Are the Nuggets really ready to overtake the L.A. Lakers?
May 28, 2009 by AlexV
The Denver Nuggets and L.A. Lakers Western Conference Finals series has been, to say the least, solid entertainment compared to recent Western Conference Finals. What’s even more is that this series has great potential to go to seven games if the Nuggets can win their final home game of the matchup tomorrow night in Denver. However, are the Nuggets just teasing us with their inconsistent finishes to an inevitable convincing elimination game by the L.A. Lakers or can they really win or get damn close to beating the Lakers?
In all honestly, these Nuggets somewhat remind me of this year’s Orlando Magic. Whereas the Magic seemed to learn how to deal with adversity and the importance of playing hard every minute in their second round series when they played the Boston Celtics, the Nuggets could be finding that out in this series versus the Lakers. I don’t think that the games of this series and the seven of Orlando’s when they beat the Celtics have been identical in order, but out of order, yes.
The Nuggets blew games one and three against L.A. where they had manageable leads in the waning minutes of the fourth quarter. This same thing happened to Orlando in games one and five against Boston. The only difference was, the Magic held on to win game one after giving up a 20+ point lead. In game two of the Nuggets’ series, they seemed to get it right as they made up for their follies in game one and picked up a huge road win. The Magic seemed to do the same as they blew out the Celtics in game three at home. However, those were teasers because both teams eventually brought their series to a 2-3 hole. Also, in game two, Orlando was blown out by Boston after they had been blowing out the Celtics in game one for the better part of four quarters. Like this scenario, the Nuggets blew out the Lakers in the fourth quarter of game four, only to get blown out last night in game five.
Now, judging by these similar shares of ups and downs, the Nuggets look like they could be going through their “take the next step” occurrence. They just need to play a tight game in Denver for game six, and take in all the situations they’ve dealt with in this matchup thus far into L.A. for game seven, and they could definitely move onto the finals.
Let’s not forget one more similarity that I see in the Nuggets and Magic, and that is the fact that they are more or less the same teams; loaded with talent and yet inexperience for the most part, but definitely having legitimate chances to become champions.