How long can the Denver Nuggets continue their home court dominance? They have won 16 straight games in the Pepsi Center and so far in the 2009 NBA Playoffs the Nuggets have won each of their six home games by at least 12 points.
Of course the Los Angeles Lakers are not the New Orleans Hornets nor are they the Dallas Mavericks. As Kobe Brant has enjoyed pointing out after game two the Lakers had the best road record in the NBA at 29-12. To put that in perspective there were 20 teams who failed to win as many as 29 games at home.
To expect another home blowout might be presumptuous. Of course, after the four conference finals games that have been played the Nuggets three point win in game two has proven to be the largest margin of victory. One of these games has to be over before the final possession, right? If not health care facilities in Denver, Los Angeles, Cleveland and Orlando better stock up on defibrillators.
After two games I do not know that any of us have a better grip on what to expect. Was the resurgence of Linas Kleiza for real or was it a one night only special event? Are Anthony Carter and Dahntay Jones both going to be restricted to spot duty? Will George Karl trot out the big lineup again? Will either of these teams run? Can the Nuggets keep the battle on the boards even or will the Lakers size slowly wear them down? Is this all we can expect out of J.R. Smith? Is this all we can expect from Lamar Odom? Is this all we can expect from Andrew Bynum? Will Nene be the guy who scored 14 points in the first half of game one or will he be the guy who scored six points in the three halves since then? How long can Kobe carry this team on both ends of the floor? Will Phil Jackson demote Derek Fisher from potential game two hero to watching Jordan Farmar and Shannon Brown from the padded folding chairs? Who will blink first Kobe or Carmelo?
Pretty much all we do know at this point is both of these teams seem to be very evenly matched and you do not want to build up a double digit first half lead and end up scoring 103 points. That has not worked yet.
I believe at this point in the series both teams feel just as confident as they did when the series began. They are both laying in their beds right now thinking to themselves that they should be up 2-0. Neither team has landed a blow that has rattled the other. The only way I see that happening is if one team wins both of the games in Denver.
As good as the Lakers are on the road, they do not play better there than they do at Staples Center. On the other hand we can expect the Nuggets to play better than they did in those first two games when they were on the road. While both teams are confident it is clear that the Nuggets have the advantage until the Lakers knock them off in Denver. That might happen tomorrow or it may not happen at all. Plus if there was any doubt in the Nuggets’ heads before game one, they have been obliterated.
I am pumped because tomorrow I will be attending my first playoff game since the 2005 series against the Spurs. If you want to say, “hi” or “you suck, quit blogging” or “go Nuggets” I will be planted in section 342, row 4, seat 1 and I will have my baby blue Nuggets shirt on. I would love to get a chance to meet some of my loyal readers so if you have a minute stop on by. I have a good bladder and no desire to pay what it costs for a hotdog and a Sprite Pepsi so I will be there all game long.
Featured Nuggets Blogs: Pickaxe and Roll | Denver Stiffs | Nugg Doctor | Nuggets Nuggetz | Nugg Love check out the Kobe Stop Crying sign pictures and Chauncey’s inbound pass off the back of a defender from his George Washington days
Take this with you: Some numbers for your consideration:
- Denver is 5-0 in the 2009 playoffs when Chauncey scores 25 or more points and they are 3-4 when he scores 24 or less.
- After only averaging three fouls a game over the Nuggets first seven playoff games, Nene is averaging five over his last five games.
- Carmelo has five straight 30 point playoff games setting a new Nuggets record. Over the past 25 years only three players have had longer streaks and they are Shaquille O’Neal, Hakeem Olajuwon and Michael Jordan all with streaks of six.
- Kobe has five technical fouls in the 2009 postseason and if he hits seven he has to sit a game.
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