Originally posted on Bloguin Best  |  Last updated 5/2/12

Every morning, we'll give you five things from the night before in the NBA to start your day.

1: The Nuggets get closer... but....

They're just not good enough to beat the Lakers. The playoffs are all about matchups, and these are some tough matchups for the Nuggets. All the double teaming of Bynum worked well enough in stretches, but he's still too big for them (27 pts, 9 reb). Kobe Bryant is still Kobe Bryant (38 pts, 15-29 fg) and Denver is still down 2-0 after last night.

The Nuggets still showed that they can win a couple of games in this series and push the Lakers. This won't be a walkover. But the energy and uptempo play can only take them so far, especially when the Lakers can absorb the punches like they did last night, and respond with a groin-kicking run that really saps the energy out of you. When the Nuggets had a shot to cut the lead to two (or one) last night, the Lakers stepped up and made stops.

When you go all out, hit the other team with everything you have and they don't go down... it's disheartening.

2: Philly wins, but don't blame a lack of Rose

The Sixers used a 36-14 third quarter to turn a 55-47 halftime deficit into an 83-69 lead to start the fourth and a 109-92 Game 2 win. But don't blame the lack of Derrick Rose, which is the natural reaction.

Of course, Rose being in the game would have helped the Bulls score and stem the tide there in the third quarter, but it's the Bulls trademark defense that was missing in the second half of that game. The Sixers scored on a barrage of fast breaks which led to Philly shooting 59% against the vaunted Bulls D.

So while you can say "well.. see... no Rose, no chance," keep in mind that this Bulls team doesn't rely on Rose for its D. It's D is a Thibodeau-instilled system that has operated well without Rose in there in the past. Yes, it's harder to play defense when you're missing shots and they're running out on you, the Bulls have the personnel and strategists to account for that in Game 3. This was a great win by the Sixers, but it would be a mistake to view this game as a sign of bad things to come in the series for Chicago.


Andre Iguodala with the huge dunk over Luol Deng


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