Last night, I was lucky enough to be able to go see game 5 of the Lakers/Nuggets series at the Staples Center. It was a game that I was pretty confident the Lakers would win and wrap up the series.
I was wrong.
But in all honesty, if you watched last night's game, either on TV or in person, you know the Lakers beat themselves with poor defense, shot selection and a lack of energy. It was only until the final four minutes of the game that the Lakeshow started to play hard. Unfortunately, the damage had been done; even though for a minute or two it looked like we were all going to witness a legendary comeback in Lakers playoff history.
Down 15 points with less than a quarter to play, the Lakers started playing. Andrew Bynum, who had been pouting all night because he wasn't getting touches on offenses (my theory) started to get active on the boards and get positioning down low. Gasol also started to get active on offense, making a few shots in the final minutes.
Kobe, who finished with 43 points, hit four threes in the last few minutes to bring the Lakers all the way back and make it interesting in the end. Kobe and Sessions both had chances to tie the game with a three but came up short.
For a brief minute, it looked as if we were going to witness history. But...
It just goes to show you that you can't expect to win a game when you only play well for seven minutes of it.
A big key to winning against the Nuggets is containing JaVale McGee. Well last night, Gasol and Bynum made JaVale McGee look like Dr. J. McGee finished with 21 points and 14 rebounds. They let him do whatever he wanted all game and played no defense on him whatsoever. McGee was dunking on both of them left and right and even when Gasol tried to foul, the fouls were just too soft.
If they want to win game 6, the Lakers need to step it up on defense - so they don't have to rely on Kobe in the end of every game.
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Image source: AP Images