Although the Lakers won Game 1 against the Nuggets by a comfortable margin, Coach Jackson said he was not overly pleased with his team’s performance.
“We don’t consider it a good game although we won by a considerable amount of points,” said Jackson. “We did not think it was a good game for us. It was a good win, but my message to them was that we have to play a lot better than that to continue on these playoffs and to win against the Nuggets.”
Jackson added, “I’m curious about that tonight too, if they can come out and establish something on the court tonight. But, this is obviously an opportunity for Denver to what they want to do when they came to L.A. in the series and that’s take a game home so we have to know that it’s going to be a much more determined effort on their part.”
Much of the pre-game talk centered on the Nugget’s decision to insert Linas Kleiza into the starting lineup after his outstanding 23 point performance in Game 1. As a result of the change, Allen Iverson will revert back to his role as the team’s point guard.
“It makes him be a playmaker as opposed to just being a guy out there that’s a scorer,” said Jackson about the likely differences in Iverson’s game. “It gives us an opportunity to trap him or do something on the court to get the ball out of Allen’s hands, keep it away from him with somebody else having to bring the ball up that’s not a playmaking guard. That changes the dynamics of the game a little bit. We’ll see what we can do.”
After tonight’s game, the team will have one more day of practice before leaving for the Mile High City Friday evening. With the change in altitude from L.A. to Denver, Jackson was asked whether or not he expects it to affect his team’s performance.
“Supposedly, in an altitude, it’s the first 24 hours you’re OK, then after that it affects you,” said Jackson. “After that, Monday, we should be alright.”