NBA Roundtable

Game One: Los Angeles vs Denver

In 2008 NBA Playoffs, Game Log / Recap on April 20, 2008 at 10:01 pm

Tuning in 3 minutes into the action. Magic game ran a little over.

  • Bryant with a nice block on Iverson. He’s taking Iverson one-on-one defensively. Kenyon Martin is taking Kobe on the other end, what does that say about Carmelo Anthony and Allen Iverson?
  • Anthony Carter has been benched for Linas Kleiza. Lovely we’ll see a lot of Allen Iverson at the point tonight. Denver want to win right? Maybe they should ask Kenyon Martin to run the offense too.
  • Gasol with a hook
  • Bryant to Odom in the corner to the trailing cutter Gasol for a dunk
  • Lakers have switched into a zone. They’ve stopped Denver’s penetration
  • Gasol hits a mid range J. Lakers lead 21-11.
  • Iverson gets into the lane and finds Camby underneath for the slam
  • Bryant follows it up with a similar play on the other end, dropping the pass off to Gasol for the dunk.
  • Both teams are in a zone right now
  • Denver lead the league in blocks and steals. That’s that trapping, gambling defense that George Karl is known for.
  • MarkJackson auditioning for the Knicks job with that cruel analysis of George Karl’s coaching ability. Especially on the defensive end. Don’t hear that from Jackson normally. He’s having another go at coaching defense when JVG was talking about the effectiveness of the zone in the NBA. Anyone want to offer an over-under for how many other times he ups his coaching knowledge?
  • Nuggets make a little rally to end the first quarter. Pull the lead back, 26-22 Lakers. The Lakers killed Denver with easy buckets in the paint during the first. They have 18 points in the paint.
  • Kenyon Martin needs to grab more rebounds. That simple.
  • Iverson is getting into the paint and to the line now. Nice play by JR Smith prior to that.
  • Kenyon has done well with Kobe by and large. This’ll be interesting to watch
  • Missed a few minutes of action there. The Nuggets made a run in the last 6 minutes, they’ve taken the 47-43. They’ve outscored them by 14 since midway in the first. Again when JR Smith comes on, continuing their recent trend. Najera, Kleiza, Martin, Smith and Iverson did the lion’s share of that.
  • Anthony puts Walton in a blender. That move was so good he faked himself out and missed the shot.
  • Denver up 49-47. There’s three and a half minutes to go in the half. Big momentum swing for whoever closes this half out well. If Denver build their lead or hold their lead they’ll be delighted after being down early. If LA take the lead back they’ll stop Denver’s head of steam.
  • Kobe picks up his third. Kobe and Fish pleading their case. That was a weak call. Iverson just ran into him and threw up his arms. Kobe didn’t foul him. Iverson just cried.
  • Denver have balanced scoring for a change. I don’t think we’ve seen this in the month of April. Carmelo has 12, JR Smith has 10, Kleiza has 10, Iverson has 9.
  • Gasol with a pretty pass to the cutting Luke Walton. Gasol has 5 dimes. His passing out of the Triangle is huge. Gasol with a mid-air pump fake and lay in on the drive. Odom on the drive, to Gasol, and he lays it in. Lakers up 4. Way’d a go Gasol.
  • Iverson hits a three to stop the bleeding
  • Gasol with a dunk off another feed from a penetrating Lamar Odom
  • JR Smith has his shot rejected by Vujacic
  • Halftime. Lakers up 58-56
  • Carmelo picks up an offensive foul after a really nice offensive rebound. That’s 3 on him.
  • Lakers pulled away, up 9. Anthony Carter hits a jumper, 7 point lead.
  • Kobe Bryant has only 6 points. Kenyon Martin has done a great job of turning Kobe into a jump shooter.
  • Pau Gasol has 23 points 3 minutes into the third quarter. He has 9 rebounds and 5 assists. He’s destroying Denver, shouldn’t Marcus Camby be the ideal defender to guard him? This was last season’s Defensive Player of the Year. That award was a joke, he should never have recieved it.
  • Gasol battling on the glass, pulling home the rebound in traffic, he took it away from four players.
  • Lakers on a 15-4 to run, they’re up 13.
