What Went Right:
• Kobe Bryant’s 49 point, 10 assist performance mesmerized the STAPLES Center crowd and was arguably his greatest playoff game ever.
• The triangle offense has been money for the Lakers in both games so far as evidenced by their 33 assists on 46 field goals compared to only 12 dimes for the Nuggets.
• Once again, Luke Walton proved himself as a huge X-Factor in this series, following up his unexpected 16 point Game 1 effort with another 18 in Game 2.
• While it wasn’t as monstrous as his 36 point, 16 rebound Lakers playoff debut, center Pau Gasol had a very efficient 18 points and 10 rebounds in Game 2.
• Although turnovers were a problem for the Lakers at times during the regular season, they did an excellent job of taking care of the ball in Game 2, committing only 12 turnovers.
• The poised Lakers attack caused two more Denver players to pick up technical fouls with Iverson and J.R. Smith each being whistled
• Denver’s bench outscored the Lakers’ bench mob in Game 1, but Walton, Vujacic, Farmar and Co. answered back in Game 2, posting 43 points.
What Went Wrong:
• For the second game in a row, the Lakers allowed 35+ free throws to the Nuggets. Denver did a much better job of making them in Game 2 too, nailing 29-36.
• The Lakers allowed Allen Iverson to exceed 30 points for the second straight game, but did a better job of holding Carmelo Anthony in check (23 points) in Game 2.
• Lamar Odom was quiet in Game 2, only scoring four points and pulling down six rebounds. Luckily, Kobe’s 49 points more than made up for the unusually quiet night for the forward.