Sorry Phoenix, but Los Angeles Is Not San Antonio

The beauty of the NBA postseason is in the seven game format, because over that length of time the best team usually emerges, as was the case in the Eastern Conference Semifinal between the Boston Celtics and Cleveland Cavaliers.

Under this formula, the Western Conference Semifinal featuring the Phoenix Suns and the Los Angeles Lakers would appear to favor the Lakers, especially since they dominated the regular season series.

But the regular season is not the same as the playoffs, and many analysts and observers have been quick to point out the Suns' improved play on defense, and their dismantling of the San Antonio Spurs in the second round.

TNT analyst Charles Barkley has said he wouldn't be surprised if Phoenix upsets Los Angeles, and on this very website numerous scenarios have been posted which detail exactly how the Suns will defeat the Lakers.

Most of these accounts were very elaborate, and they summed up what Phoenix needed to do in order to be successful, but they failed to openly state the obvious facts of the matter.

The Lakers will defeat the Suns simply because they are a better team, and it doesn't really matter what Phoenix does on either end of the court, because Los Angeles can do it better.

The only player on the Suns' roster who holds an advantage over a starter on the Lakers' team is Steve Nash, but he is just as likely to get torched on the defensive end as any other Lakers' guard.

Amare Stoudemire is a powerful presence in the paint, and a superior offensive player who hits the boards hard, but Pau Gasol of the Lakers is longer, better, and he plays defense, which is a foreign language to Stoudemire.

A slightly injured Andrew Bynum is still better than anything the Suns have to offer, and Ron Artest has the ability to harass any player who is unlucky enough to be defended by him.

Likewise, Lamar Odom is a difficult match-up for whoever ma...

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