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Just as Lakers superfan Jack Nicholson famously stated on screen — "You can't handle the truth!" — the Phoenix Suns couldn't handle the 20 reasons why they won't win the Western Conference this season, as listed in this corner last week.
Suns coaches and players were seen huddled over the column in their Beverly Hills hotel, taking turns disputing certain entries — even though they couldn't prove false the prediction that they would lose to the Clippers last Tuesday night. Phoenix encountered more turbulence even in victory over the Lakers when Amare Stoudemire was miffed that Mike D'Antoni sat him in the fourth quarter.
But let's break away from the apparent coldness and hardness of truth and mix in some fiction this time. First, a reminder: Made-up stuff can bring grown men to near tears, too. The Suns' fragile state was oddly typified by innocent Leandro Barbosa, having registered without an alias at that Beverly Hills hotel, getting suckered by an anonymous caller telling him he'd been traded to the Knicks. Per the caller's instructions, a frantic Barbosa rushed to the hotel lobby to get what was purported to be "official" news from Suns general manager Steve Kerr.
Barbosa was eventually talked off the ledge by a Suns assistant coach — and Phoenix did manage to drill the Andrew Bynum-less Lakers on Thursday night in the Lakers' first challenge of many in their toughest scheduling stretch of the season. With their first nine-game road trip since neutral-site games ceased in 1975 starting next week, the Lakers have the most daunting Texas two-step this week: visiting San Antonio on Wednesday and Dallas on Friday.
This week's question: Which of those three teams — the Spurs (defending NBA champions), the Mavericks (NBA champions the year before if not for Dwyane Wade) and the Lakers — would you rather have for the coming years?
Source: Do Lakers have a better future than Spurs, Mavs?