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Denver Post's Hochman: Lakers would beat Denver in 6-game series

April 13, 2012|By Mark Medina

Among the highlights of my interview with the Denver Post's Nuggets beat writer Benjamin Hochman on the Lakers-Nuggets game:

On the Nuggets' season: "They started different 20 different lineups this year ... It's been nuts. They're clinging on to that eighth [playoff] spot. But they hope they can get the fifth or sixth spot so they can play one of the L.A. teams and not San Antonio or Oklahoma City."

On a possible Lakers-Nuggets first-round matchup: It would be a good series. I don't want to ruffle feathers out there. But the Lakers have proven to be more vulnerable this season than in seasons past. They're still a fantastic team. A healthy, focused Lakers team could challenge San Antonio and Oklahoma City. But there's question marks. Denver wouldn't win the series, but it would still be a tough series. I'd take Lakers in six.

On Al Harrington's torn meniscus: "He says [he] can't rebound. That's a key part of basketball. The guy's a warrior and a leader in the locker room. But if he can't go, he can't go. He's going to try in the coming games to see what he can provide."

On how JaVale McGee has fit in with the Nuggets: "He's still learning the Nuggets system and has games with awful plus/minus ratings."

On Ty Lawson's inconsistency: "There's been stretches where he's one of the best point guards in the Western Conference. Lawson also has had difficulties from a leadership standpoint. When you think of Ty Lawson, you think of a guy zipping up and down the court, penetrating and passing. That's Ty Lawson at his best.

But in the half-court offense, there's many times where he's slowed the game down to a fault and he defers too much and doesn't take the shot as often as needed. That's something definitely frustrating for Coach George Karl and the staff. But let's not forget this is Ty Lawson's first full season as a starter in the NBA."

You can follow more of Hochman's work on Twitter and on the Denver Post's website.

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E-mail the Lakers blog at mgmedin@gmail.com. Follow the Lakers blog on Twitter and on Facebook.

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