2024 Playoffs Western Conference First Round: (2) Denver Nuggets vs (7) LA Lakers

Cellar-Door

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So this is how you put your foot on the neck and squeeze the life out of an inferior opponent. Interesting.

Perhaps a certain other team could learn a thing or two about this concept.
lol, they literally almost lost game 2, and game 1 was fairly close too, this idea that Denver has been a juggernaut this post-season and the Celtics struggling is just not reality.
 

ElUno20

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I knew the lakers had no shot so i thought i wouldnt enjoy this ass kicking as much. I was wrong.

The 3rd quarter was a great way to ease into the night after a long day. They literally slowly squeezed the life out of them until their legs and arms stopped flailing and they faced reality.
 

Euclis20

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The only thing D'Angelo Russell is really good at is scoring, and he went 0-7 with 0 points tonight. He's 1-9, 7-11 and 0-6 from so far in this series, what a maddening player.

If the Lakers get swept and Lebron decides he wants to finish out somewhere else, is there any chance he's swapped straight up for Paul George?
 

tims4wins

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Fakers first team in the last 25 years to hold a double digit lead in 3 straight playoff games and lose them. You hate to see it.
 

Kliq

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As tempting as it may be, you can't beat the Nuggets if your strategy is "never guard Aaron Gordon ever".
 

ElUno20

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As tempting as it may be, you can't beat the Nuggets if your strategy is "never guard Aaron Gordon ever".
They refused to guard the baseline action all night. It was impressive.

And when did they "try" to put a body on him, he just out-muscled everyone. Great stuff.
 

benhogan

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The only thing D'Angelo Russell is really good at is scoring, and he went 0-7 with 0 points tonight. He's 1-9, 7-11 and 0-6 from so far in this series, what a maddening player.

If the Lakers get swept and Lebron decides he wants to finish out somewhere else, is there any chance he's swapped straight up for Paul George?
I highly doubt Lebron goes anywhere else, but Bron + Embiid + Maxey would be more competitive than these Lakers. The 76ers (have the CAP space) also have the picks to build around them, so an asset-draining trade would be unnecessary.

Ducking the WC would be very Jamesian.
 

Kliq

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LeBron put up his usual numbers this year, but that has masked once again, that LeBron isn't a decisive player in the NBA anymore. Players like Jokic are. LeBron has a teammate playing much better than him in this series and he is still getting swept.
 

BosoxFaninCincy

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LeBron put up his usual numbers this year, but that has masked once again, that LeBron isn't a decisive player in the NBA anymore. Players like Jokic are. LeBron has a teammate playing much better than him in this series and he is still getting swept.
Not sure why this is surprising. LBJ has played 420 more games than Michael Jordan in his career. And MJ with the Wiz is not someone anyone was calling dominant. Father Time continues to be undefeated, even if His opponent is in denial.
 

Euclis20

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I highly doubt Lebron goes anywhere else, but Bron + Embiid + Maxey would be more competitive than these Lakers. The 76ers (have the CAP space) also have the picks to build around them, so an asset-draining trade would be unnecessary.

Ducking the WC would be very Jamesian.
Philly able to take Lebron using nothing but cap space is definitely the best location from a title perspective (assuming he's not willing to take a below market deal), but at this point it seems like winning another title isn't the deciding factor for him. I think if the Lakers had been remotely competitive this postseason he would have been a lock to return, but he and AD combined for 147 games (their most in 6 years) and they still finished with the 8th best record in the west and likely 0 playoff wins. The Clippers suggestion was a joke, but I really do think the biggest draw for remaining with the Lakers is just the ability to stay in LA, which theoretically puts them on the same level as the Clippers.
 
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benhogan

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Philly able to take Lebron using nothing but cap space is definitely the best location from a title perspective (assuming he's not willing to take a below market deal), but at this point it seems like winning another title isn't the deciding factor for him. I think if the Lakers had been remotely competitive this postseason he would have been a lock to return, but he and AD combined for 147 games (their most in 6 years) and they still finished with the 8th best record in the west and likely 0 playoff wins. The Clippers suggestion was a joke, but I really do think the biggest draw for remaining with the Lakers is just the ability to stay in LA, which theoretically puts them on the same level as the Clippers.
Good point. It does feel like "winning another title" isn't at the top of Bron's agenda anymore.

He seems much more focused on the King James empire, which means getting his kid a Thanasis deal, building up his bank to get an ownership stake in the future Vegas team, record/stat chasing, & more Hollywood productions.

Staying with the Lakers helps all four of those endeavors. Plus he & Klutch can pull the puppet strings behind the scenes in LA, while retaining little on-court accountability, which suits his persona.

Laker playoff blame will be leveled at Ham Sandwich, Palinka's inactivity at the trade deadline, & all the players around Bron/AD.
 

PedroKsBambino

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That is reasonable and could be true. I don't personally get any great sense of his priorities now----one thing that has changed since he moved to LA is that his perception of where Bronny is/when he will be in NBA are surely different. Which way that cuts, and how he's thinking about rest of his family and hollywood vs NBA I have no idea.

I guess, just to say, I'd be less surprised than I'm reading others for him to go elsewhere for another title run. Not predicting that, but I can see it.
 

benhogan

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That is reasonable and could be true. I don't personally get any great sense of his priorities now----one thing that has changed since he moved to LA is that his perception of where Bronny is/when he will be in NBA are surely different. Which way that cuts, and how he's thinking about rest of his family and hollywood vs NBA I have no idea.

