November 30, 2012 |
The unraveling of the Lakers over the season's first few weeks was so complete that not even purple-and-gold pugilist George Karl could enjoy it. The Denver Nuggets coach, you may recall, made his feelings for the team that has repeatedly knocked him out of the playoffs plainly known in October. “I just despise the Lakers,” Karl said at the time. “I've been beaten by them so many times.” Karl's disdain prompted him to send a text message to Mitch Kupchak after the Lakers acquired Steve Nash over the summer suggesting that the general manager and fellow former North Carolina Tar Heel had uncanny good luck.
May 13, 2012 |
For the sake of winning, Kobe Bryant willingly took a back seat to his scoring. But for the sake of his competitive streak, Bryant couldn't help but take issue with Nuggets Coach George Karl. So after the Lakers' 96-87 Game 7 victory Saturday over the Denver Nuggets, Kobe Bryant didn't just approach Denver's coach to rub it in that the purple and gold were advancing. He also questioned why the Nuggets double-teamed him, leading him to focus less on scoring (17 points on seven-of-16 shooting)
May 12, 2012 |
The Lakers are moments away from extending their postseason run by at least a week or becoming the ninth team in NBA history to squander a 3-1 series deficit. The latter result won't necessarily put Lakers Coach Mike Brown on the hot seat. The Lakers' front office released a statement clarifying as much despite comments from Magic Jonhson that Brown would lose his job should the Lakers lose Game 7 tonight to the Denver Nuggets. But a loss would bring something else full circle.
May 11, 2012 |
DENVER — Eighteen years later, the image still torments George Karl. Dikembe Mutombo is lying on the floor underneath the basket at Seattle's Key Arena, his outstretched arms holding the ball above his head in triumph. Mutombo's Denver Nuggets had just come back from a 2-0 deficit to defeat Karl's SuperSonics in the deciding game of their best-of-five series, becoming the first eighth-seeded team to defeat a top-seeded opponent in the first round. "It was probably the worst day of my life," Karl, now coach of the Nuggets, said Friday.
May 9, 2012 |
George Karl tends to get up early when he's home in Denver. Having two black Labrador retrievers that expect to be fed at sunrise can create that habit. It was during a reflective moment just after daybreak Monday that something dawned on the Denver Nuggets coach. "I sat on my porch and just kept saying to myself, 'They're not that much better than we are,' " Karl recalled Wednesday. He was referring to the Lakers, who were supposed to easily brush aside Karl's Nuggets in their first-round playoff series on the way to bigger challenges.
May 5, 2012 |
— George Karl's outfit Saturday was only the second most unexpected sight in the Pepsi Center in a 24-hour span. Headed to a Kentucky Derby party, the Denver Nuggets' coach wore white pants and white shoes paired with an orange-and-white striped shirt and a Carolina blue tie. And then there was the piece de resistance , a peach jacket with orange and blue pocket squares. "Someone bet me $1,000 I wouldn't wear it," Karl said, smiling. Karl's fashion statement still took a backseat to the look-at-me declarations Denver big men JaVale McGee and Kenneth Faried had made Friday during the Nuggets' 99-84 victory over the Lakers in Game 3 of their Western Conference first-round series.
May 2, 2012 |
Not many coaches were friends with Phil Jackson , but George Karl formed an amiable bond with him when Karl's son, Coby , played with the Lakers for a year. So maybe it's not surprising that Karl has jumped into the role of chief psychologist in the first-round series between the Lakers and Denver Nuggets. He doesn't have the same skill as Jackson, who would tweak referees, David Stern , Mark Cuban and then more referees without thinking twice about writing a check if Stern fined him. But Karl is up to something in the second year of Jackson's absence in the NBA playoffs since 1990.
May 2, 2012 |
George Karl keeps talking about the wild-card players and wild card moments needed to beat the Lakers. Two games into the first-round playoff series involving the veteran coach's Denver Nuggets, one gets the impression it might take a royal flush for them to win a game. The Nuggets addressed many of their opening-game deficiencies in Game 2 on Tuesday … and still lost. They wanted to run and did, sprinting and dunking their way to 30 fastbreak points. They wanted to be tougher inside the paint and were, outrebounding the Lakers by four.
May 1, 2012 |
Here are five things to watch when the Lakers play Game 2 of their first-round series against the Denver Nuggets tonight at Staples Center: 1. How do the Lakers prevent a letdown? Everything they showed in their 103-88 Game 1 win Sunday over Denver was ideal. The Lakers focused on getting the ball inside to Andrew Bynum and Pau Gasol. But relentless double teams prompted quick passes. Teammates nailed open jumpers, including Devin Ebanks and Steve Blake. Even though Kobe Bryant scored 31 points, he seemed content sharing the spotlight.