Lakers Need More Pau
Kobe Bryant taking it to the basket in Game 2 of the Western Conference Finals against the Denver Nuggets. AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill
I don't get it. In Game 1 of the Western Conference Finals Pau Gasol got nine field goal attempts. In Game 2 he got eight. In these two games, Gasol has less attempts than he did in Game 7 of the Houston Rockets series.
I understand that the Denver Nuggets have more capable big men than the Houston Rockets did, but Gasol is one of the premier scoring big men in the association. Nene and the Birdman Chris Anderson could probably hamper Gasol a little bit, but if given the opportunity he could get 25 points with no sweat.
Meanwhile the recurring problem for the Lakers has been exposed for all the world to see. The Lakers point guards are getting worked. Opposing point guards have been able to have their way against Derek Fisher and Jordan Farmar. Part of this has been hidden under the carpet when the Lakers are active on defense. But after the first quarter of Game 2, the Lakers suddenly became flat-footed allowing Chauncey Billups to run the Nuggets offense with ease.
This is not time to sound all the bells and whistles. All the Lakers need to do is make a few adjustments and never let up. In Game 2 it looked all well and good when the Lakers went up by 14 points, but suddenly they started to be lazy on defense. That's not how you play in the playoffs, ask LeBron James.
But I've almost given up trying to predict what's going to happen in these games. It's possible for the Nuggets to beat the Lakers by 30, the Lakers to beat the Nuggets by 30 or for yet another nailbiter. Nothing is surprising. But I'm going go out on a limb and say the Nuggets will win tonight's game by two points.
Game 3 of the Western Conference Finals will be aired tonight at 5:30 pm on ABC and AM 570 KLAC.