NBA Playoffs Last Night: Denver Freaks a Game 2 Steal

Give me that beat fool, it’s a full time jack move…

If you are playing in the NBA, you got there with hard work. Yeah, some cats are talented, but even bench players could light up anyone not in the league on a consistent basis. My point is, with all this Kobe/LeBron talk, we are seeing Carmelo Anthony and Dwight Howard take exception really without a lot of fanfare and shove it down the NBA marketing machine throats.

We all knew Melo was good. We all figured he’d be that George Gervin type scorer but never saw him quite in the championship caliber realm reserved for the true superstar.

Scratch that.

Melo is using his size, strength and killer scoring ability to put the West on notice…2008 Paul Piercing the NBA world. I hope Nike has a alternative commercial starring the Dwight and Carmelo, because don’t be shocked if that’s what actually goes down. The future is not written…yet.

I have this stat with players I throw out there this time of year. In terms of Denver, that stat is 60. If Melo and Billups get 60 and above, the Nuggets will win. Very few players in the history of the league ramp up their regular season numbers in the postseason and these two are two of the best.

When your point guard goes 13-16 from the line, good things are happening. He’s getting into the paint and wearing out your interior players. If you ever played ball, you just hate when a point guard is ripping though the lane. You do what you can but 16 times to the line is no joke. Chauncey ain’t goin’ out like a sucka. What, you think he’s been to the Conference Finals 7 straight times for nothin’?

NBA soldier. General. Success.

Is Denver ready for Chauncey’s first real home game since his days in Boulder?

The Lakers are in trouble because despite absolutely murdering the Nuggets on the glass, they limp out of LA tied and conceivably should be down 0-2.

Linas Kleiza was the key to this game. 16 points off the bench in the playoffs is something he can tell his granchildren about…and it came at the hands of the Lakers.

Trevor Ariza with 20 and Pau Gasol’s monster double double of 17 and 17 were in great support, but it seems Kobe will have to rock even out of his mind to get his team into the Finals. Think about it…check the box below…tell me how the Lakers are gonna win this series. Seriously, if George Karl coaches with any intelligence, I don’t see the Lakers winning. Chauncey, Melo and the Nuggets are just too tough (yeah I had to get Angela in there).

Let me say something that might be deemed controversial, but I’ll write it nevertheless. it seems to me that something is missing regarding Kobe and leadership. Maybe it’s just me, but I don’t think Mike or even Shaq would stand for Denver’s bullying tactics without a collective return elbow team shiver. Dahntay Jones had 4 fouls in the first six minutes. C’mon man. That damn sure set the tone. We’ll see what goes down in Denver, but it ain’t looking good for Lakers fans.

Yeah yeah, Phil will be composed and have his team ready, but IMO the Lakers are not looking like a champion.

Oh….call me the Lake Show jinx. Whenever I pick the Lakers, they usually lose. I picked them to win going away 115-100.

DENVER NUGGETS
STARTERS MIN FGM-A 3PM-A FTM-A OREB DREB REB AST STL BLK TO PF +/- PTS
Carmelo Anthony, SF 42 12-29 0-6 10-14 5 4 9 4 1 1 4 3 +9 34
Kenyon Martin, PF 35 7-10 0-0 2-2 2 1 3 2 3 1 3 5 -7 16
Nene, C 35 2-5 0-0 2-3 1 8 9 6 1 1 2 5 -9 6
Dahntay Jones, SG 13 1-4 0-0 0-0 2 1 3 1 2 0 0 5 -9 2
Chauncey Billups, PG 44 6-15 2-4 13-16 0 2 2 4 1 0 1 3 +2 27
BENCH MIN FGM-A 3PM-A FTM-A OREB DREB REB AST STL BLK TO PF +/- PTS
J.R. Smith, SG 25 1-6 1-4 0-0 1 3 4 3 0 1 3 4 +3 3
Chris Andersen, FC 20 1-2 0-0 0-0 0 4 4 0 0 1 1 2 +12 2
Linas Kleiza, SF 22 5-8 4-7 2-2 3 5 8 0 0 0 0 2 +16 16
Anthony Carter, PG 6 0-0 0-0 0-0 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 -2 0
Jason Hart, PG DNP COACH’S DECISION
Steven Hunter, PF DNP COACH’S DECISION
Johan Petro, C DNP COACH’S DECISION
TOTALS FGM-A 3PM-A FTM-A OREB DREB REB AST STL BLK TO PF PTS
35-79 7-21 29-37 14 28 42 20 9 5 14 29 106
44.3% 33.3% 78.4% Team TO (pts off): 14 (15)
+/- denotes team’s net points while the player is on the court.
LOS ANGELES LAKERS
STARTERS MIN FGM-A 3PM-A FTM-A OREB DREB REB AST STL BLK TO PF +/- PTS
Trevor Ariza, SF 33 6-7 2-2 6-8 0 3 3 2 4 0 3 2 -11 20
Pau Gasol, FC 44 5-8 0-0 7-10 5 12 17 3 0 2 4 4 -5 17
Andrew Bynum, C 18 4-8 0-0 1-3 0 2 2 0 1 1 0 1 +7 9
Kobe Bryant, SG 40 10-20 2-4 10-10 2 3 5 3 1 1 2 4 0 32
Derek Fisher, PG 28 1-9 1-5 0-0 0 1 1 3 1 0 2 5 +2 3
BENCH MIN FGM-A 3PM-A FTM-A OREB DREB REB AST STL BLK TO PF +/- PTS
Lamar Odom, PF 30 4-9 0-1 2-2 5 4 9 2 1 2 0 5 0 10
Sasha Vujacic, SG 6 0-4 0-1 0-0 0 1 1 0 0 0 0 1 +2 0
Luke Walton, SF 19 1-3 0-1 0-0 0 2 2 4 1 0 2 2 0 2
Shannon Brown, SG 17 3-8 1-1 1-2 1 1 2 1 0 0 0 2 -5 8
Jordan Farmar, PG 6 1-1 0-0 0-0 0 1 1 3 0 0 0 1 -5 2
Josh Powell, FC DNP COACH’S DECISION
D.J. Mbenga, C DNP COACH’S DECISION
TOTALS FGM-A 3PM-A FTM-A OREB DREB REB AST STL BLK TO PF PTS
35-77 6-15 27-35 13 30 43 21 9 6 13 27 103
45.5% 40.0% 77.1% Team TO (pts off): 16 (11)
+/- denotes team’s net points while the player is on the court.

