Suns face off with Lakers for first time this season

slider phoenix_sunsAfter dropping the first two games of the season, the Los Angeles Lakers have won six straight and are two games over .500.

The Lakers have had one of the most demanding schedules in the NBA in this shortened season thus far having played 10 games in the first 15 days. In fact, the Lakers will get their first two day break of the year next week.

For the first time in a long time, the first meeting between the Suns and Lakers will involve a lot of defense. That mostly is the case because the Suns, thanks to a new defensive scheme under Elston Turner and Dan Majerle, are playing their best team defense in a long time and have held six of their first eight opponents under 100 points.

But the Lakers are playing great defense of their own in this young season, allowing only 90.7 points per game which leads the Western Conference.

The Suns have won three of the last four games, including two straight in which their shooting percentage has escalated drastically. The Suns are coming off their best field goal percentage from the field Sunday, shooting 55.8%.

Steve Nash has been spectacular in the last two games with 26 assists and is 12 of 14 from the field. All without having played the fourth quarter in both games.

Shannon Brown is making his first appearance in LA since joining the Phoenix Suns. Brown made a name for himself in LA having won two NBA titles.

“I learned a lot, both on the court and off the court from my teammates just being in LA period because it’s a different life-style out there,” explained Brown. “Being able to learn from one of the best coaches to ever do it, become friends with one of the best to ever do it in the game, I learned a lot.”

Based on the feedback from Twitter, Brown is not expecting a warm ovation from the Staples Center crowd.

“If I am gaging it off Twitter, I am going to get a lot of boo’s,” said Brown.

Brown is one of many faces that are no longer on the Laker bench. Phil Jackson might be the most recognizable face missing. 

“They still have Kobe. I’d much rather play against Phil instead of Kobe,” Suns Head Coach Alvin Gentry said.

Suns after their win against the Bucks moved back to .500 for the first time this season. Steve Nash and the Suns want to grow from there.

“I don’t think it (Tuesday’s game with the Lakers) means anything more than a chance to get over .500,” explained Suns two-time MVP Steve Nash. “If we can stay over .500 we can always stay in the playoff hunt.”

Tip-off is at 8:30 p.m. tonight from Staples Center.

For more on the Suns, follow Jared Cohen on Twitter at @JaredPros2Preps.