NBA Roundtable

Game One: Los Angeles vs Denver

In 2009 NBA Playoffs, Game Log / Recap on May 19, 2009 at 9:32 pm

Game One

I can’t even feign my interest in this series. Hopefully LA will win, and win quick.

First Quarter

I missed the first five minutes of the game, I got distracted by the lottery, by the way, Congratulations to the Clippers!

The Nuggets lead 16-6 after a Martin bucket

  • Melo and Bryant trade jump shots. Anthony is 4-4 from the field for 9 points already.
  • Derek Fisher misses a pull up J, off the dribble, from the top of the key.
  • Kobe Bryant dribbling upcourt in transition, Jones goes for the steal, Kobe snakes by him, and hits the 15 footer.
  • Ariza left wide open for a three pointer … three second violation, offensive, turnover. The Nuggets helping hard off of Ariza there.
  • Kobe Bryant defending Billups there, Billups blows by him easily off the screen and roll (bad defense from Bryant), but Billups misses the layup.
  • Nene gets his second layup off a cut tonight.
  • Lovely move from Bynum, spun baseline, up and under, reverse layup on the other side of the rim. Nene can’t guard him — I don’t know why he can’t guard him but he can’t. Nene is normally a very good post defender.

Denver lead 20-12 with 3:30 to play

  • Ariza slithers into the paint, flips up a running floater/hook or something, misses badly.
  • Billups feeds Martin, slam dunk!
  • The Lakers defense is all over the place — they’re missing a bunch of defensive rotations around the paint.
  • Kobe Bryant drops a fadeaway J on the baseline from 17 feet
  • Nice ball movement from Denver, they swing the ball over to an open Anthony, three pointer? Good!
  • Bryant misses the jump shot, rebound Pau Gasol (he’ll have that all series), putback Gasol and he draws the foul.

Denver lead 27-17 with 1:35 to play

  • Anthony drops another jumper. He’s red hot to start this game.
  • Lakers run the fastbreak, Walton dribbling down the left wing, into the perimeter, kicks it out to Vujacic in the corner, three pointer on the way, good!
  • Kenyon Martin hits a long jump shot. The Lakers are leaving him wide open and baiting him into that shot.
  • Shannon Brown hits another three pointer for LA
  • Chauncey Billups beats Brown off the bounce, into the lane, fouled, Billups misses both at the line. Chauncey toasted him off the dribble, lovely shake and bake from Chauncey.

Second Quarter

The Nuggets lead 31-23

  • Denver fumbles the defensive rebound, it falls straight into Bynum’s hands, he’s hacked all over his body by two different Nuggets on the putback, he goes to the line and hits two. 6 point game.
  • LA is using a full court press, the Nuggets pass it to midcourt to Andersen, JR Smith sprints into the full court, collects the hand off from Andersen, Denver have a 3-on-2, Smith fouled as he attacks the paint. He misses both.
  • The Nuggets are 1-6 from the FT line. They’d still be up double digits if they had of made their FTs.
  • Luke Walton is left wide open for a 18 foot jumper, he misses — great defense by Denver on the post, by the post defender and more importantly by their perimeter defenders helping down. Very active defense.
  • Luke Walton on the right wing, drives left, into the paint, floater, hits it! I like to see Walton do well … I wish it would happen more often though!
  • Odom snakes his way into the paint on a fastbreak, finds Bynum under the rim for a dunk, he’s blocked up top from Andersen. Great job by the Birdman.
  • Andersen gets his shot blocked on the other end, but he retrieves it and gets fouled on the putback
  • Farmar misses a wide open three, but the Lakers force an extra possession by competitng on the glass (Denver hit the ball out of bounds)
  • Farmar knocks downa pull up jumper from 16 feet on the left wing
  • Nene hits a short shot
  • Turnover Lakers, fastbreak Denver, Nene leads the break, passes it to Smith for a layup, missed, rebound Odom … fastbreak the other way, to Walton in the left corner, Walton drains it.

The Lakers were down 13 points, but they’ve cut the deficit to three. The score is 35-32 Denver.

  • Nene gets an easy dunk once again. Nice roll to the rim from Nene.
  • Lamar Odom bags a three over Andersen — hate that shot — he’s 10-19 from three in the playoffs, he’s got to start missing soon, right?
  • Kobe Bryant posts up Carter on the left post, catches it, instant fadeaway, misses.
  • Farmar misses a step back three, nice head fake to move Andersen out of the way.
  • Great defense by the Nuggets on that sideline inbounds, they almost got a steal there, Pau just kept it away from the defender.
  • Terrible turnover from the Lakers in the backcourt on a fastbreak, Billups draws another foul as he heads to the rim. Billups is 1-4 from the line. He makes both.
  • Kobe in the post once again, doubled, tunrs away from teh double and takes a fadeaway, misses

We’re at the midway point in the second quarter. Denver is leading 40-35.

