Game 6 Live Blog at Forum Blue and Gold
This is it. I have had a lot of people ask me if I think the Denver Nuggets can win a game seven from the Staples Center. While I do not love their chances of winning that game, they first have to earn the right to play a game seven by beating the Los Angeles Lakers in game six at the Pepsi Center.
As George Karl said today there are not many adjustments to make and any alteration is bound to be a slight one. At this point both teams know each other inside and out. It comes down to execution.
Denver will be looking for bounce back games from players like Chauncey Billups, J.R. Smith and Nene while the Lakers will be hoping they can get another exceptional effort from Lamar Odom.
A few minor changes that I would like to see is better execution of the trap the Nuggets like to spring on the sideline off the screen and roll. The two trapping players need to smother the ball handler. In game five they allowed themselves to be spread out and provided too much room to locate an open teammate. Also, the positioning needs to be better from the other three players to cut off any pass that can lead to an immediate scoring opportunity.
I would like to see Melo post up more often. If the Lakers double him, it will open the lanes for players to cut to the rim. If he is not doubled, he is a quick dribble from getting to the rim. No matter what the Nuggets will need better movement off the ball than they established in game five.
Do not force the three ball. Players like Chauncey, J.R. and Kleiza all need to shoot a couple of threes, but if it is not falling, try something else. I can live with a 1-4 or 1-5. I cannot live with another 1-10.
Play with controlled desperation. I do not think Denver will suffer from a lack of effort tonight, but they cannot afford to lose their focus as they have been wont to do from time to time this series.
As you would expect I think the Nuggets will win tonight. There is certainly a chance that the Lakers will relax ever so slightly knowing they have an ace in their pocket that is home court for game seven.
Take this with you: The Nuggets have lost seven straight close out games tying the all time record held by the Hawks (1968-78) and Hornets (1993-2002). That sounds bad, but let me spin it for you. It is not easy to set any all time record so I suspect Denver will end that string tonight.
Also, Carmelo turns 25 today. If he is as aggressive tonight as he was in the fourth quarter of game five I think it will be a memorable occasion. I wonder if Rocky will manage to throw another cake at a Lakers fan to commemorate the moment.