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-   -   WCF: Nuggets vs Lakers (http://www.insidehoops.com/forum/showthread.php?t=132282)

KRAYZIE 05-19-2009 02:28 PM

WCF: Nuggets vs Lakers
 






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{GAME PREVIEW}
Quote:


LOS ANGELES (AP) -- The Los Angeles Lakers stepped off one thrill ride and, after little time to catch their breath, have to jump on another.

No big deal, Kobe Bryant said Monday, the only day the top-seeded Lakers had to prepare for the Western Conference finals against Chauncey Billups, Carmelo Anthony and the rest of the second-seeded Denver Nuggets.

"You just get after it. We're pretty familiar with this team," Bryant said.

Game 1 is Tuesday night at Staples Center. The Lakers will be trying to get back to the NBA finals for the second straight year while the Nuggets will be trying to get there for the first time.

"Honestly, when we played them in Denver, the second-to-last time we played them, I told Melo, 'I'll see you in the Western Conference finals,' because I just felt like they had all the pieces there," Bryant said. "They had the depth, the toughness. They had the camaraderie. It's no surprise to me that they're here."

The Lakers advanced after an erratic, baffling semifinal series against the Houston Rockets. After being pushed to Game 7, the Lakers responded with an 89-70 win on Sunday, getting a brilliant performance on both ends of the court by Pau Gasol, who had 21 points and 18 rebounds.

The Nuggets have been chilling since Wednesday night, when they eliminated the Dallas Mavericks and advanced to the conference finals for the first time since 1985.

"They are going to come in with a lot of confidence and be ready to play," Bryant said. "They're going to come out on our home court and put on a show. We've got to be ready."

The Nuggets are ready, having eliminated New Orleans and Dallas, each in five games. They just hope the rest doesn't lead to rust.

"We're very confident," Anthony said. "Not cocky, but confident. In the back of our minds we know what we did to get to this point."

While the Lakers are Hollywood, the Nuggets are talented and entertaining in their own right, with Billups, Anthony, Nene, Kenyon Martin, Dahntay Jones and Chris "Birdman" Andersen.

The Nuggets say they'll have to step it up defensively, which the Lakers did in eliminating the Rockets on Sunday.

"We're playing at a very good level, a very efficient offensive level," coach George Karl said. "Defensively, we have not been special. Against New Orleans we were pretty good. The Dallas series turned into an offensive game. I don't think we can win an offensive game against the Lakers. We have to win at least two games with our defense."

Martin, who along with Nene will be matched up against Gasol, agreed.

"They have great offensive talent, so we are going to bring our best defensive game we are capable of playing," Martin said. "I think we proved during the playoffs we can stand up if we put our heads into it. It's just a matter of us going out and doing it"

The Nuggets have gone 1-10 against L.A. the last two seasons, including a four-game sweep in the first round of last year's playoffs, when Denver became the first 50-win team in league history to get swept in the first round. Karl hasn't won at Staples Center since taking over as Denver's coach midway through the 2004-05 season.

"Well, I think you can pull some things from that," Billups said. "But like I said, we're just a totally different basketball team right now, so none of that stuff really matters. It's playoff basketball. It's a different intensity, it's a different focus. Everything is different. "

Los Angeles won the season series 3-1.

"Their personnel is obviously challenging," Gasol said. "We have a really good team and we are feeling really good right now after yesterday's win. We're ready to step up and continue this right path we're building."

The Lakers were wildly inconsistent against the Rockets, looking all-world one game, then getting railroaded the next. Bryant said they decided at halftime of Game 6 -- which they ended up losing by 15 points -- to turn up their defense a notch, something they think they can carry into this series.

Asked if the Lakers deserved the beating they took from the media for their split personality, Bryant laughed.

"I mean, I always find that stuff entertaining to read," he said. "We as a ballclub, we know what we have to do. I'm definitely more upset than anything anybody could write about. We're harder on ourselves than anything anybody can write.

Said Gasol: "I think what we went through with Houston made us grow as a team. Hopefully we'll show that."

Bryant and Anthony became friends last summer when they were teammates on the U.S. Olympic team, which won the gold medal in Beijing.

"He's like a brother to me," Bryant said. "Truly, I love him. We spent a lot of time together last summer. He was the one I was the most close with on the team."

Said Anthony: "That's my man. That's my guy, but I don't know him this week."

KRAYZIE 05-19-2009 02:43 PM

Re: WCF: Nuggets vs Lakers
 
{PROJECTED LINE-UP}


.................... VS ....................

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.................... VS ....................

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{SCHEDULE}

1. Game 1: @ LA

Tuesday May 19 - 9:00 pm ET

2. Game 2: @ LA

Thursday May 21 - 9:00 pm ET

3. Game 3: @ DEN

Saturday May 23 - 8:30 pm ET

4. Game 4: @ DEN

Monday May 25 - 9:00 pm ET

5. Game 5: @ LA

Wednesday May 27 - 9:00 pm ET

6. Game 6: @ DEN

Friday May 29 - 9:00 pm ET

7. Game 7: @ LA

Sunday May 31 - 8:30 pm ET

KRAYZIE 05-19-2009 02:51 PM

Re: WCF: Nuggets vs Lakers
 
{Team Stats/Info}







Quote:

* The Nuggets had lost seven consecutive postseason series before beating the Hornets this postseason.

