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Nuggets run Lakers off court in easy win

Feb 26, 2013, 1:20 AM EST

Anthony Randolph, Andre Iguodala, Corey Brewer AP

When you are trying to explain why a team needs an identity, this game is a case study.

The Lakers identity is still forming, and when you combine that with tired legs on a back-to-back (at altitude in Denver) you get sloppy.

The Nuggets know exactly who they are — they are athletic, balanced and they run. Every chance they get.

That identity exploited Lakers season-long struggles with transition defense. The result was a 119-108 Denver win that wasn’t as close as the score suggests. And the Nuggets did it without Danilo Gallinari, who is out with a thigh bruise.

It’s a game that left the Lakers rooting for Boston (the Celtics beat the Jazz in overtime) because Los Angeles is going to need some help to make the playoffs.

Denver did a great job of playing to their strengths, and with that dictating the tempo and flow of the game. Pretty much whatever Denver did worked. Kenneth Faried put out more energy and effort than all the Lakers bigs combined. Andre Iguodala had 12 assists and was serving as a playmaker. JaVale McGee was a defensive presence.

It all worked and from early on — the Lakers hung in for most of the first quarter but they were playing Denver’s game. You could feel the change coming, and it arrived when the Lakers started coughing the ball up.

Lakers turned the ball over eight times in the second quarter and that fueled the Nuggets, who were off and running. And the Lakers transition defense was as flat footed as ever. The result was 67 first half Nuggets points on 56 percent shooting. Denver had 50 points in the paint in the first half — they would go on to have a ridiculous 78 for the game. The Lakers shot 60 percent and had 54 points at the break, but 12 first had them down 13.

The second half was just more of the same. Any time the Lakers would make a run Faried or McGee would get a block, Ty Lawson would lead the break and pretty soon the Nuggets were running past the Lakers.

Wilson Chandler had 23 points to lead Denver, Lawson added 22 — that is seven straight games for Lawson over 20 points. Kobe had 29 points but it didn’t matter, the Lakers fall back, two games below .500.

They are starting to figure out who they are, but when they run into teams that already have figured it out — like the top half of the Western Conference — it’s a tough go for Los Angeles.

  1. Mr. Wright 212 - Feb 26, 2013 at 1:24 AM

    Lakers win, it takes Kurt nearly 24 hours to write. They lose, he’s on here within the hour lmao

  2. timb12 - Feb 26, 2013 at 1:34 AM

    I don’t want to bad mouth D12, but seeing the Manimal throw down that alley oop on him at the end of the game really shows his lack of effort. If he’s too hurt to compete then don’t go out there.

    • captainwisdom88 - Feb 26, 2013 at 3:08 AM

      i just saw the highlights of this game. The nuggets looked fierce! Played with a ton of emotion and energy

      genuinely stunned

    • deadeyedesign23 - Feb 26, 2013 at 8:47 AM

      To be fair if the dude didn’t play people would step over their own mother to come down on him. Guy can’t win.

  3. fruitcovejag - Feb 26, 2013 at 1:54 AM

    Could have been tied, and maybe OT, if Dwight would have made his FTs (3-14) lol That’s bad, even for Dwight. Hack-a-Dwight will always be a viable strategy if the game is close and he can’t improve his FT shooting.

  4. chainbuzz - Feb 26, 2013 at 1:58 AM

    Lakers can’t beat anybody good. They squeak out a lucky win on a good team in L.A. here or there when Kobe carries them or the good team has an off night, but they usually just beat some crap teams under .500 then they talk about how it’s time to make a run, then they play a good team and they get rolled again and it’s back to reality. There’s a reason they can’t even make it to .500. 78 points in the paint for Denver. lol Here’s George Karl before the game to his team ~ “We’re just going to run them off the floor. Period.” That’s what I would tell my team if I were Karl. They ran L.A. like old dogs at will all night. Lakers can’t play defense, and their inside defensive presence against good teams is embarrassingly non-existent considering Howard’s there. I think.

    The Lakers want to run D’Antoni’s system, and the teams ahead of them they need to beat including Denver salivate at the thought of playing up tempo with the Lakers. Magic was right on when they hired D’Antoni and he said it doesn’t make any sense. Their roster is not equipped to play D’Antoni ball. The fat lady is warming up in L.A.