  • Lakers hit a pair of FTs. Three point game once again.
  • Odom gets a piece of that layup attempt, rebound LA.
  • Nene swats Derek Fisher’s lefty layup. Fourth block of the night for Denver. They’re the second best shot blocking team in terms of blocks per game.
  • Ariza almost put Kleiza on a poster … but he missed the dunk while being fouled. Great drive by Ariza out of the corner.
  • Nene makes a pair of FTs
  • Kobe Bryant throws down a thunderous dunk!
  • Beautiful pass inside to Nene, layup plus the foul. Nene was going up to set a screen, but slipped the screen before he set it after Pau over-helped, he went straight to the rim, the defense wasn’t there, and he got the three point play as a result.

Denver lead 44-40 with four minutes to play

  • Josh Powell entered the game as Odom picked up his third foul — not Bynum?
  • Josh Powell catches it on the right block, 13 feet from the rim, steps back and buries a face up jumper. Nice shot.
  • Josh Powell whacks Kenyon Martin on his drive — bad defense. Nice hard foul though.
  • The Lakers have to start playing some defense — another easy dunk for Nene, he just out-ran everyone else.
  • Bryant gets a great look from three on the left sideline, he hits it! One point game!
  • Kobe Bryant on the offensive glass, putback, wow … what a block by Kenyon Martin way over the rim, he got the ball up 12-13 feet in the air, swats into the open court, dunk for Melo
  • Turnover Lakers, fastbreak Denver, Martin layup, misses, Powell did a nice job contesting the shot, rebound Ariza.
  • Great pass inside to Powell, fouled. He makes two FTs and gives LA the lead.

Final minutes — Lakers lead 50-49

  • Denver hit a pair of FTs and retake the lead
  • Fisher misses a good look from 20 feet. It was a pull up jumper from the top of the key. Fisher is really struggling.
  • Josh Powell gives a stupid foul away after the rebound 80 feet from the rim. JR Smith misses the first, Denver have only hit 11-20 FTs, Smith makes the second one.
  • Kobe Bryant goes to work on Jones, just outside the left elbow, backs him in, turns, fadeaway, fouled, hits the shot and misses the FT. Tie game.

23 seconds to play — final possession — Melo milks the clock, nice stutter step to beat the defender, help arrives, great pass to Martin who was cloaking on the baseline, slam dunK! Angry shout from Kenyon too! The Nuggets left too much time on the clock though … in to Kobe, into the open court, drive and kick to Fisher in the corner, and Fish drains the triple!

Halftime

Lakers lead 55-54

The Nuggets should be proud of how they’ve played offensively and defensively in the first half. If they’d just made their FTs, they’d be up by a good margin right now. They’re aggressive, active and playing intelligent basketball.

The Lakers haven’t played with concentration defensively and, as a result, they’ve conceded a huge number of easy baskets right at the rim and been forced into a bunch of fouls. A disappointing performance from LA.

I can’t help but wonder where Denver would be without a huge first half from Anthony (8-11 for 20 points) and a bunch of very good performances across the board. My thought, my concern is, is this sustainable for Denver?

Third Quarter

Lakers leading 55-54 to start the second half

  • Kobe Bryant makes the two handed dunk — nice curl by Bryant off a screen around the left post/elbow, pass by Gasol as Bryant curled into the lane, took a dribble and dunked it home. He has 20 points on 8-18 shooting. He’s been getting good looks, and has been able to beat the Nuggets defense regularly, but he hasn’t shot the ball well tonight.
  • Chauncey Billups drains a three pointer to give the Nuggets the lead back
  • Anthony faces up Ariza from 21 feet, top of the key, Denver turn it into an iso, he takes one dribble left and just rises up over Ariza and drains the shot. There’s nothing Ariza can do defensively against Melo, he’s uncomfortable defending someone of his physical size with guard like abilities.
  • Carmelo Anthony left wide open from downtown and he bags a triple — terrible defense by Ariza — great cross court pass by Billups to Melo
  • Turnover, fastbreak LA, Bryant to Odom, slam dunk
  • Fastbreak LA, Fisher misses a pull up 20 footer on the right wing, Ariza rips down the offensive rebound but he gets stripped on his way back up … Nuggets pass it ahead and Melo drains a three pointer/two pointer — foot may have been on the line

