Tonight the 16-time NBA Champion Los Angeles Lakers will seek to avoid a first round playoff exit at the hand of the Denver Nuggets.
After a Game 6 loss in which Kobe Bryant (playing with stomach ailment) couldn’t pull a Michael Jordan, the boys in yellow and purple have their back against the wall and are going up against a very confident Denver team.
Denver had all the momentum in this series, but after being down 3-1, the Nuggets have come roaring back into this series.
This has been one of the better playoff series in recent memory and everyone seems a bit anxious for this highly anticipated Game 7, even George Karl, the Nuggets veteran head coach.
“I’m nervous already,” Karl said Friday before the Nuggets caught another flight to Los Angeles. “I am 61-years-old and I haven’t been nervous for a game this early in a long time.”
Denver’s Ty Lawson has been the key in this series. The former North Carolina Tar Heel has been using his immense quickness to drive into the lane and get the Lakers’ big men in foul trouble. Lawson had 32 points and six assists in the Nuggets Game 6 win on Thursday night.
Danilo Gallinari has been a nightmare for the Lakers once vaunted defense. Look for Lawson and Gallinari to step their games up to a whole new level tonight.
Andrew Bynum and Pau Gasol can’t stop Kenneth Faried and JaVale McGee. These are facts that are hard to dispute. As long as McGee learns to use his head once in awhile, it shouldn’t be any different in Game 7. Gasol is soft and he doesn’t take to contact well. For the Nuggets to be successful in this game they will need exploit the Lakers every weakness.
If the Lakers two big men do decide to stand their ground then the Lake show should have no trouble advancing. However, if the rest of this series is any indication, that is a very big if.
Some good news for the Lakers, however, as Metta World Peace, formerly known as Ron Artest, will be starting tonight. World Peace missed the first six games of this series due to a suspension for an elbow to the head of Thunder guard James Harden.
That’s the good news, the great news is that they still have a man on their team named Kobe Bryant. Arguably the most clutch player in NBA history, a five time NBA champion. If anybody knows how to win it’s Bryant as he is 4 and 1 in his illustrious career in Game 7’s.