2021 NBA Playoffs: West First Round – (2) Phoenix Suns vs (7) Los Angeles Lakers

Schedule and Results








Game 1:
PHX leads 1-0


3:30 PM EST


Lakers - 90
Suns - 99

Game 2:
Series tied 1-1


10:00 PM EST


Lakers - 109
Suns - 102

Game 3:
LAL leads 2-1


10:00 PM EST


Suns - 95
Lakers - 109

Game 4:
Series tied 2-2


3:30 PM EST


Suns - 100
Lakers - 92

Game 5:
PHX leads 3-2


10:00 PM ET


Lakers - 85
Suns - 115

Game 6:
PHX wins series 4-2


10:30 PM ET


Suns - 113
Lakers - 100

Game 5 Notes:

Where should the money go?

West First Round – (2) Phoenix Suns vs (7) Los Angeles Lakers – Series preview

(2) Phoenix Suns

For the first time ever LeBron James will Chris Paul in a playoffs series. The strange part of this is that Suns perhaps are going to be the underdogs as a higher seed. It always seems like Paul is on the bad end of the stick in terms of the path to a championship. The last time he was remotely close was in 2017-2018 for the Houston Rockets, however, sat out Game 6 and 7 against the Warriors to watch his team lose in the Western Conference Finals.

Next, the Suns are also a team that deserves its respect and admiration for competing this season. Securing the 2nd seed in the Western Conference isn’t always as easy for the entire season. Devin Booker is arguably the Suns best player averaging 25.6 points per game on 48-percent shooting.

What the Suns would have to do to complete a successful series is find a way to stabilize Anthony Davis. Quite frankly their roster says DeAndre Ayton, Frank Kaminsky, and Dario Šarić? This is their biggest disadvantage coming into the series and should be highlighted as to why they’re underdogs.

(7) Los Angeles Lakers

Bring on the doubt, questioning Lebron’s ankle, and Anthony Davis’ health. That’s what came out of the 2021 Play-in Tournament game from last week Wednesday against the Warriors. It was a Lebron James three-point field goal that sealed the deal on the 7th seed for the Lakers. In hindsight, the Warriors aren’t even headed to the Playoffs after losing Game 6 of the Play-in Tournament.

This Los Angeles team may have a few moments of rust, growing pains, or whatever you wanted to call them. This is a team and a series that the regular season will hold no bearing during the playoffs. The Warriors once led the Lakers by 13 in the Play-in Game 4 but the 1st and 2nd half of the game was different for the Lakers. Los Angeles shot 33-percent from the field in the first half and 49-percent in the second half.

Let’s face it, any team expecting back a healthy James and Davis should be heavily favored in the Western Conference. Are the Lakers going to sweep? Probably not. However, this is a better series for them instead of losing the Play-in games and seeing Utah in the first round.

Top players to watch

Chris Paul: 2020-2021 season

  • 16.4 PPG
  • 4.5 RPG
  • 8.9 APG

LeBron James: 2020-2021 season

  • 25.0 PPG
  • 7.7 RPG
  • 7.8 APG


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Early top performers in NBA restart

In case you missed it, there’s a bubble in Orlando broadcasting basketball games to the world! We’ve got 30 games in the books and an abundance of fun matchups, lockdown defense, and buzzer-beaters galore!

We’re only a little over a third of the way through the seeding games! Feeling overwhelmed? Don’t worry, it’s a lot after four months of absolutely no sports whatsoever. Strap in, and let me catch you up on the top takeaways thus far.

The Brow leads as the Lakers clinch the Western Conference top spot

Typically, LeBron is the man leading the Lakers, but even with some uncertainty looming over him after an eye injury, this has been the Anthony Davis show and we are just fortunate enough to have (virtual) courtside seats to watch it during this restart. He is averaging 30 points and 8.7 rebounds a game, connecting on 43% of his three-point field goals (just ignore the 2-for-7 effort from the field in 35 minutes against the Raptors over the weekend).

The exclamation point – A three while getting fouled by Rudy Gobert with under a minute left in the 4th quarter against the Utah Jazz Monday night. Davis ended the night with 42 points, a big reason why the Lakers clinched the top seed in the West. He probably won’t remain the leading scorer or play 36 minutes a game throughout the rest of the seeding games to rest, but if he can carry this level of production into the playoffs – WATCH OUT WORLD!

The Phoenix Suns are undefeated

Yep, you read that right.

Of the 22 teams invited to the NBA bubble, the Phoenix Suns is not one expected to extend their stay beyond August.

But, a decisive win again the Washington Wizards for their first restart game may have not raised any eyebrows. However, a two-point victory that included a defense holding an offensive juggernaut like the Dallas Mavericks to just 19 percent from the three-point line cannot be overlooked.

