NBA Roundtable

Game Three: Denver vs Los Angeles

In 2008 NBA Playoffs, Game Log / Recap on April 27, 2008 at 4:52 pm

It feels odd for Toronto-Orlando to have finished their fourth game of the series before the Lakers-Nuggets even begin their third.

  • Haha great start to the game at introductions. The Nuggets mascot, Rocky, sat down beside the Laker lineup during introductions, sitting back in arm chair ignoring them while he reads the paper. Kobe and the Lakers then surround Rocky in a circle, and do their pre-game chant/warm up jumping all up and down around the mascot. That’s just teaming up and jeering the poor lad. Nicely done.
  • Bright start by the Lakers and Kobe Bryant. Kobe has 4 assists in the first 7 minutes.
  • Kenyon Martin with a nice low post move. Drives left, spins right, jump hook over Odom and it’s good.
  • Lakers up 17-16 after 9 minutes
  • Najera with the big block on Bryant from behind
  • Screen and roll between Gasol and Bryant, pass over the top for the easy dunk
  • Lovely cut by Odom, he ran right down the middle, stopped established inside position, Gasol just passed over the top to Odom for the layup and the foul
  • Kobe picks up his second foul of the first quarter. He’ll sit down.
  • Backcourt violation by JR Smith, that’s a bad turnover
  • Lakers finish the quarter up 23-20. Not a lot to say about it. Neither team played adequate defense. Lakers offensive execution was superior, Nuggets did well one-on-one. Both teams traded baskets more than anything else. Nobody is beating anyone.
  • JR Smith fires for three. 5 second violation, LA couldn’t inbound the ball. That was all about Najera’s extra effort. Iverson hits the J, only 3-9 now.
  • Farmar sees he has Iverson on him, gathers himself, blows by going baseline. Layup. He knew Iverson couldn’t defend him.
  • JR Smith making plays here in the second. He’s been playing great lately. Potential steal in free agency this summer. He has 8 in the quarter (two threes).
  • 38-38, tie game. Still not a lot happening. Both teams trading baskets. Denver are playing better basketball now, getting into their running game and getting a few stops. They don’t really have their big guns going though, that’s going to hold them back. Carmelo (3 points, 1-7) and Iverson (6 points, 3-9) need to get more involved.
  • Gasol with another lovely pass. I love watching him on this team.
  • Kobe takes the lead on the drive, 44-42 Lakers
  • Lakers have a lot of combo forwards with size (Rad, Odom, Walton) who are limiting Carmelo’s post game. Fisher is cheating off of Anthony Carter on every play, it’s like Carter isn’t even on the floor. Carmelo doesn’t have much space or options here.
  • Reggie is making some comments on the size of Gasol’s hands. This going too long now, I’m getting uncomfortable. Stop it Reg. Stop it.
  • 3 second violation. Another knucklehead turnover by the Nuggets. They’re down 6 now, they’re finishing this half badly. They’ve only scored 2 points in the last 4 minutes. They didn’t get their big guns going during that run, that was dumb. They don’t have a team based offense, they need their one-on-one players scoring otherwise they run into trouble.
  • Anthony misses another, down 8 now.
  • Bad shot by Kobe. You don’t need a three there, you take it to the hoop and put the Nuggets under pressure. That could have been a double digit lead right before the half.
  • Instead Kenyon Martin takes it right to the hoop and draws the foul. He missed both FTs though. Kleiza with a knuckleheaded foul there, loose ball foul on the FT, two FTs for LA. Lamar gets one.
  • Smart move by Iverson penetrating to the rim and drawing the foul.
  • Fratello talking about his coaching methods in dealing with the altitude in Denver, he felt it benefited his team to come in a day early and get a practice in. Let the lungs get used to the altitude and find some balance. Sounds like a good plan.
  • Iverson has scored 4 straight FTs. He has 10 now.
  • Beautiful look away pass by Gasol to Walton for the layup
  • Iverson holds onto the ball for the final shot, he drives, he shoots, no.
  • Halftime
  • Lakers lead 53-46. Gasol leads all scorers with 13.
  • Not a lot happened in the first half. Both teams were going through the motions. The Nuggets never got Melo or Iverson going. Their offense has looked toothless at times without them. Neither team is playing good defense. Lakers offensive execution is superior so they’re ahead.
  • Lakers jump out at the half to extend their lead to 61-50
