May 22

Western Conference Finals

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Denver just may have shot themselves in the foot. The Nuggets actually looked pretty good, and had a small lead. That is until the closing minutes of the 3rd quarter. The Lakers were The Lakers. Denver on the other hand, just weren't themselves.

Our man Chauncey Billups (universally the most respected basketball player by Fans25 members) was not himself. Turnover after turnover in the 3rd quarter helped spark the Lakers run. Billups finished with 12 points, 3 turnovers, and 5 personal fouls.

George Karl wasn't himself, and ultimately didn't allow Carmelo Anthony to be himself. When the Lakers stormed ahead, Carmelo Anthony was on the bench, where he continued to sit, and sit, and sit. All the while, the Nuggets bled, bled, and bled. When Anthony returned, the Laker's momentum was just too strong.

Chris Anderson transformed from "The Birdan" into "Poster Boy". Normally one of the best defensive players on the Nugget's roster, Anderson got dunked on by almost every member of the Lakers. The worst one, coming from the hands of Lamar Odom with 9:45 left in the 4th quarter.

The only Nugget that was himself was Nene, who fouled out and earned a technical foul after arguing with the referee.

If you're a Los Angeles fan, there is good news for you. The Lakers have not lost a best of 7 series that was tied at 2-2 after winning game 5 since 1969.

Top Performers From Game 5:
Points: Carmelo Anthony - 31
Rebounds: Lamar Odom - 14
Assists: Kobe Bryant - 8
Blocks: Pau Gasol - 5

Lakers regain control. Kobe Bryant showed why he is perhaps the best player in the world as he hit a clutch three for the Lakers in the final minute to give them a lead which they would not surrender. With the 103 - 97 win in Denver Saturday night, L.A. now has control of the series once again. Game 4 is Monday night, again in Denver.

The Nuggets tie things up. Behind 34 points from Carmelo Anthony, the series now heads to a rowdy city of Denver for games three, four and five. Los Angeles, who escaped with a win in game 1, knows it is in for a fight. The Nuggets have a great chance in this series now that they have neutralized the home-court advantage with the Lakers.

Series Preview (By: Ashton Williams):

It took them 7 games to defeat the Rockets, but the #1 seed Los Angeles Lakers have made their way back to the Western Conference Finals. We all expected them to be here, but we just didn't think it would take as long as it did. The Lakers have proven that, when they want to be, they can be the best team in the league.

The #2 seed Denver Nuggets are the official Buzzsaw of the NBA Playoffs. On the way to the Western Conference Finals, they took out the New Orleans Hornets and Dallas Mavericks, both 4 games to 1. A large sum of basketball analysts and fans have changed their minds, and now think the Nuggets are the team to beat.

The schedule for this series is as follows:

Game 1: Los Angeles 105, Denver 103

Game 2: Denver 106, Los Angeles 103

Game 3: Los Angeles 103, Denver 97

Game 4: Denver 120, LA Lakers 101

Game 5:  LA LAkers 103, Denver 94

Game 6: Friday , May 29 9:00 PM Eastern (If Necessary)
Game 7: Sunday , May 31 8:30 PM Eastern (If Necessary)

As the high seed, the Lakers have home court advantage. Games 1, 2, 5, and 7 are scheduled to take place at the Staples Center. It will be the legendary Phil Jackson vs. the under-appreciated George Karl. Kobe Bryant and Pau Gasol vs. Carmelo Anthony and Chauncey Billups. Lakers vs. Nuggets for a trip to the 2009 NBA Finals.

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