2012 NBA Playoffs: LA Lakers Getting out-Rebounded by Nuggets Is Unacceptable

It's only one loss.

The Los Angeles Lakers still have a 2-1 series lead after their 99-84 loss to the Denver Nuggets on Friday night.

That being said, the Denver Nuggets made a key adjustment during Friday night's game that the Lakers couldn't overcome.

The Lakers gave up plenty of offensive rebounds in their first two wins in the series. Denver took advantage of that and decided that if they were going to win, they were going to have to capitalize on second-chance points and make the Lakers work for the ball.

They did just that, out-rebounding the Lakers 54-44 and grabbing 19 offensive rebounds. The Nuggets also outscored the Lakers 52-32 in the paint and many of those points were off the offensive rebounds they earned in the paint. 

They simply worked harder than the Lakers.

The Lakers can't afford to get out-rebounded by a team that's much smaller and less physical than they are. They need to impose their size and will on the Nuggets. When you have two seven-footers in Andrew Bynum and Pau Gasol, getting beat in the paint is just unacceptable.

Now, the Nuggets did try something new in this game, doubling up on Bynum and clogging the paint, making it difficult for Bynum to score offensively and for the Lakers guards to penetrate. Rebounding balls also became an arduous task because of the Nuggets' paint presence.

They forced to the Lakers to settle for outside jumpers and they missed plenty of them. The Lakers were 6-for-25 from downtown and Kobe Bryant was 7-for-23. The fact that the Lakers shot so much from distance showed that the Nuggets defense was doing a fantastic job in blocking the paint area so that the Lakers wouldn't get easy looks.

It was interesting to see Jordan Hill's minutes diminished, too. He only played in 14 minutes and grabbed six rebounds. He had been logging at least 20 minutes in each of his last four games and averaging close to 11 rebo...

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