Flagrant Fouls: None
Technical Fouls: PLAYERS: 3 LALAKERS ( P Gasol 1 ) DENVER ( K Martin 1, C Billups 1 ) – TEAMS (def3sec): None – COACHES: None
Officials: Steve Javie , Dick Bavetta , Marc Davis
Attendance: 18,997
Time of Game: 02:45

17 Responses to “NBA Playoffs Last Night: Denver Freaks a Game 2 Steal”

  1. Temple3 says:

    The Lakers are in trouble because despite absolutely murdering the Nuggets on the glass, they limp out of LA tied and conceivably should be down 0-2.

    In Game 1, the Lakers were dominant on the glass. +9 overall and +10 in offensive rebounds. They won.

    In Game 2, the Lakers were NOT dominant on the glass. +2 overall and -1 in offensive rebounds. They loss.

    I didn’t see the game last night, but I can see from perusing this boxscore that Bynum only played 18 minutes. He was +7 on the night. I don’t know why he didn’t get more burn. It wasn’t foul trouble. Maybe he’s injured.

    Either way, the road past Denver goes through Andrew Bynum playing more minutes and using his length to shoot a high percentage, pull rebounds and block shots. Pau Gasol is not shooting enough, but I can’t hate on 17 and 17. Especially if you give me 10 trips to the line, 5 offensive boards and 2 blocks.

    If I’m the Lakers, the thing that I take away from this game is that Denver’s best offensive players shot a low percentage. The Lakers can still win the series. They’ve won on the road. I just don’t know if they can win a game where Bynum plays less than 25 minutes. That’s the stat I’ll be watching.

  2. Temple3 says:

    Lost — instead of “loss.” Speed kills.

  3. Mizzo says:

    You always pick out the stat I omit so you get ;)

  4. Temple3 says:

    Thanks. Check out D’s piece on the officiating in last night’s game. As I said, I didn’t see it — but he may be on to something. It’s all about the cha-ching. Ain’t it?

  5. GrandNubian says:

    T3,

    I read the piece but i’m confused.

    If the league wants to see a Lebron vs. Kobe matchup, why would the officials “cheat” for the Nuggets?

    Do you think that they would they prefer a Melo vs. Lebron matchup instead?

  6. Mizzo says:

    It is what it is. I saw it the covering the last home game of the season when the refs allowed the Sixers to beat up on LeBron here. Of course they were getting the players ready for playoff basketball, but that cut is still nasty. You could hear dude screaming from the shower. It was opened up again the other night.

    That’s a slight contradiction to your statement, but we all know what the NBA wants. It’s so obvious or you wouldn’t see all these bs commercials. That’s why I added Dwight Howard into the mix. Is he on their level, no, but an Orlando/Cleveland rivalry is more realistic at this stage in the game based on the potential of LA and Cleveland getting their asses handed to them in the next week and a half.

    Like GN said. Maybe it’s LeBron/Melo. I just wanna watch the games and have a beer or eight.

    LeBron/Kobe has to happen but the future can’t be written.

