Prior to the Denver Nuggets shockingly amazing 102-99 Game 5 victory over the Lakers in Los Angeles, Lakers center Andrew Bynum said:

Close-out games are actually kind of easy. Teams tend to fold if you come out and play hard in the beginning.

Question for Bynum: Are Game 6s easy, too?

In the wake of the Nuggets climbing back into their first round series against the Lakers, the punditry is all over Andrew Bynum’s asinine comments about close-out games being “actually kind of easy.” Not only wasn’t Game 5 easy for the Lakers, but Bynum is lucky that he got to participate in it at all.

Bynum blatantly accosted Nuggets center JaVale McGee with a brutal shooting foul in the first half – a foul that should have garnered him a flagrant and a technical. And then Bynum followed that up with a (called) technical midway through the third quarter, which should have resulted in an ejection.

It’s clear that Andrew Bynum is fast joining Dwight Howard as a top-two NBA center that whines his way through life, while playing dirty to boot. This is the same Bynum who broke Gerald Wallace’s ribs a few years ago (forcing Wallace to be bused back to Charlotte for rehab) and indiscriminately decked the diminutive J.J. Barea as the Mavericks were wiping the Lakers out of the playoffs last year.

So while we want our Nuggets (and Nugget fans) to be humble and not over-confident entering Game 6, I think we're allowed to gloat a bit after Bynum set his Lakers up to fail.

Here's some reaction to that thrilling Game 5 …

Podcast: CSG #40: Stiffs Night Out, D in Denver, Adam Kinney, Jeff Morton
Recorded at Jake's Food and Spirits – game predictions, halftime reactions, and Nuggets trivia where some Stiffs readers won some prizes, on air!

Andrew Bynum's comments heat up Nuggets – Yahoo! Sports
Marc Spears writes that after Andrew Bynum said closing out an opponent in the playoffs is "kind of easy," the Nuggets chose not to play along.

Nuggets make Bynum eat 'easy' remarks
Andrew Bynum said closing out the Nuggets would be easy…he was wrong, writes Fox Sports' Joe McDonnell.

Daily Dime – McGee Alters Lakers’ Post-Season Plans – ESPN
J.A. Adande lauds JaVale McGee’s Game 5 performance and notes Bynum’s pre-game comments, too.

Kiszla: Nuggets have superstars too – The Denver Post
Mark Kiszla argues that the Nuggets have stars in the making on their roster.

Lakers-Nuggets Game Five: Yuck – Silver Screen and Roll
Our sister Lakers blog recaps the Lakers' Game 5 home loss to the Nuggets.

Lakers' effort in Game 5 loss to Nuggets is 'kinda' embarrassing –
Bill Plastchke rips into Bynum and the Lakers for blowing the opportunity to close out the series.