By now everyone in the basketball world knows about Charles Barkleys’ proclamation of a sweep just after Game 1 and after watching that game I didn’t blame him. His analysis of the game being a simple matter of match ups is spot on and as of Game 1 Denver was woefully lacking in answers. Their first 5 for the past games were literally smaller than LAL’s resulting in early foul trouble for Jokic who eventually had to sit out most of the first half.
Denver played differently this time and it worked. Although LAL had as much as 6pts on them halfway into the 4th Denver did not fade with Jokic scoring a 3 and then having his way against Davis with a beautiful sweeping hook, the type that hearkens back memories of Hakeem, Kareem and Magic.
Davis regained the lead immediately after keeping it simple with a layup right in front of the rim, similarly making mincemeat out of Jokic’s defense.
Jokic tipped in a Murray miss putting them ahead and after a bunch of misses by the Lakers they were behind 103-102. Caruso missed a gimme 3 pt shot all alone at the top and after a scramble they had the inbound with 2.1s to go. A play was drawn up with the player with the hot hand Davis coming off a screen from the far side and when he got it he threw up an all netter, mayhem quickly ensued.
Barkley was right in predicting today’s win but I’m not all that convinced this will be a sweep. Denver is not to be counted out especially after the way they came back in previous match ups and even more now that they went down the wire in this one.
This game came down to a rebound or two, a missed free throw or two, a good pass here or an errant pass there. It was by no means a cakewalk for the Lakers who certainly did not look as dominant as they did in the first game.
Obviously there will be changes for the next game but one thing is sure you cannot count Denver out and while they lost this one there’s no doubt in my mind it only serves to motivate them even more for the next.