The Nuggets are truly an odd team. They have no real superstars, and they’re at their best when in transition. They have lengthy big men that can swing a game either way. At their best, they’re a speedy team that will beat you down the court and spread the floor for their outside shooters. At their worst, they’re a shameful and stagnant half court offense with no scorers that can create their own shots. They’ve shown both sides of their personality, and find themselves down 3-2 to the powerhouse Lakers. They head back to Denver tonight in an attempt to send the series to a game 7, where anything can happen.
The key for Denver tonight isn’t simply outrunning the Lakers, but exhausting them. In the thin Denver air, it’s difficult for older teams like the Lakers to flourish. The youthful transition offense of the Nuggets is the perfect compliment to the detrimental air. Even if it’s ineffective early, the Nuggets run and gun offense will pay off if they stick to the plan. Ageless Andre Miller has had a knack for finding JaVale McGee, which will be essential to match L.A.’s length. McGee has shown he can be absolutely be dominant or a non-factor, similar to Andrew Bynum. Bynum can be taken out of a game early if his confidence wavers and he becomes disillusioned. It’s key for the Nuggets to come out strong and find a rhythm, and to not let Bynum or Pau Gasol get going. Kobe Bryant, by will alone, will have a strong game, he doesn’t want to play a 7th game.
So here the Nuggets are, one game away from elimination, relying on JaVale McGee and Andre Miller to produce offense against a franchise with the most championships in NBA history. It’s unlikely and unpredictable, kind of like the Nuggets themselves.