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BRESNAHAN'S TAKE

Lakers leading series, but they still need to improve

Staff writer Mike Bresnahan ties up some loose ends on days of Lakers playoff games.

May 21, 2009|Mike Bresnahan

Staff writer Mike Bresnahan ties up some loose ends on days of Lakers playoff games.

Q&A of the day

Question: Good morning, Bresnahan. I read your story. Can you believe it? :) Do you think we will beat the Nuggets?

-- Alaya Leyva, Santa Monica

Answer: It's always great to hear from an ex-girlfriend, even if she calls me by my last name . . . sigh.

And, yes, I think the Lakers will win the series if their frontcourt starts producing on offense, the Nuggets continue to shoot 65.7% from the free-throw line and Trevor Ariza does a better job defensively on Carmelo Anthony.

Derek Fisher also needs to stay on track after entering Game 1 with 19.4% three-point accuracy in the playoffs. It also would be a good idea to prevent the Nuggets' starting frontline from ever again shooting 63% in a game. I mean, that's ridiculous. Embarrassing, even.

And another thing. The Lakers also need to . . . ugh . . . sorry. Got a little carried away there.

(And that is why Alaya punted me in the first place.)

View from the other bench

From columnist Mark Kiszla of the Denver Post:

"Championship pedigree matters. The Los Angeles Lakers have it. No doubt. The Nuggets? Not so much.

"After the loss, as his players slowly buttoned shirts and tried stiff upper lips on for size in a quiet visitors locker room, Denver Coach George Karl sat slumped on a chair in his office for a very long time, his head so heavy with dejection it seemed impossible for him to lift it. Anybody who walked by could see Karl's agonized dejection. This is not how a champion acts."

Never underestimate the heart of the Lakers! (Except for Games 1, 4 and 6 against Houston.)

Best-case Lakers scenario

Kobe Bryant again scores 40 points and somebody else on his team actually scores more than 13. It gets upgraded to a best-ever scenario if it's Andrew Bynum. It then becomes the new-best-ever scenario if Bynum can also stop Nene and Kenyon Martin from dunking every possession.

Final thought

The intensity of Game 1 is somehow matched in Game 2 and the Lakers win again in a tight one. No, the Nuggets even it up in a tight one. No, make that the Lakers in a tight one. I'm sticking with that . . . for now.

--

mike.bresnahan@latimes.com

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