The Suns have been hot the past two games, their three-point shooting has been unstoppable, their bench play has been terrific, and their zone defense has caused the Lakers problems.
Unfortunately for them, none of this matters.
The Lakers are heading back to the Staples Center for Game 5 Thursday night, and after being embarrassed on the road, the Lakers will not let the Suns repeat this on their home court.
There are too many factors in the Lakers favor to even consider the Suns a contender in this series. The Suns held home court for two games, that's it.
Phil Jackson has never lost a game five in a 2-2 series in his career and Kobe Bryant was embarrassed in those two losses in Phoenix.
Kobe is the last player in the league you want to see when he's playing with an edge.
If Kobe wants something, he takes it. And if you're going up against him there is nothing you can do about it. He is undefendable when the game is on the line.
The Suns weren't even competitive in the Staples Center in the first two games of the series, what could make someone believe a different outcome is possible?
Some say the Suns three-point specialists have a new-found confidence and the Lakers are struggling with the Suns zone defense, which among other factors that may lead one to believe that the Suns have an edge in the series.
None of this will even come into play in Game 5.
The Suns three-point shooters that made a difference in Phoenix are all streak-shooters. Steve Nash is a percentage shooter; he will always get his. But Jared Dudley and Channing Frye? Seriously?
Streak shooters like Frye and Dudley without question will always shoot better at home than on the road. They are more comfortable in an arena that they played 41 regular season games in during the regular season. There is no reasonable argument to be made against that fact.
And the Lakers have streaky bench players as well that perform better at home. That being said, Lamar Odom will be a key in the game tonight. Odom disappeared on the road and was unstoppable at home in games one and two.
And the zone defense. You really think Phil Jackson and Kobe Bryant can't figure that out after seeing it multiple games?
The Lakers are going to come out in game five and attack the Suns' zone and penetrate the paint. They are at home, they will get the majority of foul calls in their favor, and that's just the nature of the NBA. The more aggressive team gets the calls, and the Lakers being at home in an all-important game five will be the aggressor.
But in the end, the real reason why the Lakers have the momentum even though they have lost two straight is Kobe.
Kobe is the best clutch player in the league, and this Game 5 is just the type of game that he takes over. Unlike LeBron James.
Look for the Lakers to win by double-digits tonight, and then win a close Game 6 on the road.
Kobe has four titles for a reason and Phil has 10 rings for a reason.
They don't lose big games.
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