This year’s Western Conference final is sure to be a Wild West showdown. You have the ultimate match up of NBA scorers with Melo vs. Kobe, along with a good low-post match-up in Kenyon Martin and Nene vs. Paul Gasol and Andrew Bynum, and a point guard match-up with Chauncey Billups vs. Derek Fisher.
When the season started nobody would have picked the Denver Nuggets to qualify for the Western Conference finals. The fact the team made quick work of the Dallas Mavericks and has had five days off waiting for the Lakers to finally show up and eliminate the Houston Rockets is nothing short of remarkable.
Now Denver faces by far their most difficult challenge of the season when they face off in game one of the Western Conference finals on Tuesday in Los Angeles against Kobe and Co.
The Nuggets come into the series with the highest point differential of any team in the league having lost only two games in the postseason thus far. The Lakers, on the other hand, have been Webster’s definition of inconsistent. But when truly tested the Lakers have answered the call.
The question is whether or not the Lakers' casual attitude in certain games will eventually come back to eliminate them from a championship run.
The key for Denver in this series will be defense. They cannot allow the Lakers to go off for 130+ points a game or it’s lights out.
Kobe is the go-to guy, and Denver will need to limit his touches and hold him to under 24 points a game for the series. The Nuggets can do this by putting Jones or Smith on him. They will also need to stop Gasol from out-rebounding their big guys, force Bynum to take low-percentage shots, just let Fisher be Fisher, and try and contain Ariza and Odom. Simple right?
It’s no doubt that the Lakers have an arsenal of great weapons that could abuse the Denver defense, but Denver plays much harder and is a more physical team than L.A. Kobe is a cry baby, and Smith and will need to get in his head by roughing him up a little.
The key for the Lakers is simple. Provide help for Kobe and try and feed the post as much as possible, exploiting the fact that Denver tends to give up more points than most teams. They will need to wear down the Nuggets starting five forcing Denver to go to their bench much earlier than they would like. The L.A. bench is deep and could be a key component in the outcome of the series.
This will be the series that everyone will be watching this postseason as a scrappy little team from Denver squares off against the NBA establishment, Lakers.
Denver is hotter than any team left in the semi-finals, with maybe the exception of King James and the Cavaliers.
George Karl has them playing at the top of their game and the Nuggets will need to play hard, rough, and physical in this series if they don’t want to repeat last years playoff elimination by the Lakers and prove once and for all they are for real.
This article as been emailed to the person you requested.
Welcome to the new BettingWar.com! Keep returning in the upcoming weeks as we add new and exciting features to our relaunched site.
RFU charge 13 Barbarians players for Covid-19 bubble breaches
The Rugby Football Union have announced that 13 Barbarians players will face disciplinary charges after breaching the team's Covid-19 bubble last week, which led to the cancellation of England's fixture against the Barbarians. The identities of the players have not been revealed, with the RFU saying: "The RFU recognises the pressure public scrutiny is placing on the players and therefore it will publish players’ names, full judgements and sanctions after the hearings have concluded." The players face a range of charges including: Individual breaches of the protocols (e.g. leaving the hotel without permission or without informing organisers of their whereabouts) Providing false statements during an investigation All those players charged will face an online Independent Disciplinary Panel chaired by Philip Evans QC charged with conduct prejudicial to the interests of the Union or the Game, contrary to RFU Rule 5.12. A date for the hearing is yet to be confirmed. Two breaches of the Barbarians' hotel bubble last week led to the cancellation of Sunday's fixture between England and the Barbarians, a crucial warm-up fixture for Eddie Jones' Rugby World Cup finalists who have not played since March, with the cancellation estimated to have cost the RFU around £1m. The Metropolitan Police announced earlier this week that the players involved, who were allegedly captured on video drinking in the Running Horse pub in Mayfair, would not be charged retrospectively for breaking any social distancing or 'rule of six' measures. Several players, including Chris Robshaw and Richard Wigglesworth, have since apologised for their actions, with Robshaw releasing a statement saying: "A huge effort went into conducting this match in a safe fashion and it was irresponsible of me to break the protocols which are put in place to protect players, staff and the public. "I understand that my actions have ultimately contributed to the cancellation of Sunday's match and I am sincerely remorseful for my role in undoing all the amazing work that went into trying to make it happen."
'Just a normal guy': Chiefs' Mahomes shares life with world
Patrick Mahomes and Brittany Matthews stood before a yellow sign in their backyard, pink and blue balloons stacked to the sky, and waited patiently with their backs to a long, white runway for their dogs to make their grand appearance. Video of the moment was posted by the Kansas City Chiefs quarterback on his Instagram account, where it has been seen more than 1.5 million times.
Report: Gardner Minshew has multiple thumb fractures
We’ve officially reached the excuse-making stage of the Jaguars’ latest lost season. Adam Schefter of ESPN reports that Jacksonville quarterback Gardner Minshew has multiple fractures and a sprained ligament in his thumb. Per the report, Minshew concealed the injury from the team, which is another way of saying the team didn’t disclose the injury on [more]