The Suns are one of the surprise teams in the
To match up with the Suns, Coach
Instead of asking a rusty Bryant to guard
If Bryant were at full strength, the Lakers would probably look for him to take advantage of the smaller Bledsoe (6-foot-1) — but the All-Star guard isn't quite himself yet.
Bledsoe is a strong defender, despite his height. He's also the Suns' leading scorer at 18.6 points a game along with 6.0 assists.
Meeks has been a steady player for the Lakers all season, averaging 13.5 points a game while shooting 50% from the field and 46.9% from three-point range.
The X-factor for L.A. will continue to be Bryant as he works his way back into game shape. At some point, the Lakers are counting on getting their usual production from the five-time NBA champion.
In his one game against the Raptors, Bryant scored just nine points on 22.2% shooting with eight turnovers.
How quickly Bryant returns to form is a vital question for the Lakers this month.
The Suns need
The Suns are similar to the Lakers in that they beat teams with depth. Phoenix has eight players averaging at least 9.7 points a game.
On a normal night, the Lakers should be able to defend their home court against Phoenix, but the team and Bryant are still adjusting.
The Lakers will especially miss
Phoenix will be a very dangerous opponent Tuesday night.