Luckily I'm not going to double this blog
First off ... congratulations to the Lakers. They were by FAR the mentally stronger team in this series and deserve great credit for taking this series 4-2. There is no shame in losing to a better team and the Lakers proved they deserve a shot to play for the NBA title.
Denver had a great season and the best post-season in franchise history. That is probably why this loss hurts so much.
This was probably about the worst Game 6 that any Nuggets fan could imagine. After playing 4 spectacular games in the series ... the Nuggets decided to make one clear cut adjustment ... DOUBLE TEAM THE LAKERS and specifically Kobe Bryant.
This was probably the worst decision that I've ever seen from a team. The Nuggets competed and split the series 2-2 through 4 games. Then, for what seems like no reason ... George Karl and his staff decided to abandon their philosophy of guarding teams one-on-one. Instead, the Nuggets (who have had rotation issues all season) went to a double the ball strategy that works on teams that don't share the ball and play a selfish brand of basketball, but one that will kill you against unselfish teams.
The Lakers and specifically Kobe Bryant play unselfish basketball (this isn't the 81 Kobe anymore) ... so Denver's strategy went out the window, but instead of adjusting ... the Nuggets kept with it (doubling) and lost both games 5 and 6 giving up easy looks and playing sloppy defense. It was back to the Enver Nuggets (yep no more D in Denver.)
Everyone who watches the Nuggets knows the defense improved vastly this season and got better in the post-season. Somebody in the coaching staff is to blame and that somebody should not be back with the team next season.
Before the 4th Quarter Doris Burke of ESPN asked George Karl what was hurting the Nuggets ... Karl responded with a snorting laugh to suggest that the Lakers were hurting Denver all over the floor. Well George, it was the defensive strategy that YOUR staff put into place that took the Nuggets from being a competitive team that looked like they could advance to the first NBA Finals in team history ... to one that resembled the team that got swept out of the playoffs by these same Lakers last season.
After such a great season, getting blow out at home hurts. Everything seems like a disaster. It's easy to think that this team will be back next season and able to compete for a title, but it took Denver 24 years to get back to this point and it's a shame that they were unable to take advantage of what they had this season.
This was by far my favorite edition of the Denver Nuggets and I enjoyed every minute of following this team ... it's been tough watching this game tonight and even harder realizing it's over. I just hope that it wont take the Nuggets another 24 years to get back to this point.
Post Script: I'll be writing more about this game later from a player standpoint.