  5. progress2011 - Feb 26, 2013 at 2:05 AM

    All FAKER FANS ….Here This:

    This game against the Nuggets was a prime example of why people GENUINELY HATE THE FAKERS !

    The BLATANT bad calls by the refs, which helped the lakers win the past 3 games, the same thing was on display during this game.

    The Nuggets won easily by 11. But that should have easily been by 20 or more.

    This game was so badly officiated, it boardered on reason for the Nuggets to forfeit the game!

    I guess the leagues position is – do whatever you can to get the largest market team into the playoffs….fairness be the compromise !

    Watch the tapes of MOST of the chips they’ve won….the same hypocrisy is why the banners hang from the rafters.

    • aboogy123456 - Feb 26, 2013 at 3:15 PM

      shut up, where were you yesterday after kobe played an amazing game against the mavs? I’m not worried about the loss to the nuggets, I could see that coming. It was the second game of a back to back, against a young athletic team in high altitude. Kobe always plays a little bit worse on the back to back, but look at their schedule coming up: barely any back to backs and pretty easy schedule. I suspect we won’t be hearing from you when they win some of these games, so that’s good.

      • progress2011 - Feb 27, 2013 at 4:42 AM

        Booger,

        You are absolutely correct (for once)….I did not blog the previous nite. Other bloggers stated the obvious very well.

        The REFS / STERN did EVERYTHING in their power to help the FAKERS beat 3 very mediocre teams.

        BUT……I”M here tonite, with BUCKETS of salt for your already gaping wounds! Rub-it-in !

    • spthegr8 - Feb 26, 2013 at 7:17 PM

      @”TROLL”2011
      “Here this”??? Or did you mean Hear this????? If you are gonna “TROLL” & we ALL know you are. STEP your game up!!!! That was pretty generic even for you!!!

      • progress2011 - Feb 27, 2013 at 4:39 AM

        supergirl8,

        Thanks for the spell check….I can add you to my staff. I will pay you, for your sharp eye $7.50 an hour.

        Look lady, this is blogging. If you check the time on the post it was 2am !

        By that time, I’d had one Crown & Coke too many …..ahahahahaha….silly girl

      • spthegr8 - Feb 27, 2013 at 9:38 AM

        @promdress
        I forgot your the “TROLL” with sugar!! HAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAYYYYYYYY!!!! & stop lying you know you were drinking hatorade. You have a lifetime supply. You bitter lil “TROLL”!!

      • progress2011 - Feb 27, 2013 at 11:15 AM

        supergirl8….

        I won’t be bitter for long…..in about 5 more games, the FAKERS will be officially out of the playoffs….ahahahaha

        So I ask FAKER NATION, what happened to the 70 win prediction you and the media made, before the first tip off of the season.

        {FAKER NATION General response} See, what had happened is____________________

        Fill in the blank with one of your many excuses:
        Mike Brown
        D’Antoni
        Nash hurt, old, slow etc. etc. etc.
        D12 hurt, washed up, etc. etc. etc.
        Gasol hurt washed up etc. etc. etc.
        Steve Flake and the assortment of terrible bench players

        AHAHAHAHahahaha….Good TImes

  6. hosanamusic - Feb 26, 2013 at 2:11 AM

    Denver would sweep the Lakers in a series with or without any solution to the excuses stated. They’re simply a better team. Yes, sweep…better.

  7. 32magicman - Feb 26, 2013 at 2:27 AM

    Amnesty that?

    • guyaneserj - Feb 26, 2013 at 7:14 AM

      LMAO

  8. adrianfromthecastle - Feb 26, 2013 at 2:33 AM

    “Lakers turned the ball over eight times in the second quarter and that fueled the Nuggets, who were off and running.”

    Practically every turnover Lakers had resulted in points for Nuggets. As a Laker fan myself, their transition defense is hard to watch because chances are its not going to look pretty. Regular season is almost over, playoffs are doubtful.

  9. phillylawhopeful - Feb 26, 2013 at 8:01 AM

    Lakers get run out of the stadium and ESPN/PBT barely has any comments.

    When the Lakers eek out a 2 point win over the Hornets or Wizards in the coming weeks, it’ll be back to 24/7 coverage of how the “Spurs better watch out!” and “The most dangerous 8th seed EVER!”

