Los Angeles, CA – So here we are. Game 7. Nuggets vs Lakers. 4 days ago, Los Angeles was sitting comfortably with a 3-1 edge. They had just won a tough 92-88 game at the Pepsi Center, and were heading home for a game 5 that most everyone thought they would win. Instead, the Lakers showed up a little lethargic and Denver played focused basketball and got the job done. Last night, the Nuggets started the game by blowing the doors off L.A. and never looked back. I have already heard several analysts today say they feel the Nuggets can win game 7, but Kobe and the gang will find a way to come out on top tomorrow night. Denver is red hot, and last night was truly hitting on all cylinders. But a Game 7 is a different beast, and always has been. The Nuggets are sky high right now, and must find a way to keep this energy and focus for one more game. Tomorrow night will be the biggest game many of these young players have ever played. There is a fear for Nuggets fans that the moment of a Game 7 will be too much, and will cause the guys to think instead of just playing. There is a Denver Nuggets avalanche of momentum heading into the Staples Center, so here are the “Top 7″ reasons why the Nuggets will shock the NBA world and win Game 7…..
1 – Momentum - NBA playoff series are all about who is playing well lately. L.A. looked fantastic in the first two games, but Denver has found their groove now. The Nuggets are clicking, and in Game 6 finally started hitting a boat-load of three’s. Their chemistry right now is off the charts, and the Lakers should be leery of Denver’s momentum carrying them for another win.
2 – Point Guard Advantage - Critical Game 7′s often times come down to guard play, and point guards specifically. Ty Lawson went nuts last night, and may now hopefully be in a prolonged hot streak. Andre Miller has been sensational, with his command and feel for the game. These two guys are a terrific combo, who are leaps and bounds better than Steve Blake and Ramon Sessions. Point Guard play is huge, and we have the big advantage here.
3 – Nuggets Youth - The Nuggets look fresh, the Lakers don’t. It’s a simple as that. L.A. looks very tired now, and Kobe being sick made them look even older and slower. The Lakers are a veteran team with a ton of playoff mileage on their tires. The Nuggets are the second youngest team in the NBA, and in Game 6 that young energy showed as they were streaking up and down the court with ease. Denver has to run at every opportunity in Game 7, and wear out those old Laker legs.
4 – Lakers Dissention - Did you see their bench during many of the timeouts and near the end of the game? It looked like a bunch of guys who were disinterested and didn’t like each other very much. Andrew Bynum sat away from his teammates and seemed to be pouting. It just seemed like a group who knew the end of the line was near, and had no answers for Denver’s energy going forward. Oh but wait, Metta World Peace (Ron Artest) is due back from suspension in Game 7 to help rally the troops….uh huh….
5 – Coaching Advantage - From the very start of the season, it hasn’t seemed like Kobe Bryant likes coach Mike Brown very much. He seems to be very aloof and in his own world whenever Brown is saying anything to his team. It’s also kinda hard to be the guy who takes Phil Jackson’s spot, I would think. On the other hand, George Karl seems to have his entire team’s respect and has been open to different lineups based on who is hot. He has never been a huge motivational type coach, instead being an even keeled guy who instills confidence in his players. This coaching style could be a big advantage in keeping his young guys calm in a Game 7.
6 – Road Warriors - Winning Game 5 in L.A. was obviously a must win, but was also a huge confidence builder heading into Game 7. They have proven they can win at the Staples Center in the playoffs. This will undoubtedly be part of what George Karl reminds them about today and tomorrow. They just won there on Tuesday, and can do it again on Saturday.
7 – Their Time Is Now - Much of the Denver Nuggets franchise history has been mediocre play, and many disappointing seasons. The deal that sent Carmelo Anthony to New York left Nuggets fans with a ton of questions. However, just a little over a year later, this team has come together and opened the eyes of NBA fans everywhere. The talent is here, the young players to build around are here, and this Nuggets team looks to be very formidable for years to come. Most people, including myself, have felt this team needed this year to get their feet wet in the playoffs and get some experience. Losing in the first round was expected, and okay in order to show the young guys what playoff basketball is all about. But at this point, why don’t we just speed up this learning process? This team now has the look of one that doesn’t want to wait until 2013 or 2014. They want to crash the post-season party now, and do some serious damage…..NOW.
It’s one more game. It’s those two words that define a lot of players legacies….GAME 7….To this day, we all still remember Dikembe Mutombo holding the ball on the floor in Seattle as time expired in a shocking Nuggets series win. It’s been 18 years since that happened. 18 long years…..We have had a little success here and there, but nothing really terribly memorable. Denver’s time is now. A Game 7 win in Los Angeles against Kobe in his house….Come on Nuggets, let’s do this….
Denver Sports by J Simp