Video: Lakers – Suns Pregame

Phoenix has officially returned to seven-seconds-or-less basketball.

“They seem to have their swag back,” said assistant coach Brian Shaw. “They’re getting the ball up court, getting into early offense and shooting the heck out of the ball, especially from the three-point line.”

Playing the lead role in Phoenix’s show is Steve Nash, whom Shaw said is back “playing at an MVP level” in topping the NBA’s assist chart with 12.6 per night, not to mention 17.6 points. With newcomer Channing Frye playing “center” on the perimeter, Amare Stoudemire on the block and wings Grant Hill and Jason Richardson operating at Nash’s will, the Suns are leading the NBA in scoring, field goal percentage, three-point percentage and are second in assists.

Of course, it’s not like the Lakers can’t score. On the contrary, they’ve managed to average the eighth most points in the league despite the absence of offensive wizard Pau Gasol, and can do a bit of running and gunning themselves. Yet Shaw stressed that L.A. can’t get too wrapped up in how Phoenix wants to play, instead focusing on using its respective advantages (Andrew Bynum or Kobe Bryant in the post, for example).

For more on that, courtesy of Shaw, just click on the above video.