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The 2010 Suns at Staples Center

Posted by Neil Paine on May 25, 2010

What is it about the Phoenix Suns and Staples Center this season? The Lakers are a good home team, having gone 34-7 with a +8.5 PPG differential in L.A. this season, so that's a big part of the explanation. But when Phoenix plays them there, their problems seem to go further than typical home-court advantage effects -- look at the difference between the Suns' Four Factors at Staples and at the US Airways Center:

2010 Suns vs. Lakers
Location PtsF PtsA win loss Pace ORtg eFG% Tov% Orb% FTr DRtg oeFG% oTov% oOrb% oFTr
@PHO 332 314 2 1 94.4 117.2 50.6 10.6 27.4 31.6 110.8 51.5 14.8 27.0 17.7
@LAL 409 481 0 4 95.4 107.2 48.3 14.4 29.1 20.6 126.0 60.3 12.8 29.1 21.2

Yep, the Suns have been pretty good vs. L.A. this season... as long as they are playing them in Phoenix, that is. At home, they're efficient on offense (even better than their seasonal average of 115.3 pts/100 possessions), they force turnovers, and they win the free throw battle by a huge margin (witness the Suns' 37-16 edge in FTM two nights ago). But the second the Suns set foot in Staples Center, the Lakers own them, winning by an average of 18 PPG (and no fewer than 12 in any single game), hanging ridiculous offensive numbers on them, and stifling Phoenix's own offensive machine.

In a small sample like this, such a pronounced difference could always be due to random chance, but for what it's worth here are the season series splits at Staples and US Airways this year:

2010 PHO-LAL, @ PHO
Player Tm Pos G GS MPG P/36 TS% A/36 R/36 TO/36 ST/36 BK/36
Amare Stoudemire PHO C 3 3 37.2 31.3 63.5 0.0 10.6 2.6 0.6 0.3
Steve Nash PHO PG 3 3 34.5 16.4 59.6 12.5 2.4 2.4 0.0 0.0
Jason Richardson PHO SG 3 3 31.6 14.8 49.9 0.4 3.8 0.4 1.1 0.0
Grant Hill PHO SF 3 3 29.1 9.9 53.6 3.3 7.8 1.6 2.1 0.4
Jared Dudley PHO SF 3 0 23.3 13.4 60.4 2.1 6.2 0.5 2.6 1.0
Robin Lopez PHO C 3 2 23.1 17.7 75.1 0.0 4.2 0.0 1.6 0.5
Channing Frye PHO PF 2 1 26.7 10.1 30.8 1.3 9.4 0.7 0.7 0.7
Goran Dragic PHO PG 3 0 16.5 17.5 54.6 5.1 2.9 2.9 0.7 0.0
Louis Amundson PHO PF 3 0 13.0 12.0 65.8 0.9 14.7 1.8 0.9 3.7
Leandro Barbosa PHO SG 2 0 13.9 16.8 47.7 1.3 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0
Jarron Collins PHO C 1 0 11.9 0.0 0.0 6.1 9.1 3.0 0.0 0.0
Earl Clark PHO SF 1 0 1.9 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 18.9 0.0 0.0
Taylor Griffin PHO SF 0 0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0
Alando Tucker PHO SF 0 0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0
Player Tm Pos G GS MPG P/36 TS% A/36 R/36 TO/36 ST/36 BK/36
Kobe Bryant LAL SG 3 3 40.4 27.0 59.8 6.2 7.7 3.9 0.6 0.3
Pau Gasol LAL PF 3 3 39.3 15.6 64.0 3.1 6.7 1.8 0.9 1.5
Derek Fisher LAL PG 3 3 31.9 13.2 59.9 2.6 3.8 1.1 1.9 0.0
Lamar Odom LAL PF 3 1 28.1 9.8 31.3 1.7 9.8 3.0 0.0 1.3
Ron Artest LAL SF 2 2 37.5 13.0 50.2 1.0 4.3 1.4 1.0 0.0
Andrew Bynum LAL C 3 3 23.8 17.2 59.2 0.5 10.1 0.5 1.0 1.5
Shannon Brown LAL SG 3 0 17.1 16.9 64.0 0.7 3.5 2.8 1.4 1.4
Jordan Farmar LAL PG 3 0 11.0 13.1 46.6 3.3 1.1 3.3 3.3 0.0
Sasha Vujacic LAL SG 2 0 15.7 9.2 80.0 3.4 1.1 1.1 0.0 0.0
Adam Morrison LAL SF 2 0 8.1 15.6 38.9 2.2 8.9 2.2 0.0 0.0
Josh Powell LAL PF 3 0 4.0 6.0 33.3 3.0 6.0 0.0 3.0 0.0
Didier Ilunga-Mbenga LAL C 1 0 10.9 0.0 0.0 0.0 3.3 0.0 3.3 6.6
Luke Walton LAL SF 0 0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0
2010 PHO-LAL, @ LAL
Player Tm Pos G GS MPG P/36 TS% A/36 R/36 TO/36 ST/36 BK/36
Kobe Bryant LAL SG 4 4 36.7 28.4 63.5 6.1 5.1 2.2 0.5 0.2
Ron Artest LAL SF 4 4 35.7 13.1 56.3 4.0 3.5 1.5 2.5 0.5
Lamar Odom LAL PF 4 1 29.1 14.8 63.8 5.3 15.5 2.2 1.9 1.2
Pau Gasol LAL PF 3 3 38.2 20.1 67.1 4.1 5.3 1.3 0.3 1.6
Derek Fisher LAL PG 4 4 27.4 8.9 47.7 3.9 1.6 0.7 2.0 0.0
Andrew Bynum LAL C 4 4 25.7 19.6 68.6 1.1 11.2 2.5 0.4 1.1
Jordan Farmar LAL PG 4 0 18.5 17.0 67.6 6.8 4.4 2.4 1.5 0.0
Shannon Brown LAL SG 4 0 16.5 21.2 65.3 3.3 2.7 2.7 0.5 0.0
Josh Powell LAL PF 3 0 10.1 23.7 69.3 3.6 13.0 1.2 1.2 0.0
Sasha Vujacic LAL SG 3 0 5.0 19.1 68.0 0.0 4.8 0.0 2.4 2.4
Didier Ilunga-Mbenga LAL C 3 0 5.0 14.3 33.3 2.4 9.5 4.8 0.0 2.4
Adam Morrison LAL SF 2 0 7.0 12.9 83.3 0.0 5.1 0.0 0.0 0.0
Luke Walton LAL SF 2 0 6.0 15.1 83.3 12.1 3.0 3.0 0.0 0.0
Player Tm Pos G GS MPG P/36 TS% A/36 R/36 TO/36 ST/36 BK/36
Jason Richardson PHO SG 4 4 32.8 15.7 53.3 2.5 4.4 0.0 1.1 0.0
Amare Stoudemire PHO C 4 4 32.1 18.8 49.5 1.1 6.2 2.2 0.3 1.1
Steve Nash PHO PG 4 4 29.4 15.0 62.9 13.1 2.1 4.9 0.0 0.3
Grant Hill PHO SF 4 4 26.5 17.3 55.6 2.4 5.8 2.4 1.0 0.3
Jared Dudley PHO SF 4 0 24.4 15.8 67.0 1.8 7.4 1.8 2.2 0.0
Channing Frye PHO PF 4 2 21.2 6.4 27.8 1.3 5.1 2.5 0.8 0.4
Goran Dragic PHO PG 4 0 18.9 14.3 41.9 3.8 4.8 3.8 1.0 0.0
Robin Lopez PHO C 3 2 19.4 17.9 71.8 0.0 9.9 0.6 0.0 0.6
Leandro Barbosa PHO SG 3 0 16.3 17.0 49.1 4.4 2.9 1.5 0.7 0.0
Louis Amundson PHO PF 3 0 14.4 15.0 48.9 0.8 15.9 0.0 1.7 1.7
Earl Clark PHO SF 2 0 15.3 18.8 48.1 1.2 10.6 2.4 0.0 1.2
Jarron Collins PHO C 2 0 10.6 6.8 51.5 0.0 10.2 0.0 0.0 0.0
Alando Tucker PHO SF 2 0 5.4 23.3 45.8 0.0 6.6 0.0 0.0 0.0
Taylor Griffin PHO SF 1 0 5.6 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 6.4

