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2008 NBA Playoffs: Nuggets/Lakers Game 2 Game Thread

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Better late than never?

Sorry for out technical issues today.

For our game two Game Thread/preview let’s start off with a few links.

First of all I was honored to be a guest on the Purple, Gold and Blue podcast with Andrew and Brian Kamenetzky from the LA Times which you can listen to by clicking here .

You can find a nice group of links from Dave McMenamin on the NBA.com Nuggets/Lakers series blog.

David Thorpe put together a very good scouting report heading into game two on ESPN.com.

The incomprobale Matt Moore has a good article on Five Things to Keep an Eye On in game 2 at the AOL Fanhouse.

And make sure you head over to Forum Blue and Gold where Kurt worries if Kobe is going to get caught up in the mano a mano with Kenyon at the Lakers expense.

As far as changes for tonight we have Linas Kleiza in the starting lineup replacing Anthony Carter and a potential appearance from Nene. For game two that makes two improvements over what the Nuggets had in game one.

The presence of Kleiza will help alleviate the many of the mismatches the Nuggets struggled with in, but with Kenyon Martin still set up to guard Kobe Bryant the Nuggets will still be lacking in the interior.

Another potential problem with Kleiza in the lineup is the Nuggets did not look like they had any confidence in his ability to cover Luke Walton in the post during game one. In the Pickaxe and Roll Denver Nuggets Film Room segment from game one I included a clip of Walton the Younger posting up Kleiza. There were three other Nuggets waiting to help LK handle Walton in the paint.

I am glad Kleiza is starting, but if he needs just as much help in the post against Walton or Radmanovic, what is the point?

Nene’s presence will hopefully be a boost to the Nuggets interior defense, but his minutes will be limited as they should be. It is a big request to have a guy who has missed far more games than he has played in to jump into playoff basketball atmosphere and perform, but the Nuggets need him bad enough that we cannot concern ourselves with such trivialities. Nene’s biggest impact may be on the offensive end though. He was able to score over and over on Tim Duncan in last year’s playoffs. What do you think he can do to Pau Gasol, Lamar Odom and Vladamir Radmanovic?

Hopefully there will be another change from game one on display tonight and that would be some semblance of passion and extra effort from the Nuggets. I bet we see it, but you can never know for sure from this group.

In my mind there is really nothing else to say. We know the rest of the story. The Lakers swarmed to Denver’s bucket like miller moths to a light bulb in game one and that must change. Denver was at their best offensively when they ran and attacked the basket immediately. J.R. Smith needs to be more judicious with his fouls.

If the Nuggets do those things they can win, if not we will be left wondering if they are going to win at least one of their two home games or lose both and get swept.