Shaq and Amare can cause problems on offense no doubt.. but both are foul prone. Very much so this year. I think if at times they can switch Bynum on Amare and Gasol on Shaq on offensive sets to make those 2 play defense they will get 4 to 5 fouls by the 3rd easy. This is why Skinner is there for them. He is great for them.. he hustles, runs and attacks... but his defense is very very underrated. Watching the games he gave bynum more problems than any other player. He is Amares backup at the PF slot and has played some CTR.
On the defensive end I think Bynum can negate shaq. He has played well against physical Centers (howard, J Oneal) and Forwards (boozer, Amare). His athleticism and leaping/timing have made him a terror. He is now in the minds of people who dare to go into the paint when he is there. He can alter shots just by being in the vicinity. His Help Defense is great too.. as he can close the lane quickly on people driving to the hole and usually gets a block.
Gasol to me is not as polished on defense. I wish he would focus more on it as he has the length. His lack of a Bigger build allow players to push their way to the hole and post him up.If he gained more mass it would possible effect his speed . Yet what he brings on offense makes up for his defensive holes. He can finish, face up and pop, drive and glide, or post. Also his passing is no slouch as well.
Ariza/Lamar to me is the xfactor in the matchup. Ariza has played great in the games he was there and his no fear attitude to the hole can make their defenders take notice of him and make them lose track of Bynum , Gasol or Ariza himself for give n go's. His defense on Hill or Bell has been disruptive and he can hold his own against them on the run as he is quick as hell.
Lamar used to matcup with Marion and in many ways they negated each other out. It will be interesting to see how G. Hill will try and guard him.
PHX used the run n gun to beat us in the past as all we really had was half court sets. Yet now we can run and gun and beat them at their own game in the 2 meetings we were at full strength. We still have a half court set.. it is PHX who has to get used to the half set and who will do what and set up where for the shots.
I look forward like a mofo to the games we meet up.