Lakers forward Devin Ebanks can't prevent Nuggets center Timofey… (Wally Skalij / Los Angeles…)
Finally, Timofey Mozgov will no longer remain solely synonymous with Clippers forward Blake Griffin posterizing him. The Nuggets center unleashed the same furry, directed at Lakers forward Devin Ebanks.
The first-half sequence epitomized how the Lakers remained fundamentally flawed on transition defense in their 113-96 Game 6 loss Thursday to the Denver Nuggets. Perhaps mindful that the Nuggets were just inbounding the ball and not running the break, nearly all the Lakers trudged back on defense. The most guilty parties, however, involved Ebanks and Andrew Bynum.
Ebanks stuck with his Danillo Gallinari on the wing instead of flooding the paint to prevent a middle-lane drive. Meanwhile, Bynum took his sweet old time getting back on the court. So as soon as Lawson threw a cross-court pass to Mozgov, Ebanks compensated for Bynum's poor effort by cutting into the paint. That hardly did anything. Mozgov threw down a two-handed dunk as Ebanks' arms flailed out of position. Then Mozbov swung his body around while hanging onto the rim, prompting Ebanks to duck his head.
It's hardly the lasting image Ebanks wants after filling in for Metta World Peace during his seven-game suspension and averaging 4.71 points on 43.8% shooting. But it happened. Ebanks appeared to make a genuine mistake by not showing enough awareness on where he needed to be on the court. Meanwhile, Bynum showed little regard for fulfilling his defensive responsibility and forced Ebanks in a position to fail.
The Lakers have fewer than 36 hours to ensure these kind of plays don't happen again in Game 7. Or else a long offseason awaits.