Andrew Bynum is one of those guys that things come easy to. He’s been on championship teams at a young age. He’s regarded as one of the top two players at his position, even though everyone admits he has zero consistency. It’s understandable that he yaps away with little regard for the consequences of his words.
Prior to game five of the Denver vs. Los Angeles series, he was quoted as saying, "Closeout games are actually kind of easy."
Good thinking Bynum.
Why not give your opponent a little extra motivation. The Lakers will probably still win the series behind Kobe Bryant’s refusal to lose, but Bynum’s comments illustrate everything wrong with this Los Angeles squad.
Either way, Denver came out of game five with a win. They topped the Lakers 102-99.
The Nuggets tried to give it away down the stretch as they watched Kobe go bananas in the 4th, but their lead was too great and still managed to hold on.
Denver was lead by Andre Miller coming off the bench again for 24 points and 8 assists. A number of these assists were to big man JaVale McGee who has been an amazing find for the Nuggets. McGee dominated the inside and pushed around the Laker bigs with his size, strength, and speed. McGee went for a monster double-double of 21 points and 14 rebounds. More impressively, he literally out-shined Bynum and Gasol down low.
The Lakers had a one man scoring machine in Bryant down the stretch. Bryant went for 43 points, 6 rebounds, and 5 assists. Bryant went off, nailing threes down the stretch and scored 12 points in the last 4:45 of the game. He was 5-11 beyond the arc in the game.
In the end, Denver managed to hold on with a pair of free throws from veteran point man Andre Miller with just 12 seconds left on the clock.
After the game coach George Karl shared his views on close-out games.
"I've been blessed to win a few series, and it's the hardest thing in the world to win the fourth game," Karl said. "I don't care who you're playing, it's hard. … His feeling on close-outs is a little different than mine."
Photo Credit: AP
Michael Brouillet is the lead basketball writer for CraveOnline Sports. You can follow him @Facebook.com/CraveOnlineSports.