1) Jason LaBarbera
Nobody gets love after a loss, but Phoenix backup goalie LaBarbera deserves it. The Ducks outshot the Coyotes 18-9 in the first two periods, but LaBarbera only allowed one goal on great passing leaving him no chance. Anaheim’s scoring chances in the first 15 minutes were too many to count yet LaBarbera earned his keep. A power play was nullified by a bad tripping call on Shane Doan that eventually led to a penalty shot and LaBarbera was a wall.
Anaheim has only lost one game at home, the same number of goals allowed by LaBarbera last night in their house.
2) Sebastian Telfair
I completely understand the emotions of Telfair. He spoke to Arizona Sports 620’s Craig Grialou after Toronto’s shoot-around and was very bitter being traded by the Suns. He’s fired up because Kendall Marshall didn’t earn away his playing time. Telfair’s right for the playground and wrong when it comes to common sense.
You can’t get me to believe the Suns management are such ignorant fools that they actually believe Marshall is playing better basketball than Telfair. However, I don’t understand how anyone can be confused about the goal of this year. Who in the world thinks Telfair is part of the future? I’m the one who hated the Marshall draft pick. I don’t think he’ll ever amount to anything in the NBA. What you can’t do, however, on a 21-win team is keep rookies on the bench. He must play to see if he has a future.
Not a smart move for Telfair to whine because he’s a stop-gap guard while you’re waiting for the next guard to step up. Now, why bring him into your franchise if he’s just going to blast your organization when it’s time to move him? If you want to show up your former franchise, beat them. Telfair spoke much more intelligently playing against the Suns than he did talking about them.
3) Lindsey Hunter
I knew the Suns would be bad this year, so I judged the coaching staff on two things: energy and development. Under Alvin Gentry, the Suns laid one egg where the guys didn’t show up — in a 40-point loss in Detroit. Although I did see some development, it was minuscule.
So far with Hunter, there have been four huge eggs. If you’re scoring at home, that’s one egg in 41 games for Gentry and four eggs in 20 games for Hunter.
4) Los Angeles Lakers
I can’t say we didn’t expect it. Almost everyone and their mother knew L.A. would win in New Orleans. The Lakers won in New Orleans so there shouldn’t be anything to report.
The catch is the Lakers finished the last 6:21 of the game on a 20-0 run. Most of it was Kobe offensively, but all of it was the team defensively. Holding any NBA team scoreless in their building for six and a half minutes is nearly impossible considering it’s the last minutes of the quarter and you assume there will be some free throws.
The Lakers need to finish out of the playoffs for the Suns to get an extra lottery pick. Wednesday night’s come-from-behind win over the Hornets hurt.