If that wasn’t enough to get your attention, Devin Booker came up clutch again and connected on a game-winning field goal against the Los Angeles Clippers – a team expected to make the Western Conference Finals if not the Finals. Don’t look now, but the Phoenix Suns are now 3-0 and inching closer to a bid for the coveted 8th seed in the Western Conference.

The Toronto Raptors are for real, for real…

The Raptors opened their first restart game last Saturday against the Los Angeles Lakers. Remember LeBronto? Probably a name to throw on the back-burner for a while.

The Raptors held the Lakers to 35 percent from the field and outrebounded an Anthony Davis-led front-court 51-40. As mentioned, Davis was held to 2-of-7 shooting from the field and only finish with 14 points after his 34-point night against the Clippers on opening night.

Fast forward to Monday’s afternoon game and the Raptors held off some heat from Miami. Toronto would lose a 17-point lead only to secure a 107-103 victory against Miami. Connecting on 50 percent from the three-point line and a big game from Fred VanVleet dropping 36 points on 8-of-16 shooting held off the Heat from closing the gap on the second seed in the east.

The Raptors still have Milwaukee Bucks and Boston Celtics on their remaining seeding games in which they could further prove they’re serious about repeating as Eastern Conference Champions.

T.J. Warren is worth more than cash considerations

While it was up in the air that the Indiana Pacers might be without their best player in Victor Oladipo there was some soul searching for who got next. Warren dropped 53 points in the Pacers’ first game against the Philadelphia 76ers. Shooting 20-for-29 from the field (9-for-12 from the three-point line), Warren efficiently lit up the 76ers in a 127-121 win.

What if Warren’s 53-piece still hasn’t been beaten especially by someone named James Harden? (who dropped 49 points in his season restart debut by the way)

What if I told you that T.J. Warren is averaging 39.9 points per game, 5.6 rebounds per game, and shooting 65 percent from the field (61 percent from three) in Indiana’s first three bubble games?

Ask Mark Zuckerberg to put a fact check on that one and like Mr. Warren says, in an interview prior to the season with The Athletic’s Shams Charania, he’s worth more than cash considerations.

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NBA teams as Disney rides and attractions

The NBA is going to Disney Wooooorld!

So, I decided to describe NBA teams as Disney World rides/attractions, here’s what I’ve got so far:

New York Knicks – Tower of Terror

Yeah, I know the Knicks are not playing in Orlando. I also know that being a Knicks fan is basically like living in the Twilight Zone – frozen in time, abandoned, and constantly seeing the darkest corners of your imagination come to life.

Oklahoma Thunder – Big Thunder Mountain Railroad

Who said trading away Russell Westbrook would leave the Thunder stuck in a rebuild? This team is still a gold mine and can become a real big obstacle on the rickety track to NBA Finals. The Clutch Conductor (CP3) and the Locomotive driver (SGA) have led OKC to 16 games over .500 with a chance to get to the 4th seed in the WC.

Milwaukee Bucks – Soarin’

The Bucks are soarin’ high, sitting comfortably at 6.5 games ahead of the Raptors at the top of the Eastern Conference thanks to world wonder and potential back-to-back MVP, Giannis Antetokounmpo

LA Lakers – Rock ‘n’ Rollercoaster

This was one was easy. Hollywood. Iconic, Legendary players in LeBron & AD. LA traffic. A chance to see J.R. Smith topless stumblin’ around chugging Hennessy at a championship parade.

Toronto Raptors – DINOSAUR

Well, what else did you expect here? Will Toronto be able to travel back in time, kidnap Kawhi Leonard and bring him back to the present as a Raptor for their repeat bid? No. Their top 7 players may have been in/out of the rotation with injuries, but they are healthy now and ready to defend their title against anything – 21 NBA teams, fiery meteors, COVID-19.

Got any suggestions for NBA teams as Disney rides and attractions?

Leave us a comment or email media@ for a chance to be featured on the Shoot or Pass podcast!

Lakers send D’Angelo Russell, Timofey Mozgov to Nets for Brook Lopez and first-round pick

Among the trade rumors to acquire Paul George from the Indiana Pacers, the Lakers are staying active on the trade front. According to sources at Yahoo Sports, the Lakers will be sending D’Angelo Russell and Timofey Mozgov to the Brooklyn Nets for Brook Lopez and the No. 27 pick in Thursday’s NBA Draft.

As speculation grew as to who the Lakers would be selecting with the No. 2 pick, it may be a bit more clear that Lonzo Ball is their guy come Thursday. The Lakers also picked up another pick in the first-round tallying up three picks in the round. They will be picking at No.2, No.27, No. 28.

This trade also helps the Lakers free $54 million dollars that would have been owed to Mozgov over the next three years. In return, they gained Lopez’s $22.6 million dollar deal that expires at the end of next season. The Lakers have reportedly been reluctant to trade for George this summer as they would like to keep some of their core assets instead of trading them for the Pacers All-Star