Game 2 of the Western Conference Finals, with the Denver Nuggets again visiting the Lakers in Staples Center. Not sure they'll enjoy their stay very much... Here is your LIVE GameThread – comments update automatically, so don't be shy!
Game 1 was bad, but it was good. The Lakers really struggled, but they were able to grit out a win anyways. It was the kind of effort that you expect from championship teams.
It was also Denver's best chance to win one in L.A. That was the case before the game, even more so when they were up 13 in the first half, and most of all when they led with just a few minutes left in the fourth. And they still couldn't do it.
They were better prepared and better rested than the Lakers, and it didn't matter. Tonight, the Lakers will have caught up in preparation. Expect them to make the necessary adjustments, no longer suffereing from Houston Hangover, but now fully ready for the Denver Derby. And don't expect them to struggle as much as they did in Game 1.
All of which is bad news for Denver. Still, as true as all of this is, let's hope the Lakers themselves aren't thinking this way. As far as they should be concerned, Denver is likely to steal this tonight, and the Lakers need to come out tough and ready to play, to prevent that right from the start. Look for the Lakers to establish Bynum and Gasol early; if Bynum can get going, he'll really bring the defense as well. If Pau can start well, he'll be good to go for the game.
Game 2, here we go! Let's put these Nuggets in a hole too deep to climb out of.