World Peace Comes Through

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The way this game played out, the Lakers need to send a thank you note to David Stern for keeping the Metta World Peace suspension to 7 total games.  Without Metta’s defense and shooting, LA would have been in real trouble.  MWP did a great job of controlling Andre Miller, which allowed the Lakers to play their big lineup and put the Nuggets at a size disadvantage when they went to their two point guard alignment – not a good team for a team that struggles to rebound.  Metta also shot lights out from distance, punishing the Nuggets for trapping Kobe Bryant on the perimeter.

And a great big kudos to Mr. Mamba for passing the ball out of the double teams and trusting his teammates to make open shots.  With Blake and Metta playing catch and shoot from behind the arc, Kobe did his job and moved the ball without hesitation.  In fact the only shot he forced as the game wound down was a long jumper of Afflalo that went down and turned a two possession game with 30+ seconds left into a three possession game and pretty well iced it.  Kobe also came through on defense.  Coach Brown switched him onto Ty Lawson, and Kobe played the speedy PG like it was 1999, daring the refs to stop him.  It was a great, tough-minded mix of good footwork and spacing with handsy physicality.  He also did a nice job of recovering on pick and roll plays to help his big men out.

Smart, impressive play all-around by Bryant and the Lakers as a whole.  The Thunder are in for a real second round battle.

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