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Los Angeles Vs. Phoenix

ROUND ONE - Western Conference
Los Angeles Lakers (7th seed) Vs. Phoenix Suns (2nd seed)

The Los Angeles Lakers (42- 40) enter the post-season having won two in a row but having lost six of their last 10. The Lakers barely squeaked into the playoffs, just making it past the LA Clippers. The Phoenix Suns (61- 21) are one of the most explosive teams in the NBA, having scored an average of 110.2 PPG. At +7.3, they also have one of the best point differentials in the league. Phoenix took the regular season series against the Lakers 3- 1.

Shooting guard Kobe Bryant (31.6 PPG, 5.4 APG, .344 3-P%) is one of the most dominant players in the game. He is the ultimate go-to guy. Upfront, forward Lamar Odom (15.9 PPG, 9.8 RPG, 0.6 BPG) is a solid presence, while small forward Luke Walton (11.4 PPG, 5 RPG, 4.3 APG) gives additional offensive input inside. Swingman Kwame Brown (8.4 PPG, 6 RPG, 1.2 BPG), who has played 41 games this year, has battled injury all season and has missed the last six regular season games.

The Suns are one of the most powerful teams in the league. Steve Nash (18.6 PPG, 3.5 RPG, 11.6 APG), at point guard, is accurate from the court 53% of the time and 46% of the time from downtown. His foul shooting accuracy is 90%. Forward/center Amare Stoudemire (20.4 PPG, 9.6 RPG, 1.3 BPG) is both a defensive and offensive force. Forward Shawn Marion (17.5 PPG, 9.8 RPG, 1.5 BPG) provides even more potency inside. With three starters that can shoot the lights out of the clock, it’s no wonder that the Suns are capable of scoring boatloads of points.

In every aspect, the Suns have a better offense, out performing the Lakers from the foul line, three-point line and the court in general. Bryant always gives the Lakers a chance at winning and Walton and Odom are both sound players. But the Suns will be tough to keep down. Somehow, Los Angeles must figure out a way to slow down the Suns.

Maddux Sports Series Prediction:

Phoenix Suns in 5 Games

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