NBA Playoffs 2012: 5 Things We Learned from Los Angeles Lakers vs Denver Nuggets

That was close. Too close.

After the Los Angeles Lakers narrowly escaped the first round of the 2012 NBA playoffs, many were left questioning their passion, energy and competitiveness. They faced a young, tough Denver Nuggets team led by one of the league's best coaches, George Karl.

Following Andrew Bynum's remarks on close-out games being easy (via ESPN), the Nuggets played two of their most complete games of the season, forcing a 3-1 series lead into a Game 7.

While the Lakers advanced behind Kobe Bryant's play and the return of Metta World Peace, there are still many questions looking ahead to the Western Conference semifinals against the Oklahoma City Thunder, a favorite amongst many to win the Larry O'Brien Trophy.

Here are the five things we learned from the Lakers-Nuggets series.

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