One and twelve.
That is Pau Gasol’s career record in Playoff games.
But what a one it was, 36 points, 16 rebounds and 8 assists.
All game highs.
Jaw dropping. Simply astounding.
Aside from arguably the best statistical Playoff performance since Big Game James, the Lakers also went up one game to nil against the Nuggets.
In nearly every way the Lakers showed that they are indeed, worlds apart from the Denver Nuggets.
They did it with supreme execution on the offensive end and indifference at the defensive side of the floor.
Guess which half of that equation will have to change.
As Game Two approaches and the City reaches a fever pitch, it is important to keep a watchful eye on the way the Nuggets respond to the events of Sunday afternoon.
After Pau exposed last year’s Defensive Player of the Year Marcus Camby underneath the hoop will the Nugget’s last line of defense regain his shot-blocking stature?
After Kobe’s wretched 9-26 afternoon, will Coach George Karl stick with Kenyon Martin as a defender?
Can the Lakers tighten up on defense and deny Linas Kleiza another big game off the bench?
The Denver Nuggets are full of could-haves, should-haves and never-dids. The Lakers are teeming with potential that is finally being fulfilled.
See the difference?
Playoff Update! -
Preceding the Lakers on TNT is Game Two of the East’s 1 vs. 8 matchup. The Celtics cruised to a 104-81 undressing of the Atlanta Hawks in Sunday’s Game One.
Sources from the innards of the TD Banknorth Garden state that if the C’s tally a 30+ point lead that Kevin Garnett and Danny Ainge will have the option to tag-team wrestle any current and former Hawk duo at mid-court.
Look for a KG & Danny versus Mookie Blaylock & Zaza Pachulia brawl by the Third Quarter.
National: TNT (Marv Albert & Reggie Miller)
Los Angeles: Fox Sports West (Joel Myers & Stu Lantz)
Denver: Altitude (Chris Marlowe & Scott Hastings)
Los Angeles: AM570 KLAC (Spero Dedes & Mychal Thompson)
Denver: KKFN The Fan 104.3 FM (Jerry Schemmel & Jason Kosmicki)
- Out: A. Bynum (Knee), T. Ariza (Foot)
- Questionable: D. Mbenga (Ribs)
- Will Play: K. Bryant (Pinkie), D. Fisher (Foot)
- Questionable: Nenê (Groin)
Trade Request Rescinded!: It finally happened. It took 83 games. Kobe came out and said it:”I love the weather. I love my ’63 drop-top Impala. I love the 405.” Oh, yeah, he loves being a Laker too. Sure is nice to hear. Exhale.
One Technical, Two Technicals, OUT! The burning question is really if Allen Iverson was already booted in Game One (due to what my mother deemed was “bad manners”), what will happen in Game Two!? Do these Nuggets truly have enough self-control to make it to the Second Half? Will J.R. Smith try and throw down in fisticuffs with Jack? Will that wacky dreadlocked gnome the Nuggets call a Strength and Conditioning Coach, Steve Hess spontaneously start making out with Kenyon Martin? Will Carmelo try and hydrate himself solely with Appletinis and Miller Chill?
This is the way I see it going down.
Varsity Challenge -
(Prize – A Mitch Kupchak Brand Throat Lozenge!)
How many Denver Nugget starters have been arrested for possession of Marijuana?