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Lakers take round One

Kareem_paulgasol

Lakers have taken a step forward in beating the Denver Nuggets in round one of the Western Conference playoffs. The ability to eliminate the Nuggets - 50 game winners this season - was a major indication of their improvement this year. First round exits in 07 and 06 were very disappointing for the Laker faithful. Expectations can only grow if the Lakers continue to win in this fashion.

The most obvious improvement for the Lakers has been their ability to share the ball. The high ratio of assists to baskets in always a sign that the team is in sync and eager to help each other. Denver, for its part, has not done well in the team aspects of the game. They haven't worked the ball into positions for easy shots and they've settled for the quick long range jump shot. Those shots aren't falling and the Lakers advanced because of it.

Denvers seems to have resorted to one on one play as a response to the challenges they faced and things did not work out for them. Carmelo Anthony was particularly unable to contribute for the Nuggets. JR Smith and Allen Iverson gave it the college try but the Lakers had an answer to every effort the Nuggets made. Kobe Bryant was spectacular at crunch time and he singlehandedly held off the Nuggets in the final minutes of the game, his presence alone was the decisive factor in those moments.

For the first time in my memory, I saw Kobe struggle at the free throw line. But that was no consolation for the Nuggets. They were unable to take advantage of any openings. I'm sure the next round of the playoffs will be more competitive but I think the Lakers are on a roll.

(photo credit: Wally Skalij / Los Angeles Times)

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Comments

THE LAKERS PLAYED LIKE CRAP.NEEDED TO WIN A GAME 6,THEY SHOWED NOTHING PLUS WHERE WAS KOBE?

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Captain Kareem

Kareem Abdul-Jabbar
Kareem Abdul-Jabbar is considered by many fans and sportswriters to be the greatest basketball player of all time. The 7-foot-2 Hall of Fame center, famous for his indefensible skyhook, dominated the NBA for 20 years, first with the Milwaukee Bucks then with the Los Angeles Lakers. Before that he was the star of the UCLA Bruins teams that won three consecutive NCAA championships. Kareem was the NBA's MVP six times, a 19-time all-star and set the NBA all-time records in nine categories. He is the NBA's all-time leading scorer with 38,387 points, a record that may never be broken.

Since retiring as a player in 1989, Kareem has balanced his love of basketball with his love of history. In 2002 he led a USBL team, the Oklahoma Storm, to a championship. Since 2005, he has been the special assistant coach for the Lakers, working with Andrew Bynum.

In 2008 he was chosen The Greatest Player in College Basketball History.

Kareem also remains intellectually active, authoring six bestselling history books intended to popularize the contributions of African-Americans to American culture and history. His books include "Black Profiles in Courage: A Legacy of African-American Achievement"; "Brothers in Arms: The Epic Story of the 761st Tank Battalion, WWII's Forgotten Heroes"; "A Season on the Reservation," which chronicles his time teaching basketball and history on an Apache Indian reservation in White River, Ariz.; and the current New York Times and Los Angeles Times bestseller, "On the Shoulders of Giants: My Journey Through the Harlem Renaissance."

His audio adaptation, "On the Shoulders of Giants: My Audio & Musical Journey through the Harlem Renaissance," is a four-volume compilation read by Bob Costas, Avery Brooks, Jesse L. Martin, and Stanley Crouch, and features private and fascinating conversations with dozens of icons, including Coach John Wooden, Julius Erving, Charles Barkley, Samuel L. Jackson, Maya Angelou, Quincy Jones and Billy Crystal. He has also been written to L.A. Times, under the Sports section.

Kareem Abdul-Jabbar has been appearing on various radio stations and TV shows, as well as the most relevant websites talking about his life and his new audio book, On the Shoulders of Giants.

All images are property of www.iconomy.com unless otherwise stated. All info copyrighted and owned by Kareem Abdul-Jabbar is not replicated without permission.

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