Living With Oppression: Schwartz On Lakers-Suns

What I do wonder is if this past week was just one of those weeks for the Phoenix Suns or if they’re regressing to the mean of preseason expectations after an otherworldly November start that included stellar clutch road play but, truth be told, only a couple of victories against good teams.

After shooting a league-best 50.7 percent in their first 17 games while racking up a 14-3 record, including 57.5 percent shooting in their last four games of that hot start, the Suns have shot a mere 43.3 percent in their first four December games, leading to a 1-3 mark. If the Suns were to have shot that bad on the season, they would rank 27th in the league in shooting percentage, but they were such a hot shooting team to start the year that they still rank second in the NBA in that department, just .001 behind Boston.

You can blame it on tired legs, teams figuring out the Suns, the full moon, the month turning to December or just chalk it up to being a bad week, but Phoenix’s defense is at the point that this team needs to be the best-shooting team in the league to have a chance at being elite.

via Lakers 108, Suns 88 — About what we expected| Valley of the Suns.

This is a pretty great approach to dealing with playing the Lakers, essentially using it to examine your own failings and not demanding a victory. Playing the Lakers is like a colonoscopy. It’s going to hurt and the only good news is no news. You’re not going to find rainbows or anything up there.

I did not watch the game, as I have taken to avoiding Laker games altogether. Why? They’re on national television enough to where I’m going to see them regularly anyway, and if not, I’ll have all of April, May, and June to get familiar with them. And until then, I don’t have to deal with things like what would have happened to my soul if I’d had to watch Kobe wrench the Heat’s heart out on Friday.

As for Phoenix, no surprises there, either. Wow, what an offense! Man, what a defense… The only depressing thing is how predictable it all is.

Matt Moore

Matt Moore is a Senior NBA Blogger for CBSSports.com's Eye on Basketball blog, weekend editor of Pro Basketball Talk on NBCSports.com, and co-editor of Voice on the Floor. He lives in Kansas City due to an unbelievably complex set of circumstances and enjoys mid-90's pop rock, long walks on the beach and the novels of Tim Sandlin.