Tuesday, May 26, 2009
Top to bottom, Denver's roster is just better than LA's. Carmelo Anthony started the game 0-10 from the field. He didn't hit his first field goal until 1:00 left in the first half. It was his first field goal since the second quarter of Game 3!
But the Nuggets still led 52-45 at half.
Melo finished with 15 points, 9 from the charity stripe and shot just 3-16 from the field. But Denver's supporting cast was solid. The Nuggets had 7 players in double figures and their front line continued to dominate. Denver out rebounded the Lakers 58-40, and 3 players had at least 13 boards.
The difference in this game was the bench scoring. Denver's bench outscored LA's 42-24 in their 120-101 Game 4 victory. J.R. Smith had as many points off the bench as the entire Lakers's bench.
I told you J.R. Smith was due to explode as he scored 24.
The Lakers don't deserve to win a title. I've always said they're too soft and don't consistently play to their potential. Throughout the season, they've had trouble holding big leads and they seem to take nights off. They got what they wanted, a split in Denver. But when you're considered to be one of the favorites to win the championship, can you really be happy with a split?
That kind of attitude and play will catch with you in the Playoffs.
Charles Barkley was dead on when he said the Lakers make him sick, saying he would have easily have won a title with that much talent.
The Lakers just seem to lack a killer instinct.
It is now a three game series with the Lakers getting 2 of the 3 at home. The series is definitely in LA's favor. But think about it, Denver has been the dominate team in 3 of 4 games. Heck, if Denver could inbound the ball down the stretch, they could have swept this series.
The play is really starting to get physical in the playoffs and more fouls are being called. Sunday night in Game 3 of the Orlando/Cleveland series, there were 58 fouls and 86 total free throw attempts.
Last night's Lakers/Nuggets game, there were 55 fouls and 84 free throw attempts. A lot of foul shooting is slowing down the pace of the games and could hurt what has been a spectacular postseason.
In the Western Conference Finals, the fouls have been consistent, but the number of free throws has risen each game, in part due to all the technicals.
Here's a breakdown of the personal fouls and number of free throw attempts from each series.
-- ------------PF -- FTA
Game 1----- 52 --- 59
Game 2----- 56 --- 72
Game 3----- 55--- 76
Game 4----- 55--- 84
Look at the Eastern Conference Finals! We've seen an incredible jump from game to game.
One other note...I'm sure it's happened many times before, but I can't stand the cocktail servers who patrol the front row at NBA games. I'm just waiting for a ball, or better yet player to come crashing into the front row and taking out a server with a tray full of drinks. It's not the server I care to see make a fool of themselves, but I would love to see a tray of beer get spilled on bunch of rich folks sitting courtside.
It was close last night. One of the refs barely bumped into a server who spilt one drink on the floor. There was at least a 5 minute delay in the game.