Nuggets and Lakers, Bulls and 76ers: Get ready for more great basketball

Fortunately for the struggle-hungry NBA fan, a few of these series don’t look like they’re going to be over any time soon. Photo: Lakers Kobe Bryant in a rebound that Nuggets Keneth Faried couldn't stop AP

CHICAGO, May 8, 2012  — The first round of this year’s NBA playoffs has, aside from injuries that will leave Chicago fans with incredible emotional scars, been a fan’s dream: a comeback from a team that was down by more than twenty, monster dunks, superstars taking over and seemingly evenly matched teams fighting to the death.

And that’s just the Memphis-Los Angeles series.

Fortunately for the struggle-hungry NBA fan, a few of these series don’t look like they’re going to be over any time soon. Nothing is worse than the thought of having every series done in five games, only to be followed by a week-long break waiting for the second round to start. The Memphis-LA series is easily the most likely to go the distance, as the first three games have shown that these two teams are about as even as it’s going to get.

There are a few other series that have a good chance to give fans their money’s worth that aren’t exactly on the radar, chief among them being the Nuggets-Lakers series. If the Nuggets can finally get Ty Lawson and Danillo Gallinari to play well in the same game, they should be able to steal Game Five away from LA, leaving only a Game Six at home away from a decider back at the Staples Center.

Flying high, 76ers Andre Iguadala dunks over the Bulls AP

This definitely shouldn’t be overlooked, especially with the promise that these young Nuggets have shown in the first half of this series, with Kenneth Faried and JaVale McGee making the Denver front office look smarter than ever. Combining that with how indescribably fast Lawson is as well as Andre Miller’s veteran savvy leaves more than enough ingredients for a potential shocker. Faried and McGee outplayed the Lakers’ vaunted frontcourt once, and it’s not unfathomable for them to do it again.

Of course, there’s two sides to every coin, and Kobe Bryant is generally not one to allow an underdog team to get its foot in the door once he smells blood. While there is a big chance that the Nuggets can gather themselves to get to a seventh game, there’s an equally good chance that Kobe scores 50 in Game 5 and has it decided by halftime.

Ah, the beauty of the National Basketball Association.

The other team that shouldn’t be given up on is this year’s top overall seed that’s down 3-1 to the second-worst team in the whole tournament. While the Chicago Bulls have been crippled beyond any sensible recognition in these first four games, they still have plenty of veteran fight in them that won’t let them just roll over and die in the next one. Also it would seem very unlikely that a team as mediocre as Philadelphia could beat any semblance of the Bulls four times in a row, regardless of who suits up to play. Coach Tom Thibodeau just won’t let them go down by losing four games in a row.

But alas, fans can’t be too spoiled, as one series is already over and a few more are about to be. However, as fans, we should be ready. We’ve got some barnburners coming our way. 


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Nicholas Goralka

Nick Goralka is a sports enthusiast with eclectic interests. In addition to cheering on and suffering along with his Chicago teams, Nick is a competitively-ranked tennis player, enjoys debating real versus imaginary numbers in mathematical functions, and is a trumpet soloist in his Jazz ensemble which has performed throughout Chicago and for Mayor Rahm Emmanuel and Vice President Joe Biden at a recent charity fundraiser.  

Nick is still in high school, steadily working his way through his Statistics class, and learning more and more every day about analyzing the sports that he loves.

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