  • Gasol has 32 points now. Lamar Odom has been fabulous moving himself and the ball around on offense. He has a team high 13 boards too.
  • Lakers close the quarter up 19
  • Kobe Bryant really picked it up in the third after the weak first half.
  • Denver look finished
  • Quietly the Nuggets have trimmed the lead to 14. They don’t look like they’re on a run but they’re getting a few buckets. Nuggets can pile points on in a hurry
  • JR Smith and Kleiza again, I agree with Mark Jackson, the Nuggets have to start playing these guys more minutes.
  • JR Smith with a beautiful finish on the fast break. He created some small body contact with Kobe, then turns the corner just a little bit on his next step to evade the challenge. He rises up for the shot, Farmar is right there and tries to block, JR Smith moves the ball around a bit, tees himself up and drops the runner. Great body control. Gotta love that slow mo cam.
  • Does JR Smith remind anyone else of Kobe during his second season? He doesn’t have the passing, the defense or the intelligence. But by gum do they look similar scoring the ball. The pure shooting ability. The ball handling. The penetration. The creativity. The balance, agility, quickness, change of pace, hesitation dribble. The constant attack. The brilliance in the open floor. The finishing at the rim. The dunks, the acrobatic layups. The energy. The athlecism.
  • JR Smith is really starting to put it together. He’s a free agent this year, sleeper. Might be worth serious money. Mentally he’s really matured on the court this season, his recognition of what’s happening on the floor has come on leaps and bounds.
  • Kobe Bryant picks up his fifth foul with 7 minutes to play. He’ll head to the bench. He has 22 now after only 6 at halftime.
  • Lamar Odom is holding his knee tenderly
  • Big three point shot out of the corner from Sasha
  • Odom hits one of two from the line to put LA up 15 with 6 to play.
  • Lakers lead 109-95
  • Nuggets need some quick baskets now. Carmelo has it, great change of pace, blows past Walton, fouled, and he’ll head to the line.
  • JR Smith has 15 now. Kleiza has 23. Melo has 24 and 11. Iverson has 23, 7 and 5.
  • Gasol yanks down his 14th rebound.
  • The Lakers have 5 players with four assists or more tonight
  • Iverson gets a three point play to cut the Laker lead to single digits. There’s three and a half minutes remaining.
  • Kobe Bryant pump fakes, Smith goes up, foul. He’ll go back to the line. Back to back great plays by Kobe Bryant in forcing the issue and trying to get to the line or the rim instead of those long jumpers he was settling for earlier. Next possession, Kobe in the post with Anthony Carter on him. Terrible spacing by LA, they can’t get him the ball. They reverse up top to Pau Gasol, lob pass, alley-oop dunk. Gasol with his 8th assist. Next possession down, Kobe draws another foul, this time on Anthony Carter.
  • Allen Iverson got two techs right after the other. He’s gone.
  • Kobe Bryant has been clutch in closing out this game for the Lakers. He’s getting his MVP chants again as he hits these two FTs from the techs. Now two more FTs for the foul. He has 30 points now (only 9-25 from the field today). He hits both. Kobe has scored the last 13 points for the Lakers.
  • Gasol blocks Najera’s follow up attempt

Laker win

Some Stats

  1. Pau Gasol was the player of the game with 36 points (14-20 from the floor, 8-8 from the line), 16 boards, 8 assists, 3 blocks. He stepped up when the Lakers needed him while Kobe struggled with his shot. His presence was a constant thron in the Nuggets side
  2. Lamar Odom was great too. He scored 17 points, snatched 14 rebounds and handed out 6 assists.
  3. The Lakers role players were very strong. Luke Walton was the standout with 16, 5 and 5. But they all contributed.
  4. The Nuggets got 30 apiece from Melo and Iverson, Kleiza dropped 23, JR Smith had 15. That type of balance has been scare for the Nuggets and they wasted it.
  5. The Nuggets big men were fairly mediocre for most of the night. Kenyon played good defense but he needed to do more. Camby was a non-factor. Najera was Najera.
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