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Has the Broncos' championship window already slammed shut?

Has the Broncos' championship window already slammed shut?

"It's the strangest kind of transition period and it's impossible to say how things may shake out once the 2015 Denver Broncos take the field." click the read more link below...

Crap my kid Photoshopped for me: The Melvin Hunt for Red October

Crap my kid Photoshopped for me: The Melvin Hunt for Red October

My son is at it again. The Drew Litton of Photoshop brings you the movie poster some Nuggets fans prefer to see for the rest of this season and well...

Brian Shaw was just a symptom of Nuggets’ sickness

Brian Shaw was just a symptom of Nuggets’ sickness

"It’s a team without an identity. It’s a team that says it wants to win but doesn’t appear to know how to. It’s a team for whom relative success (under...

The silence is deafening. Is Peyton really coming back?

The silence is deafening. Is Peyton really coming back?

"-There’s nothing stopping Manning from forcing Denver’s hand. “Pay me or cut me” could very well be his stance. And he’s perfectly justified in taking it." click the read more link...

Suddenly everybody hates Julius Thomas

Suddenly everybody hates Julius Thomas

"Broncos Country loved JT and now he's being run out of town on a digital rail becuase of one article written by one sports radio host based on the comments...

Crap my kid Photoshopped for me: Only Bill could make Pete look like ...

Crap my kid Photoshopped for me: Only Bill could make Pete look like ...

Pete Carroll is no angel. But the head coach of the Patriots makes him look like one.

Radio Row: Say goodbye to the Press Box

Radio Row: Say goodbye to the Press Box

"The success of the Press Box show earned Peter Burns national attention and that attention ultimately led to his being discovered by ESPN and eventually hired to anchor the new...

OK, Peyton. One more year and that's it, okay?

OK, Peyton. One more year and that's it, okay?

"Pretty much everything Peyton Manning is yet to do can be done in 2015 - including winning a Super Bowl in a Broncos uniform. But after that he's got to...

It's time for the Broncos to stop walking on Manning's eggshells.

It's time for the Broncos to stop walking on Manning's eggshells.

"So long as number 18 is suiting up for the Denver Broncos the Denver Broncos will be built around Peyton Manning. The offense will be designed in his image and...

The Broncos should stick with plan "A" if only for one more year

The Broncos should stick with plan "A" if only for one more year

"Peyton Manning and John Fox are a package. It would be senseless for the Broncos to fire Fox and hire a replacement for Manning's "one last run" at the playoffs....

Radio Row: Another shoe drops in the rapidly changing sports radio scene. How much more is to come?

Radio Row: Another shoe drops in the rapidly changing sports radio scene. How much more is to come?

"It is possible, however, that Front Range Sports, now flush with the $5.75M it received from Colorado Public Radio for the 102.3 signal, could make a play to purchase the...

Godspeed, Adrian Dater. Godspeed.

Godspeed, Adrian Dater. Godspeed.

"Well, the communications must have been real. She was, if her Twitter account was to be believed, quite upset with Dater for his actions and she launched a personal campaign...

Is “Super Creepy” Adrian Dater posing more problems for the Post?

Is “Super Creepy” Adrian Dater posing more problems for the Post?

"Deadspin has once again become interested in Dater’s exploits on Twitter. This time the site was contacted by a female hockey fan who provided screen grabs of some rather creepy...

Pro leagues / teams are making deals with the Devil in daily fantasy sports

Pro leagues / teams are making deals with the Devil in daily fantasy sports

"The industry has cleverly slipped into the loopholes left in the gaming act and in doing so has essentially replaced online poker as the most popular form of internet gambling." CLICK...

A stunning Broncos loss has made us normal people again

A stunning Broncos loss has made us normal people again

"Better now than later, I say. Better for the fans. Better for the team. Not only do the Broncos now have a better perspective on how they might be beaten...

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Monday, 25 February 2013 11:58

The real difference between the Nuggets and the Lakers

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"Kobe Bryant’s fire is precisely what the Nuggets lack. The Lakers have every excuse to throw the towel in on their 2013 campaign and admit that they are not contenders. That idea never seems to enter their minds, though."

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Your Denver Nuggets welcome the LA Lakers to Pepsi Center tonight in a game that's very meaningful for both teams.

For the Lakers, who will be playing the second game in a back-to-back, a win would put them over .500. It would also demonstrate that they're resolute in their determination to break into the playoff picture despite a dismal start to their season that led to the replacement of their head coach. Kobe Bryant guaranteed that he would lead his team into the post-season. A big win on the road against the current 5th seed would be big stepping stone in following through on that promise.

For the rested Nuggets this feels a lot like a “must-win”. They split their recent road series with two of the most dismal squads in the NBA, the Wizards and the Bobcats. They’re on a one-game win streak and can ill afford to drop a critical conference game at home. The last thing Denver needs is to see LA included on the growing list of teams nipping at their heels. They have an opportunity tonight to make the Lakers road to the playoffs at that much more difficult.

Of the two teams the Lakers are hotter right now. It’s easy to look at their record and deem them “bad”. They aren’t bad, though. Personally, I believe Kobe when her says they’ll be a playoff team. Why? Because Kobe is a fierce competitor and the type of leader who will demand his team mates match his energy. He is determined and he is done making excuses.

Kobe Bryant’s fire is precisely what the Nuggets lack. The Lakers have every excuse to throw the towel in on their 2013 campaign and admit that they are not contenders. That idea never seems to enter their minds, though. Unlike your Denver Nuggets who have won seven more games than they have, the Lakers believe that they can still win it all. This year, next year, every year.

There’s a sharp contrast in mentality between the Nuggets and the Lakers and it flows from the top of the organization all the way down to the ball boys. It’s unimaginable that anyone involved with the Lakers team at any level would confess in the media that they aren’t ready, that they need a few more pieces, that they are setting the stage for future success. If that were the case the Lakers would be blown to bits.

The Nuggets have never been “blown up” and probably never will be. They’re “tweaked” in pursuit of steady improvement. They appear to have molded into shape at least to the degree that they’re better than the Lakers, but still not good enough to conquer the West. The Lakers, however, still believe that they can get it done - that, when they make the playoffs, they can go all the way.   The Lakers believe they can handle Oklahoma City, San Antonio and the Clippers. They would not back down from any of those teams.

The Nuggets know that it’s a foregone conclusion that they can’t handle those teams in a seven-game series. That’s the real difference between the Lakers at 28-29 and the Nuggets at 35-22. The team with the lesser record has the greater chance of capturing a conference title. It’s because that’s where their heads are. The Lakers, led by Kobe Bryant, have a tough mental make-up and aren’t scared of the challenges that face them in a less than stellar season. The Nuggets, who have had the far better season so far, are mentally soft compared to LA. That starts at the top.

Colin Daniels

Colin is the emcee of the South Stands Denver Fancast and maintains our Twitter and Facebook accounts.

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