Thursday May 10th NBA Playoffs Picks and Tips: Lakers at Nuggets
Thursday, May 10, 2012
The Nuggets – admittedly fueled by Bynum's comments that close-out games can be easy – forced the series back to Denver for Game 6 on Thursday night and have a chance to deadlock the best-of-seven series at 3-3. Tuesday’s loss snapped a string of eight straight wins by the Lakers in potential close-out games.
When: 10:30 PM ET, Thursday, May 10, 2012
Where: Pepsi Center, Denver, Colorado
TV: 10:30 p.m. ET, TNT, ALT
Los Angeles Lakers : A spectacular barrage of late 3-pointers by Kobe Bryant overshadowed a remarkably lackluster effort by Los Angeles in Game 5. While Bryant finished with 43 points, it speaks volumes to the Lakers' offensive inefficiency that reserve Matt Barnes took 14 shots – second only to Bryant. Barnes is 2 of 20 from behind the arc in the series, and the continued reliance on the perimeter game has prevented Los Angeles from exploiting its massive size advantage inside. Forward Pau Gasol's scoring average is down nearly five points from the regular season and his nine points in Game 5 marked the first time he failed to score in double figures since Jan. 22.
Denver Nuggets : For those who thought backup center JaVale McGee's breakout performance in Game 3 was an aberration, guess again. The skywalking McGee scored 14 of his 21 points in the second half and grabbed a game-high 14 rebounds, including six on the offensive glass. Equally impressive was the stunning contributions of backup point guard Andre Miller, who had 24 points and eight rebounds and ignited the run that allowed Nuggets to build a 15-point fourth-quarter lead. Another key development was the awakening of shooting guard Arron Afflalo, who scored 19 points. He had netted only 36 points in the first four games after averaging 18.7 points in the final month of the season.
In four games at the Pepsi Center this
season, Bryant is shooting a mere 30.3 percent (30 of 99).
2. The Lakers had not lost a close-out playoff game since 2006 against Phoenix.
3. Teams facing a 3-1 deficit have come back to win a series only eight times in NBA history.
NBA BASKETBALL PREDICTION: Lakers 97, Nuggets 93
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