Discerning anything concrete from the Suns' first quarter romp over the Lakers is difficult because (a) the Suns never really had to double-team and (b) the Lakers were never able to catch up to PHX in transition.  The fierce PHX run in the middle of the first quarter came without many coherent sets, nothing more than their improvisational spoke-and-wheel offense.  Even by Suns' standards, the shots came easy. 

With the return of Amare and Kurt Thomas, the Suns were able to shift some of their offense down low in the first half.  This season, PHX won't have to rely exclusively on the high S/R, which makes them scary as shit. 

For all the talk about Amare's less-than-100-percent status, he appeared powerful on the offensive end.  At 4:50 in the first quarter, Nash brought the rock upcourt.  He passes the ball off to Raja at the left garden spot.  Amare sets up on the right spot out on the perimeter. Nash sets a down screen on Andrew Bynum.  I repeat, Nash sets a down screen on Bynum, a man four times his size, at which point Amare cuts to the left block.  Nash gets it back up top, drives, dishes off to Amare - who gets doubled (Bynum & Lamar).  Amare, he of the two operations, drives and hits the little hook. 


In the third quarter, the Lakers did what you're supposed to do against PHX - they cut off the driving lanes, narrowed the passing lanes, and didn't over-commit on the high screen. With less space to work with, PHX had to settle for perimeter shots, and even they aren't going to hit all night. 

On the defensive end, PHX showed massive lapses.  More times than not in the second half, Thomas was left alone below the stripe.  And Amare wasn't the same Amare on the defensive end.  Though he was deadly shooting the ball, Barbosa killed them defensively.  If the Lakers chalked up 66 points in the paint, how many could the Clippers score if they work the post the right way? 

Did Boris Diaw swallow Eddie House during the offseason?