’ll be hard for the Suns to stop him. The same can be said about LeBron James. James will have to use his strength and try to wear out the Suns. If the Lakers guards can start shooting well, then that opens things up for James and Davis to try and impose their will. This would be an advantage because of their size and additional offense if their guards and forwards get going. 

The Lakers’ LeBron James (23) shoots as the Suns’Deandre Ayton (22) defends during their NBA game at the Staples Center in Los Angeles, Tuesday, Mar. 2, 2021. (Photo by Hans Gutknecht, Los Angeles Daily News/SCNG)

The Lakers can’t allow themselves to play lazy or laxidasical. We saw what happened against the Warriors when the Lakers got out to an extremely slow start. Although the Lakers are capable of coming back in games, they also don’t want to make that a habit. The Phoenix Suns are young and haven’t experienced a playoff atmosphere in awhile, but they’re the 2nd seed in the West for a reason. Head coach Monty Williams, who also is a coach of the year candidate, has gotten the best out of his team and they’re ready for a playoff run. This is not going to be an easy series, and the Lakers will have to play much better than they did in the play-in game. I expect a back-and-forth battle between these two teams as the series goes on. At the end, I do believe that the Lakers size will be too much for the Phoenix Suns. I have the Lakers winning it in six games. Now, let the games begin!