If this trend holds going forward, it's good news for the Suns tonight as they look to even the series at 2 wins apiece, but obviously bad for them in the big picture of the series. Because after 4 games this season, Phoenix (and especially Amare Stoudemire) has yet to show any evidence that they can even give the Lakers a competitive game at Staples Center.

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9 Responses to “The 2010 Suns at Staples Center”

  1. mrparker Says:

    Seems to me that Steve Nash average dbl the turnovers in games at Staples this season. To boot Amare is alot less effective (63 vs 49 ts%) and his rebounds go down by 50% per game.

    Those numbers seem drastic and bolster my hopes that the Suns can pull off the comeback.

  2. P Middy Says:

    Well, the Suns were only 22-19 on the road this year. A blazing 32-9 at home. Lakers were even better at home 34-7. So it's a combination of the Lakers loving that home cooking, and the Suns being pretty kinda mediocre on the road in general. My purely empirical evidence tells me that teams that rely on role players (Dudley, Richardson, Amundson, Lopez, Drago) more heavily tend to have a tough time on the road since those types of players typically play better at home where they are comfortable, and the crowd is solidly behind them.

  3. Alvy Says:

    To me, it seemed like the Lakers lost game three because Artest, Odom and Bynum contributed close to nothing (negative to zero, that is), while only Kobe, Gasol and Fisher played OK as a whole. In other words, Lakers could very much so win at PHX, but the same, apparently, cannot be said about the Suns at LA.

  4. Elvis Says:

    "To me, it seemed like the Lakers lost game three because Artest, Odom and Bynum contributed close to nothing (negative to zero, that is), while only Kobe, Gasol and Fisher played OK as a whole. In other words, Lakers could very much so win at PHX, but the same, apparently, cannot be said about the Suns at LA." Um.. you can easily make the case that PHX could easily win in LA if Phoenix's bench shows up and they shoot better than 5-20 from 3pt land. Kobe, Gasol, and Fisher played BETTER than OK.. yet they lost. Bottom line: stop making excuses for the Lakers and the fact is the Suns are better than you think.

  5. Jack Says:

    Elvis, the Suns don't seem capable of winning in LA at all, and it's not even close. Read the article, he said the Suns have lost by 18 PPG on average and have never been closer than 12. The only way PHX would win this series is if they had home court, but they don't. They cannot win a game in Los Angeles unless its against the Clippers.

  6. Ricardo Says:

    All it takes is one.

  7. JM Says:

    Do you have player splits for PF? I wonder if the defense Derek Fisher is allowed to play on Nash is a contributing factor. He likes to be very physical with him, bumping and grabbing him on the pick and roll, and if those aren't called fouls, it really gums up Phoenix's offense. There might be something similar going on with how Phoenix is allowed to play the Lakers' big men, but Fisher's D was the thing that stood out for me in these past few games.

  8. Ricardo Says:

    Wow. Steve Nash is the only MVP in NBA history who hasn't reached the NBA finals. I have more incentive to root for the Suns.

  9. Ryan Says:

    FFFFFFFFFFUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUU-