Kobe Bryant and Co. have been in this situation before, looking vulnerable in a series and taking a 3-2 lead to the opponent's home court. Against the Nuggets last year and the Thunder this year, they took care of business on the road and delivered the knockout blow. Against Houston last year they laid an egg in Game 6 but routed the Rockets at home two days later. Will they be willing to risk a Game 7 against the dangerous Suns? Or will they play with greater urgency than they did in Games 3 and 4? Game 6: Lakers at Suns, 8:30 p.m.
Will Ron-Ron show up before the final second?
If not for his rebound and last-second shot to beat the Suns in Game 5, Ron Artest was heading for goat status -- and we don't mean Greatest Of All Time. Before that, he had missed 7 of 8 shots, including a quick-trigger 3-point brick in the game's final minute with the Lakers protecting a three-point lead. Had Phoenix won in overtime, Artest would have been castigated. Instead, he's a hero. Ain't sports grand? Game 6: Lakers at Suns, 8:30 p.m.
Did Artest's shot deflate the Suns?
Steve Nash was superb in Game 5, rallying the Suns from an 18-point deficit and putting them in position to take the Lakers to overtime. Ron Artest broke their hearts with his buzzer-beater, so Game 6 will be a test of Phoenix's resiliency. Sometimes it's easier to get over a lopsided defeat than a close one. The Phoenix crowd may need to lift its team's spirits. Game 6: Lakers at Suns, 8:30 p.m.
Is Derek Fisher not such a weak link?
He's been too old for a few years now, and too short for his whole career. Derek Fisher doesn't care. He isn't afraid to take big shots and he's more effective than Shannon Brown and Jordan Farmar against the Phoenix zone defense. Fisher scored 22 points on 7-of-12 shooting in Game 5, giving Kobe Bryant some much-needed help on offense. Game 6: Lakers at Suns, 8:30 p.m.
How will L.A. defend the screen and roll?
No one is more dangerous dribbling around a high screen than Steve Nash. If you don't stay on him, he's a deadly shooter. If you let him drive, he can score or dish to an open teammate. If Amar'e Stoudemire is setting the screen, he rolls to the hoop like a locomotive. In Game 5, the Lakers switched on every screen, and Nash often was guarded by big men like Pau Gasol. No wonder he ended up with 29 points and 11 assists. Unless L.A. comes up with a better answer, the Suns should have no problem scoring. Game 6: Lakers at Suns, 8:30 p.m.