  • 15 point lead. Timeout George Karl. You could feel that one coming. Kobe Bryant has scored 9 points in the first 4 minutes of the third quarter. He’s sensing the kill right here. 10-1 run by LA.
  • Camby, Martin, Melo, Iverson and Smith on the floor for the Nuggets. Lakers starting lineup in for them. Next 5 minutes makes or breaks this game. LA can kill it, Denver need to hold the deficit as a worst case scenario. If they can cut the lead that would be nice. Kenyon picks up his fourth on a bad offensive foul, he’ll stay in. There’s 7 minutes remaining in the quarter. Melo and Iverson still aren’t cooking, Nuggets look clueless without their leadership offensively.
  • Kobe air balls a 26 foot three pointer
  • Iverson takes a ridiculously off balance selfish layup. Terrible shot.
  • Odom fouled to avoid giving up the fast break layup after that bad shot by Allen. He hits both, 18 point lead.
  • Camelo goes down into the post drawing the foul on Fisher, he’ll head to the line. Hits both. Next possession down, Carmelo takes it to the rim on the fastbreak throws up a weak layup, Kobe flies in from the weak side and rejects that outta there. Kenyon with the follow up dunk. He’s waving his arms and getting the crowd into it, some noise at long last. Iverson comes down and hits a fallaway mid range J. 6-0 Nuggets run.
  • Kobe to Fish, three point basket to stop the bleeding. The Nuggets had cut it to 10.
  • Kobe to Fish, three point basket to put the Lakers back in firm control. They’re up 81-64.
  • Kobe has it, he’s dribbling up front, Carmelo is on him, to Gasol, to Walton, back to Gasol, he misses the open 16 footer after a bad gamble by Najera. Fisher picks up his fourth. Fisher has 14 now. Najera with another knuckleheaded turnover, leaning the shoulder into Odom on the drive. Silly boy.
  • Lakers can close the third now in complete control. Bryant has a three ball go in and out. He’s looking for the kill, just take the easy two. Not quick threes.
  • JR Smith takes another quick three. Kleiza over the back again, Walton gets two and hits two. Kleiza is livid. The refs have been real slow on those two calls. Another dumb turnover and another easy two given to LA. Can’t make runs playing like this.
  • Lakers hold it for the final shot, two seconds different, the Lakers are up 19. Farmar dribbles it out and takes a 22 foot contested jumper. Miss.
  • End of Three
  • I feel sorry for George Karl. He’s a good coach with a dysfunctional and thoroughly mediocre team. Now the network wants him to speak at the break of the quarter and say something entertaining. What’s to say? Let him yell at his player.
  • Luke Walton hustles down the court beating everyone down for the layup. 21 point lead now.
  • Lakers need to keep it together for 5 minutes here but they’re pretty much home. Little hesitant because of the firepower the Nuggets have.
  • Najera running the point now, Nene takes the 17 footer off the mid post. Odom travels on the other end. Only the fifth turnover for LA, 14 for Denver.
  • Iverson sits down
  • Melo, JR, Nene, Najera and Carter in for Denver as they look to make a run. Carmelo turns it over after forcing the shot.
  • Kobe on the sideline giving pointers to his teammates on the floor. Very calm, just looking to share some information.
  • Anthony with a nice drive, blows the layup. Lakers ball. Lakers lead 87-68.
  • Luke walton posts up JR Smith and set up Farmar after the double team. Air ball.
  • Quick inbounds all the way up court to the corner, JR Smith drives it right to the hoop and gets fouled.
  • Lakers are up 23 with 8 minutes to play. Derek Fisher is on the floor right now, Phil must want his side to stay focused and execute well until the time rules Denver out.
  • Another quick and missed three. This time from Carter. Now from Najera. Kleiza got the putback.
  • 7 minutes to play. 19 point lead. I’m going to call it, Denver have packed it in, complete lack of effort and focus out there. Carter takes another quick three. Carmelo is just looking over his shoulder wondering why the heck nobody is passing him the ball? Maybe it’s because you didn’t pass the ball today or the other two games this series. That and the fact your teammates are playing stupid ball trying for threes instead of quick twos. Lakers up 23, calling it, Laker win.

This done. Lakers up 3-0. This series is over. Nuggets are need of a major restructuring job this summer.

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