I guess, just to say, I'd be less surprised than I'm reading others for him to go elsewhere for another title run. Not predicting that, but I can see it.
If he wanted a better title shot, I could see him signing with the 76ers or OKC or force a S&T to the Knicks. There are probably a bunch of other possibilities? BUT my gut says he comfy being a Laker.
 

Auger34

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LeBron put up his usual numbers this year, but that has masked once again, that LeBron isn't a decisive player in the NBA anymore. Players like Jokic are. LeBron has a teammate playing much better than him in this series and he is still getting swept.
LeBron is averaging 26 points, 10 rebounds and 7 assists on 56.1% shooting and 41.2% behind the line. Jokic is the best player in the game right now. Was anyone comparing him to Jokic? Or saying they were close?

I get that you don't like the guy but I am struggling to figure out who this response is towards or what you're trying to say. Everyone recognizes LeBron is old. Everyone. Whenever his name is brought up, his age and minutes are brought up.

He's playing really fucking well and you want to ding him because he's not playing as well as the 3 Time MVP and they might get swept by a team that literally everyone thought would win the series?
 

Auger34

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If he wanted a better title shot, I could see him signing with the 76ers or OKC or force a S&T to the Knicks. There are probably a bunch of other possibilities? BUT my gut says he comfy being a Laker.
I can see the Knicks or the 6ers.

No disrespect to OKC but it's just not a destination. Especially for someone as famous as LeBron.

Honestly, the biggest mistake he's made in the last decade (by a long shot) is convincing himself and Rob Pelinka that they NEEDED Westbrook and they could coexist. They gave up so much for a guy that was never going to be on the floor closing games.
 

benhogan

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I can see the Knicks or the 6ers.

No disrespect to OKC but it's just not a destination. Especially for someone as famous as LeBron.

Honestly, the biggest mistake he's made in the last decade (by a long shot) is convincing himself and Rob Pelinka that they NEEDED Westbrook and they could coexist. They gave up so much for a guy that was never going to be on the floor closing games.
Laker Summer 2021 should make every Celtic fan smile
1. Lakers get Russell Westbrook
2. Wizards get Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, Montrezl Harrell, Kyle Kuzma
3. Westbrook deal means DeMar DeRozan can't sign with the Lakers
4. Caruso signs with Bulls (4/$36M) after Lakers offer 2/$15M.
5. Lakers opt to extend Rich Paul client, Talen Horton-Tucker (3/$32M)
6. Lakers signed Kendrick Nunn 2/$10M
7. Lakers sign: Carmelo, Monk, Bazemore, Ariza!, Ellington, Howard
 

lovegtm

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So this is how you put your foot on the neck and squeeze the life out of an inferior opponent. Interesting.

Perhaps a certain other team could learn a thing or two about this concept.
I agree, but it's also worth noting that we'd be talking about this differently if the Lakers' 3s had continued falling in the 4th of game 2, as they did for Miami.

More of this shit is random than is comfortable to admit, and I'm very much on team "the Celtics need to get their shit together."
 

snowmanny

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The Philly idea makes sense. I was thinking last night that James could win a title as the the third best player on a team. And that’s how he should be approaching things if that’s his goal.
 

timelysarcasm

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The Lakers could not capitalize on the Nuggets misses in the 4th quarter of game 3. They just couldn't buy a bucket anywhere for too long. Missed some bunnies early in the 4th and then the late stretch killed them.

At 5:41 in the 4th it was a 10 point game, Nuggets 99 and Lakers 89. They then went like this for the next 3+ minutes:
- AD missed a layup
- Russell missed a 3 pointer
- Hachimura missed 2 free throws (him turning into the pumpkin we all knew he was has been delicious)
- LeBron missed a 3 pointer
- Russell missed a 3 pointer
- Prince missed a 3 pointer
- Dinwiddie missed a 3 pointer

Then it was around 2:21 and the Nuggets were up 13 and it was essentially game over. In those crucial 3 minutes the Lakers scored zippo while the Nuggets scored a whopping 5 points.

Both teams shot sub 20% from 3, but the Nuggets can survive that because of Jokic's brilliance in initiating easy offense for them. The Lakers cannot. The run was there to be had though.
 

Euclis20

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The Philly idea makes sense. I was thinking last night that James could win a title as the the third best player on a team. And that’s how he should be approaching things if that’s his goal.
I think he can still win as the #2, the problem is that AD isn't good enough to win as the #1. It seems pretty well accepted that AD has had a great series and the numbers support that, but he's been invisible in the 4th quarter (4-12 for 13 points).
 

BaseballJones

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The Philly idea makes sense. I was thinking last night that James could win a title as the the third best player on a team. And that’s how he should be approaching things if that’s his goal.
If LeBron was willing to be a role player like this (if you consider a third banana to be a "role" player), then yeah, he could really help a team. He could be a great distributor and floor leader who also has the ability to go off from time to time. Whether he's willing to not be THE MAN, I don't know. Feels a little like he's allowed AD to be that guy on the Lakers though.
 

osori

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Dinwiddie passing that ball to Russell (after moments of hesitation) despite being WIDE open is just pathetic. You don't deserve to be on the floor if you do that.

Edit : and of course jacks up a contested 3 in the next possession lol
 

lovegtm

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Man, good thing for Denver that they faced normal 3-point variance in game 2, and not Miami 3-point variance.