Mark J. Rebilas-US PRESSWIRE
Tonight we bid farewell to the Bernie Bickerstaff era.
Still no Mike D'Antoni, still no Steve Nash. But in practice the Lakers have begun implementing pieces of D'Antoni's offense, and tonight against his old team we might start to see his influence. The Phoenix Suns arrive at Staples Center with a 4-5 record. They're 1-3 on the road, having beaten the Bobcats and lost to the Magic, Heat and (in overtime on Wednesday night) the Bulls.
The Suns' key players these days are Goran Dragic, Luis Scola and Marcin Gortat - all off to strong starts this season - as well as Michael Beasley, who's been awful. We're all familiar with their sixth man Shannon Brown. Shannon's played well in the Suns' first nine games, making up for poor shooting with a much improved assist rate and a whole lot of free throws.
Steve Blake will sit this one out as he continues recovering from his abdominal injury, so Darius Morris gets another start. Jordan Hill, however, is good to go after a few days of letting his dinged-up wrist heal.