The Nuggets have their last shot at defeating the Lakers tonight as they wrap up the three game season series in Los Angeles. The Lakers embarrassed the Nuggets early in the season 127-99 which is tied for the largest margin of defeat of the season along with Denver’s horrifying trip to Houston just two games prior where they lost 109-81.
Let’s just ignore that game and hope it was an aberration. The Nuggets last loss to the Lakers in Denver was more heartbreaking than the blowout in LA. Iverson went off for 51 points, but received little help on offense. Defensively the Lakers were able to hit open threes all night long, especially in the second quarter as the Nuggets perimeter D was atrocious. In the end Kobe took over on offense and the Lakers double and triple teamed AI as soon as he touched the ball to make sure he did not beat them.
We may not be able to garner much from the first two games as both teams are missing players who played major roles in those games.
Most likely Kenyon Martin will be out again tonight with Kleiza again starting in his place.
The Lakers are facing an even move devastating injury with Andrew Bynum on the shelf for the next seven weeks or so. Kwame Brown will be starting in his place as Chris Mihm is out as well. One thing to watch is how the Laker crowd reacts to Kwame Brown. The other night he was horrible and they booed him every time he had the ball. The Lakers cannot afford to lose him to mental anguish because if he collapses like the Spanish Empire the Lakers will be in a world of hurt.
Phil Jackson has stated that they have confidence that Brown can take it to Camby in the paint when he has the ball so that will be interesting to see.
Brown is a shadow of the player he was coming out of high school as the first high school player to ever be drafted number one by Michael Jordan. I remember being very impressed watching his first games in summer league. He had a nice shot, he could handle the ball and was already pretty tough on the boards. That was a long time ago and it does not look like we will ever see that player again.
Getting back to the game, the Nuggets had success early in the previous game in LA by getting turnovers and running, but when LA started taking care of the ball, that dried up and the Nuggets were abused on both ends of the floor. The Nuggets will once again have to play with great effort and passion in order to keep things close tonight.
As usual leave your comments after this post during the game to share your thoughts with other Nuggets fans.