Before you read any further, you should now that you're reading this from the most biased and blind Denver Nuggets fan ever. This is my favorite team of all time. Ticketproxy was actually started on the backs of the Nuggets in the 2009 playoff run. On the other side of the situation, no year other than this would I have ever written such a blog suggesting the Nuggets could beat the LA Lakers in the playoffs. It really has never been a feasible goal any year since the team acquired Pau Gasol in 2008 and started making annual trips to the NBA finals. This year is different though, circumstances have changed; I legitimately think they stand a chance and I don't feel like an idiot saying it. I actually feel if there was any year to to write something so ridiculous it has to be this year!
9) Deeper Team
The Nuggets lack superstars for sure. Most casual fans outside of Denver could probably barely name more than 1-2 guys on the squad since Nene left in March. This is still a very good team though that has more than a normal amount of contributors coming from the bench. Most teams struggle or play stagnant when the bench players come out and the starters have to sit and rest. You see less of the starters resting in the playoffs, but at some point in every game they have all have to. The Nuggets are one of the rare teams where in some games the bench team often outplays the starting five players on both teams. To give you a snapshot, The Nuggets bench averaged 41.4 points this season while the Lakers bench averaged 21. That's how lopsided of an advantage this is for the Nuggets and you can bet you won't even see Birdman get more than a few minutes of playing time.
Nuggets are the second fastest team in the NBA. They put up more fast break points this season and the Lakers are going to have to match that speed if they're gonna beat the Nuggets. No taking night's off or even quarters or minutes. The Nuggets are going to make them run, the Lakers are going to have to consistently slow them and the game down. It's a disadvantage because the Lakers style of play where they click the best is not in this same fast style of play.
7) Mike Brown is no Phil Jackson
11 rings vs none. Mike Brown is only coaching the Lakers because he was the most viable option available at a time the Lakers desperately needed to fill in Phil's shoes. He's not a championship coach. He will not motivate any players deep into the playoffs or make them push through when games get in tough situations. I have yet to see where this was accomplished all season long. The Denver Nuggets for the first time ever have the coaching advantage in George Karl. He's gone deeper into the playoffs in his career as well as made more playoff appearances. If Karl can pull this off he will finally break the stigma laying over his head since he arrived for this broken team.
The Nuggets Defense is one of the toughest in the league in the paint. The only deficiency is the raining 3s party they occasionally allow. This problem should fix itself in the playoffs with more effort in guarding the key shooters. This team is going to be hard to penetrate, hard to rebound and hard to get around.
5) The Aging West
The Lakers reign is over. This once mighty team has barely been holding it together. They got swept by the Mavs in the second round last year and traded away Fischer, Odom, and tried to rid themselves of Pau Gasol. The clearest sign of this Lakers demise this season was the fact that just as many players showed up to see the once dead Clippers play as they did the Lakers. The tide is turning. The baton is being passed to the younger more hungry teams in the West. This postseason will prove it and not just through this series.
The Nuggets are red hot right now. They finished the season on the road on a 4 game win streak (won 6 of 7) on the road and are clicking. In any sport there is nothing you could possibly want besides momentum and every player being healthy. With it comes confidence and the ability to make better decisions within the game. You can fix those small mistakes that lead to narrow losses to the Lakers in the regular season. Now is the time for this team to do that. They can't be taken lightly.
3) Manimal and Mcgee
If there is anyone capable of stopping Andrew Bynum or Pau Gasol it's got to be Rookie of the Year, Manimal and JaVale Mcgee. I'm so tired of hearing about the Lakers having the size advantage. Both of these players will show up to play and be more aggressive and those few extra inches won't matter.
3) Charles Barkley endorsed the Nuggets
Sir Charles like's to tell it how it is. I personally trust him over any other commentator in the sport.
2) Metta World Peace
Metta World Peace will be missing in action for the first 6 games of the series. He's serving a 7 game suspension for elbowing James Hardin in the head. Not only will his aggression and hustle on the court be missed. I'd like to think it's in the Lakers best interest to extend this series as long as possible so even if they were beating up on the Nuggets, you would not want to have to face the Oklahoma City Thunder on the road. The Nuggets will not go down easy in this series nor do the Lakers want them to. It's going the distance.
1) After 9 straight post season appearances the Nuggets are finally due
No team in the post-season is due to get over the hump more than the Nuggets. They haven't escaped the first round more than once over the last 9 seasons. They're notorious for shitting the bed early. But something in my gut says this year is different. They have no baggage or bad habits to rid themselves of. They're true ballers this season. The tide is due to turn eventually. Everything is aligned. If it's ever going to happen it's got to be this season.