LA Lakers-Denver Nuggets Preview

Nuggets-Lakers PreviewAfter a six day rest the Denver Nuggets prepare to fly to Los Angeles and take on the Lakers in Game1 of the Western Conference Finals on Tuesday. The Nuggets were a bump in the road of the Lakers march to the Finals last season, losing in the first round. But this years Nuggets is a far cry from the team the Lakers saw last season. The addition of playoff veteran Chancey Billups and uber hype man Chris “Birdman” Anderson have changed the demeanor of the team. The Nuggets have steam-rolled through the playoffs, embarrassing the New Orleans Hornets and over playing the Dallas Mavericks. The Nuggets are the the most impressive team this post-season next to the Cleveland Cavaliers who have yet to lose. The Los Angeles Lakers enter this series unsure of who they are.  After losing big leads in Round1 to the  Utah Jazz, it appeared the mighty Lakers had chinks in their armor. In Round2 the Houston Rockets put a serious dent in that armor pushing the Lakers to the brink of elimination, without Tracy McGrady or Yao Ming. Kobe Bryant said on Sunday following their Game7 victory over the Houston Rockets “We are bipolar”. The Lakers clearly showed a tendency to play at a higher more determined level at home. This would be a problem if they didn’t posses home-court advantage throughout the Western Conference playoffs. But their “bipolar tendencies” will come back to bite them come Tuesday when the Nuggets roll into town. Chauncey Billups is the key that Denver has needed for years and has the Nuggets poised to make it to beyond this match up. The key for the Lakerswill be using their length to their advantage once again. Andrew Bynums howed up in the playoffs for the first time in Game7, Sunday with 14 points on 6-7 shooting, and Pau Gasol was huge with 21 points and 18 boards.The Nuggets are a much smaller team, but can match the Lakers offensively. Kobe Bryant and Carmelo Anthony in the Western Conference Finals is a must-see, but they will be out shined by the performance of Billups, super sixth-man JR Smith, and the post players of the Lakers. This series looks to go the distance with the winner being bruised and exhausted at the end.


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