It’s 66-61 Denver after five minutes

  • Gasol cleans up the miss in the paint, putback good. Good job by Gasol following the open path to the rim, earning himself a rebound and an easy bucket.
  • Ariza steals the ball …. fastbreak, holds it up, passes it back to the trailer, Fisher easy layup.
  • Timeout Denver
  • Ariza picks up his fourth foul — he now has more fouls than points — as he tried to defend Melo off the dribble from 26 feet. Luke Walton checks in and he’ll defend Melo now — bad matchup.
  • Oh my, great defense from the Nuggets and very poor decision making from the Lakers, but Fisher balied them out big time with a tough drive baseline, firstly to beat Billups, second to slither past the help defender on the baseline, and thirdly to finish the flipped shot off the glass. Big play from Fisher.
  • Bad shot rfom Jones, rebound Gasol, fastbreak, another bucket for LA. The momentum is starting to swing their way.
  • Chris Andersen creates off the dribble from 16 feet … and gets to the rim and finishes the runner.
  • Kobe Bryant posts up Jones, he’s four feet from the rim, great position, makes the catch, immediately turns and shoots and scores the shot.
  • Kobe Bryant blows by Smith, to the rim, layup, stripped. Lot of contact. Kobe picks up a tech as he slammed the ball down the other end. Good non-call by the refs.

Lakers lead 72-69 with 3:20 to play — Denver have another two FTs, and Billups makes them.

  • Luke Walton posts up Carmelo Anthony, takes a baseline jump hook from 8 feet, misses. That is not a shot you want.
  • Beautiful no look, behind the back, wrap around pass out of the corner down the baseline to a cutting Brown for a layup, miss. Great pass from Walton.
  • Smith turns it over. He has only 1 points on 0-2 shooting. If he can get it together … the Nuggets should win.
  • Billups hit a beautiful runner in the lane a few moments ago.
  • Smith turns the ball over again, this time for pushing off on Bryant as Kobe denied him the pass extremely well.
  • Lakers turn it over right back — sloppy quarter
  • Billups takes a quick three pointer off the dribble there, miss. He’s 3-9 from the floor.
  • Lakers lead 12-2 in second chance points as Walton rips down an offensive board, and finds a cutting Gasol for a dunk, to give LA another second chance basket.
  • Odom blocks Martin from behind, fastbreak LA, Brown into the open court, hammered by Ariza. Body check which floored Brown. The Nuggets had a foul to give there so no FTs. Good foul by Kleiza.
  • Bryant misses a face up jump shot from 19 feet above the right elbow
  • JR Smith drains a 25 footer on teh catch and shoot on the left wing. Big shot. Denver have taken the lead back.
  • Brown misses a three — too many jump shots from LA
  • Chris Andersen leveled Brown with a screen in the backcourt, the Nuggets are holding the ball for the final shot of the quarter so no advantage gained, good defense by Brown after getting back, Billups misses a tough runner from 18 feet.

Fourth Quarter

Denver lead 76-74

  • Kenyon facing up Gasol from the top of the key, he goes off the bounce, comes back to his left hand, throws up a floater, hits it
  • Martin is down — I think he hit his hand, not sure what happened. Nope, Kobe hit his hand, and then ran into Martin after being stripped — Timeout Nuggets to check out Martin

Carmelo Anthony has 30 points on just 15 shot attempts. Only four FTs too. He’s been scoring almost every shot tonight.

Pau Gasol hasn’t been involved often enough tonight. Limited number of touches in dangerous spots and he has only gotten 8 shots as a result. The lack of Gasol has hurt the Lakers offense, and is the main reason for their poor execution offensively.

Denver leads 78-74 after a minute

We’ve barely seen Bynum tonight. Only 14 minutes due to foul trouble. He had some good minutes in the first quarter but the rest of his night has been forgettable.

  • Pretty bounce pass from Billups to Andersen for the layup. Nice blow by from Billups on Brown to create that easy shot.
  • Reach in foul on Melo as he tried to deny the pass to Kobe on the midpost. That’s his third foul.
  • Bryant bags a three pointer — Smith fell asleep while Bryant was trying to find Gasol inside
  • Catch and shoot three pointer from Smith at the top of the key
  • Pau Gasol backs down Nene, double comes as Gasol turns middle, kickout to Farmar for a three pointer on the right wing, hits it!
  • Lovely lob pass by JR Smith to Andersen, fouled before he could dunk home the pass. Great pass.

The Lakers need to feed Pau Gasol the ball. Good things happen for them offensively when he touches the ball in dangerous areas.

Denver lead 85-82 after three minutes — Denver have missed 10 FTs on 29 attempts

  • Vujacic on the right wing, drives left, open lane, to the rim, elevates (doesn’t get high enough), Andersen blocks his shot, Odom gets it back but turns it over.
  • Nene misses the 19 footer on the left wing, offensive rebound and lay in for Melo! Big bucket from Anthony
  • JR Smith soars high to rip down the defensive rebound after Vujacic takes a lousy three point shot
  • Melo scores another bucket
  • Vujacic misses another three pointer

Vujacic is killing the Lakers — get him off the floor now

  • Kobe Bryant in transition, dribbling down to the baseline, nothing on, circles back around, beats his man, into the paint, runner plus the foul, good!