  7. Temple3 says:

    I think his point was that the league was simply trying to extend the series. The series is much more interesting at 1-1 than at 2-0. You’d have to have Denver win 2 in a row just to have some drama in a Game 5. The casual fan is going to tune out.

    The drama in these series is all about Kobe and LeBron. So, to keep viewing and betting interest at a peak, both stars have to face an clear and present danger. If Denver had won Game 1, they probably don’t get the calls in Game 2.

    Where will amazing happen on Saturday? If Denver wins both games in Denver, then the theory probably doesn’t hold up — unless LA wins 3 in a row and Kobe LIVES at the free throw line.

  8. kos says:

    T3,

    That’s been my theory all through these playoffs. That they are trying to extend series, particularly for the Lakers. They want the destination to be LeBron vs. Kobe, but they want it to be a longer journey for the sake of money. Remember, Stern took a sh%tty deal, just so he could get a minimal increase in TV money when he left NBC for Disney. That was followed with another minimal increase. Everyone already knows that ESPN has sh!tty coverage. For that reason alone, the ratings are down. Got to try to create some kind of excitement!

    Of course, the big problem is, teams don’t always cooperate. What if a key player on the Lakers or Cavs got injured? What if Denver and Orlando just get real hot and we end with no Kobe or LeBron? Would that erase Spurs vs Cavs from the record books as being the lowest rated NBA Finals in history? I’m still not 100% convinced that Kobe vs. LeBron will happen, if for only the reason that the Lakers are playing like a 6 seed, and Cleveland looked like they expected the Magic to roll over the other night.

  9. Temple3 says:

    kos:

    The most damning thing in all of competitive sports is when professional associations seek to destroy, discredit or deny facts in evidence for the public to make informed decisions.

    The NFL did it when the Owner’s Boy (Goodell) “chose” to destroy the tapes made by the New England Patriots.

    The NBA did it when the Owner’s Boy (Stern) sought to defame the testimony around Donaghy concerning the depth of the referee issue. D-wil has also pointed out the number of refs involved in the practice of tax evasion and the impact that has on their propriety.

    Bottom line — it’s all scandalous. That doesn’t mean we can’t enjoy the spectacle; we just can’t delude ourselves into thinking it’s much more than American Idol with bouncing balls.

    Do you think America will get to vote for the NBA champion in a few years?

  10. kos says:

    You can already “vote” on who is going to be champions on various web sites. The sad thing is, in a couple of years, it might actually count.

    LOL

    The Knicks had the highest number of votes, so they’re already up 2-0 on the Rockets without playing a game because YOU America, voted for it!

  11. GrandNubian says:

    Chauncey had only 1 turnover last night…..damn!

  12. Temple3 says:

    kos:

    Hilarious!!

    Mizzo:

    Why the *!@(!(! is Luke Walton playing 19 minutes if he’s giving such little production?

  13. kos says:

    Putting all the officiating and that aside, these playoffs are accomplishing one thing. It’s forcing the Zen Master to actually have to coach. I always wondered about Jackson’s actual coaching ability. He did a great job with a young team last year, right up to the Finals. This year, with a more veteran team, you’d expect him to do an even better job. It hasn’t happened, though.

    He’s made the kind of missteps that you’d expect from a coach that’s in his first playoffs. Slow to make adjustments when he sees things are going wrong. Sitting guys down when they helped the team overcome a deficit. Continuing to let Sasha Vujacic play despite the fact that he can’t hit the side of an aircraft carrier. Being inconsistent in treatment (i.e. he used to let guys play through their troubles, with Bynum, sitting him down). It’s definitely tarnished his aura.

  14. Temple3 says:

    I’ve never been a Phil Jackson fan.

    In fact, I was a Laker fan from the day they drafted Magic Johnson to the day they hired Phil Jackson. I haven’t rooted for them since.

  15. Temple3 says:

    [img]http://i.cdn.turner.com/sivault/si_online/covers/images/1991/1111_large.jpg[/img]

  16. Chrystal K. says:

    I only saw the end of the fourth quarter. I really wanted the Lakers to re-gain the lead, but unfortunately, that didn’t happen. hopefully they can win the next three games and call it a day.

  17. TC says:

    Sitting Bynum down the stretch was a huge faux-pas from Phil. Andrew was really productive while he was in there, and then for whatever reason, Phil didn’t make the changes in his lineup late. I think I’m fairly objective about the refereeing usually but there were some calls – there was a phantom foul on Nene, there was a no-call on Kobe getting hit, there were a couple of generous foul calls toward Chauncey – that seemed to me to be off. I didn’t see many overly generous calls toward the Lakers. That said, Carmelo and Chauncey were off the CHAIN and Kleiza can kill you if you leave him open. Letting K-Mart get 16 also killed the Lakers. I think the Lakers should have finished the game with Kobe/Fish/Lamar/Bynum/Gasol.

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