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2008 NBA Playoffs Game 3: Nuggets/Lakers Game Thread

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Today is do or die for the Nuggets. A loss in game three will bring to an end to any hopes, even for the most myopic fan, that the Nuggets have any shot at winning this series.

Of course, a win in game three will make game four a site to behold.

The Nuggets are very good at home, but the Lakers have been almost as good on the road. LA was 27-14 on the road this season and 7-6 on the road against Western Conference playoff teams.

The Lakers are 5-0 against Denver this season, but only one of those five games took place in Denver and that was the closest game of the five. AI scored 51, but he had absolutely no help from any other Nugget. In the fourth quarter the Lakers stopped doubling Melo and started doubling AI. Melo was not able to pick up the slack and LA won by four.

One of the big refrains from Nugget fans has been they are at their best when their backs are against the wall. Well, do not look now, but their backs are against a wall in a long narrow hallway that is about two feet wide.

I have a hard time envisioning the Nuggets playing better defense than they did in game two. They can play better, but most likely will not. Probably the only area Denver can significantly improve in on defense is avoiding situations where Eduardo Najera is matched up with Kobe.

They will have to make their biggest step forward on offense. Anything short of 25 fast break points and 25 assists will be bad for Denver. They absolutely must push the pace and take advantage of the Lakers double teams on Melo.

Make sure you visit Forum Blue and Gold, the LA Times Lakers Blog and the NBA.com Series Blog before the game.