Home > Uncategorized > The Lakers’ Height Advantage is Shorter than You Think…

The Lakers’ Height Advantage is Shorter than You Think…

Perception is a funny thing. The Lakers seem BIGGER than the Suns, they play BIGGER than the Suns, thus they must actually be BIGGER than the Suns, right? Well, wrong actually. In game 1 the Lakers solidly beat Phoenix, but it wasn’t because they were bigger.

Look at the two team’s respective starting lineups:

PG – S. Nash 6’3″ D. Fisher 6’1″
SG – J. Richardson 6’6″ K. Bryant 6’6″
SF – G. Hill 6’8″ R. Artest 6’6″
PF – A. Stoudemire 6’10” P. Gasol 7’0″
C – R. Lopez 7’0″ A. Bynum 7’0″

Now, I am the first to admit that teams and players fudge their heights and weights for all kinds of reasons, but with that small caveat, where exactly is the height differential? Yes, Stoudemire is two inches shorter than Gasol, but since he covers the one legged Bynum anyhow, I’m not entirely sure how that’s an issue. At every other position the Suns match or exceed the Lakers height.

The benches? Well, the Lakers really only go three deep in the playoffs and L. Odom (6’10”), S. Brown (6’4″), and J. Farmar (6’2″) aren’t really the second coming of the Twin Towers. The Suns counter with L. Barbosa (6’3″), G. Dragic (6’4″), J. Dudley (6’7″), L. Amundson (6’9″), and C. Frye (6’11”). Yes, I realise that Bynum, Pau, and Lamar are all extremely long, but still, this is hardly Goliath towering over David.

The Suns lost last night because their bench got dominated by a Kardashian. The Suns lost because they couldn’t stop Pau Gasol from getting easy buckets. The Suns lost because Jason Richardson never really got it going. And the Suns lost because a little known Laker shot 13-23, 11-12 from the line for 40 points. At the start of the second half, the Suns defended the Lakers perfectly, keeping Kobe dancing around the perimeter until he tossed up a last second falling away, flail of a shot… when it dropped, I knew that this would not be the Suns’ night. When Kobe’s hitting those shots, there isn’t a lot you can do, but hit your own back. Instead the Suns shot 5-22 from behind the arc.

I heard somewhere that the team that wins the first game of the NBA conference finals wins the series 80% of the time, so the Suns have real reason to be concerned. They need to worry about how to improve their low post defense of Pau. They need to worry over whether the week off affected their shot. They need to worry about whether their bench advantage is negated by Lamar Odom who devastated their second unit to the tune of 19-19 off the pine. But what they don’t need to worry about is the Lakers height advantage, because while the Lakers play BIGGER, and seem BIGGER, in reality they aren’t any BIGGER.

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  1. Stephen
    May 18, 2010 at 9:14 am

    The Suns are doomed. Lakers in 4. Sorry boys, since I’m cheering for you you’re doomed. Go share a beer with the Habs – that’s the best I can do for you.

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