Interesting info regurgitated by JVG — Karl said he usually goes with Carter down the stretch when the Nuggets are leading, because of his defense. If the Nuggets are behind, he normally goes with JR Smith, for more offense.

Denver lead 91-87 after two Bryant FTs — make that 93-89 after they trade baskets with a little under six minutes to play

  • Odom blocks the shot, fastbreak, nothing on, inside to Odom, spins, shoots, Martin blocks … fastbreak the other way, Melo draws a foul and makes two at the line.
  • The Nuggets have missed 10 FTs tonight, but they’ve been great in the second half from the line, hitting 11 of their last 12.
  • Odom takes a fallaway, misses, great defense from Martin.
  • Billups misses a three … in and out … that would have been a dagger

Denver leading 94-89 with 4:30 to play

  • The Nuggets leave Ariza wide open on the right wing, and he nails the three pointer. Wow. Big shot, and a 6 point swing there on the Billups/Ariza three pointers. Two point game.
  • Ariza defensive rebound … Bryant stripped on the other end, turnover.
  • Anthony Carter is wide open for a 17 footer at the top of the key, misses, offensive rebound Anthony, putback. Ariza cannot handle Melo’s physical strength. Great job by Melo to punish Ariza.
  • Timeout LA — Bryant pulls up and drains the jumper over Andersen. Huge shot.
  • Billups on the drive, dumps it off to Nene, Nene takes a power dribble inside, layup, aggressive move, blocked by Gasol
  • Bryant drive and kick to Fisher in the right corner, Fisher drains it. Great job by Bryant and big shot by Fisher.

Lakers lead 97-96 with two and a half to play

  • Carmelo Anthony posts up off the left post, on Kobe, Kobe fronts him, pass to Melo, Melo turns and drives hard to the rim, great defensive rotation by Gasol, he stands tall and takes the hit, charge on Melo!
  • Pau Gasol posts up Martin down on the left post, takes two bounces and draws the foul. Gasol has only taken one FT tonight, and has shot only 68% from the line in the playoffs. Gasol misses both — big misses — rebound Nene.
  • Billups uses two high screen and rolls from Nene, on the second one, he steps back on the left wing, gets the Gasol switch, dribbles hard left, step back J, from three, hits it. Huge shot.
  • Terrible possession from LA — they can’t get Bryant the ball, Fisher forced to jack a bad three, miss, offensive rebound Gasol, foul on Nene as Martin blocks him from behind — Nene has fouled out — By the way, bad possession for LA mainly due to the excellent defense played from Denver. It was Melo who kept the ball out of Kobe’s hands.
  • Gasol makes two FTs. Tie game.

One minute remaining — 99-99 Tie Game

  • Andersen misses a runner in the lane, loose rebound tipped out, Andersen dives on it, gets the ball, Odom ties him up. Jump ball. Great defensive rotation from Odom to contest that Andersen shot attempt. Odom wins the tip, gets it to Gasol.
  • Kobe goes one-on-one, pull up J from Kobe over Melo from 21 feet at the top of the key, misses, offensive rebound for LA though … as Denver hit it out of bounds.

Timeout Denver — 35.5 seconds to play — 99-99 Tie Game

  • Kobe gets fouled and hits two clutch free throws.

Timeout Nuggets

  • Sideline inbounds, Carter lobs in the pass, stolen by Ariza …. Lakers milk the clock, Bryant at the top of the key, starts to create, crossing the ball over, baits Carter into reaching, blows by him, to the rim, layup attempt, fouled.
  • Great defense by Lamar Odom on the inbounds pass. His height and length was a huge problem for Carter. Shades of Toni Kukoc there!
  • Kobe makes the first FT, he’s 9-10 from the line tonight and has 37 points, and hits the second FT.

10 seconds to play — four point Lakers lead — Timeout Denver, that was Denver’s final timeout, so they can’t advance the ball on their next possession.

  • Billups hits a fallaway rainbow three from the left corner! Wow! Ariza was in his face, step back J too. Wow!
  • Inbounds to Kobe, he’s fouled. Denver still down one and has no timeouts. There are 6 seconds remaining. Kobe hits the first, hits the second.
  • Denver inbound the ball to Smith, he’s fouled in the backcourt as he dribbled upcourt. Good foul by Fisher to put Smith on the line — According to JVG, Phil Jackson does not believe in fouling to avoid a three point attempt, but he altered his approach there and I think it was a great decision.
  • Smith misses the first one. He needs to miss the second and try for a tap, he front rims it, rebound Kobe Bryant

Lakers win! Huge win for LA!

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  1. All the way baby- We can do it! Let’s go Lakers (clap) (clap) (clap) (clap)

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