Its All Even in
the West Conference FinalsMay 27, 2009 by Marc Jerbs

After 4 games in the Western Conference Finals, the series is tied at two games apiece. I feel that the Lakers are not playing consistently every game and fatigue is surely setting because of their lackadaisical effort in their two losses against the Nuggets. Lakers coach Phil Jackson must devise a plan on how his other players can help Kobe Bryant in their offensive play.

Kobe alone will not get a win for the Lakers if his supporting group does not play the role they have been tasked. Over reliance to Kobe to score every time he touches the ball is an easy prey for the Nuggets defense. For Kobe, he must learn to trust his teammates. He's a highly skilled player alright but he's not that good in finding his open teammates on the floor and he rarely shares the ball during crunch time. He forces his shot in the perimeter and barges his way in the inside lane that results into a turnover or an offensive foul. I believe that Kobe must change his mental focus; he must let the game flow through Lakers offensive/defensive system not the other way around.

Carmelo Anthony and his Nuggets team are on a mission. They firmly believe that they have a fair chance of beating the Lakers. I think they have caught the Lakers weary and tired after they were stretched by the Rockets. Plus, with Chauncey Billups orchestrating the offense, the Lakers are having a hard time picking up their defensive assignment. Every starter in the Nuggets team always contributes; they score, rebound and show a lot more hustle on the floor.

The odds still favor the Lakers (-260) to win Game 5 against the Nuggets (+220) to win Game 5. But I will bet on the Nuggets to score an upset and have a critical 3-2 lead in the series. Sometimes its worth to take a risk.