* Until this year, the Nuggets had not advanced past the first round of the playoffs since 1994.

* The Nuggets are the only active former ABA franchise never to win a title in the ABA or NBA.

* Carmelo Anthony has won only one postseason series (1-5).

* Nuggets coach George Karl has taken five franchises to the postseason. Only Larry Brown has done it with more teams (seven).

* The Lakers have made the most NBA Finals in history with 29 but are just 14-15 in those series.

* Lakers point guard Derek Fisher has never lost a first-round series in his NBA career (11-0).

* The Lakers won five of their 14 NBA titles while the franchise was located in Minneapolis.

* Phil Jackson has won nine NBA titles as a coach. He is tied with Red Auerbach for the most all time.


Link

KRAYZIE 05-19-2009 02:52 PM

Re: WCF: Nuggets vs Lakers
 
Go McNuggets!:pimp:

NuggetsFan 05-19-2009 05:16 PM

Re: WCF: Nuggets vs Lakers
 
So pumped for tonights game. Hopefully not to rusty, I'm really looking forward too see how the Nuggets defend Kobe\Pau.


Western Conference Finals:banana:

KRAYZIE 05-20-2009 02:19 AM

Re: WCF: Nuggets vs Lakers
 
Tough loss to swallow for sure. Part of me is angry at the wasted opportunity Denver let by. All that effort and in the end we have nothing to show for it. However, the other part of me is proud of how well the Nuggets performed on their home court. Couple of bad possessions and a horrible substitution near the end, in addition to many missed free throws, which is uncharacteristic of this team, is what really cost us the game. Other than that, if the Nuggets continue to play like that on the road, then I like our chances of stealing a game or two in LA. Also, Props to Melo for showing up big tonight.

NuggetsFan 05-20-2009 03:14 AM

Re: WCF: Nuggets vs Lakers
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by KRAYZIE
Tough loss to swallow for sure. Part of me is angry at the wasted opportunity Denver let by. All that effort and in the end we have nothing to show for it. However, the other part of me is proud of how well the Nuggets performed on their home court. Couple of bad possessions and a horrible substitution near the end, in addition to many missed free throws, which is uncharacteristic of this team, is what really cost us the game. Other than that, if the Nuggets continue to play like that on the road, then I like our chances of stealing a game or two in LA. Also, Props to Melo for showing up big tonight.


Pretty much how I feel.

Was pissed after the game but when I thought about it I wasn't to mad because it was a solid game. If we hit a few more free throws then maybe the game doesn't come down to the last play. If Melo doesn't get trapped and we still have an extra timeout left maybe we tie it up?

Does really suck leaving tonight down 1-0 tho.

Geandily 05-20-2009 03:51 AM

Re: WCF: Nuggets vs Lakers
 
I dunno, I just don't get how they can come back from this.


This is the most depressing loss for me since the 2005 Broncos AFC West Championship game.



Edit: seriously this sucks, bad.

young_buck 05-20-2009 05:29 AM

Re: WCF: Nuggets vs Lakers
 
common guys , look at how well the nugs played ! if we had only hit the free throws ! that game had been ours in the book now :)

and you know what, the lakers played home court!
and the only players lakers had was kobe and ariza cuz of the lucky steals.

and if and actualy when we win on friday it will be much easier to win at home, screw game 1 the nugs and we should forget it....the nuggets are on a 16 game winning streak at home and common! we can never know if any of the lakers ar overrating themselves.... the nuggets are the underdogs that will conquor!!! yeah....

paguy1955 05-22-2009 12:42 AM

Re: WCF: Nuggets vs Lakers
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Geandily
I dunno, I just don't get how they can come back from this.


This is the most depressing loss for me since the 2005 Broncos AFC West Championship game.



Edit: seriously this sucks, bad.



How ya feel now!:rockon: :rockon: :rockon: :cheers: :cheers:

Geandily 05-22-2009 12:46 AM

Re: WCF: Nuggets vs Lakers
 
Man, I shoulda had more faith like you guys did. Amazing win

KRAYZIE 05-22-2009 01:31 AM

Re: WCF: Nuggets vs Lakers
 
Great win tonight! 1-1, can't wait to see the crowds reaction at home.:cheers:

KRAYZIE 05-22-2009 01:32 AM

Re: WCF: Nuggets vs Lakers
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Geandily
Man, I shoulda had more faith like you guys did. Amazing win

How about Kleiza tonight, huh?:applause:

Geandily 05-22-2009 02:07 AM

Re: WCF: Nuggets vs Lakers
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by KRAYZIE
How about Kleiza tonight, huh?:applause:


Yeah I shoulda put that in my props to Karl thread.


Man, if the Magic beat the Cavs and we beat the Lakers were gonna have ourselves a championship this year. God I hope Kobe has a bad game on Saturday, I would love it if he kept trying to shoot ranged 3s in Melo's face..

paguy1955 05-22-2009 02:26 AM

Re: WCF: Nuggets vs Lakers
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by KRAYZIE
Great win tonight! 1-1, can't wait to see the crowds reaction at home.:cheers:


Can't wait the party starts Friday and goes to Tuesday PEPSI CENTER let's get busy:bowdown:


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