  10. hojo20 - Feb 26, 2013 at 8:03 AM

    So much for that BIG win in Dallas creating momentum.

  11. themagicfanguy - Feb 26, 2013 at 8:15 AM

    So much for Kobe’s guarantee.

  12. nodindenver - Feb 26, 2013 at 8:33 AM

    Cannot figure out Nuggets. Lose to all the bad teams and beat most the good ones. That switch is going to get them bounced in first round as usual!

    • manchestermiracle - Feb 26, 2013 at 9:28 AM

      One look at the comments on this thread, or any thread about a Laker loss, and you’d think the Nuggets just beat a pretty crappy team.

    • robones - Feb 26, 2013 at 4:51 PM

      to rebuttal your theory, the Nuggets just beat a BAD team (LAKERS) as they supposed to do.

  13. omniusprime - Feb 26, 2013 at 9:03 AM

    The Lakers looked pathetic last night because their most pathetic coach just can’t figure out how to get the Lakers motivated for every game. The Lakers looked old because Ancient Trash Nash is the worst point guard at defending in the NBA, Steve Flake is no better. The game proves just how much the Lakers need a great young point guard like Kyrie Irving, not ancient garbage like Nash and Flake.

    I keep hoping the Lakers keep losing every game so that Dumbtoni gets fired before the end of the season. I don’t want the Lakers making the playoffs thus prolonging the agony of defeat thanks to Dumbtoni’s totally incompetent coaching. The sooner Dumbtoni is gone the sooner the Lakers can find a great coach.

    Thanks Dr. Buss, Rest in Peace!!! Fire Dumbtoni!!! Trade Trash Nash and Steve Flake!!!

    • skids003 - Feb 26, 2013 at 9:50 AM

      They are Professionals, and HIGHLY paid. That should be enough motivation. It ain’t the coach, it’s the punk players.

      • badintent - Feb 27, 2013 at 1:00 AM

        coach Mike Brown and Bernie couldn’t agree with you anymore !!!

  14. cowpiesnotcowboys - Feb 26, 2013 at 9:44 AM

    LAL = LOL

  15. chrisco716 - Feb 26, 2013 at 10:41 AM

    Lakers looked old, slow and for most part unmotivated. Only Kobe demonstrated strong effort. Tough to play at altitude. League needs to investigate one of the refs in this game who made several blatantly incorrect calls/noncalls always in Lakers favor. Let me repeat that in case the league misses it… league needs to investigate one of the refs in this game who made several blatantly incorrect calls/noncalls always in Lakers favor… as pointed out by game announcers.

    • Kurt Helin - Feb 26, 2013 at 6:54 PM

      Yes, game announcers are always an unbiased source for judging referees.

  16. mogogo1 - Feb 26, 2013 at 12:16 PM

    On the on hand I get the whole “will they make the playoffs?” line, but it also totally misses the point that this was not a team put together to sneak in as the eighth seed. They get blown out more often than they win impressively and they have no shot against a top team in a playoff series. It’s like standing on the deck as the Titanic sinks and having somebody tell you success will be measured by whether it stays afloat past the next iceberg.

  17. aboogy123456 - Feb 26, 2013 at 3:22 PM

    this thread is filled with too many haters and that’s all you guys are. The lakers were expected to lose last night. Kobe is worse on back to backs at this stage in his career, the nuggets are a good team, and add in the fact it’s in denver with the high altitude. This would be a tough game for anybody to win, but instead you guys find a reason to hate on the lakers and say they are not built to win or some bs like that, and conveniently forget how pau gasol and jordan hill, two really good players, are both on the bench right now.

    The lakers next two games are both in LA against inferior teams with two nights of rest in between each. They actually have very few back to backs and when they do, it’s against easier teams. This denver game was one of the hardest games they’ll play all season. can’t wait to hear what you haters say in a week from today.

    • beerndrums - Feb 26, 2013 at 4:21 PM

      So you’re saying the Lakers were expected to lose last night huh?
      I coulda sworn that I heard all the Lakers fans saying this would be the team to beat when the season started
      Now they might not even make the playoffs….that would be kinda funny

  18. spthegr8 - Feb 26, 2013 at 5:04 PM

    @aboogy
    These “TROLLS” aren’t worth it bruh!! WUSA……..WUSA…..WUUUUUUSSSSAAAA!!!!!

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