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D.R.: Nuggets would beat Cavs

Well, sure, the NBA finals were boring. A boring team, the grind-it-out, all-business San Antonio Spurs had their way with the Cleveland Cavaliers, a group that seven of the eight playoff contenders in the Western Conference could have beaten.

This was anti-climax. The Spurs won the championship in the second round, against the Phoenix Suns. The rest of it was set, since no other team left could pose a real threat. Not the Utah Jazz, and certainly not the Cavaliers.

For those of us still paying attention ” mainly because we don’t have lives ” the pundits went on and on about the virtues of reseeding during the playoffs. That is, when they weren’t wailing about the worst TV ratings in history or wondering about Kobe Bryant’s demands to be traded from the Lakers. (Please, make it so.)



In a sure sign I’ve become a homer, I couldn’t help but notice that the Denver Nuggets played the Spurs better than anyone, even the Suns.

No, the Suns never had a chance, even without the drama that led to suspensions for Amare Stoudemire and Boris Diaw. They were going down anyway, and sorry, poise is part of the game.



The Kobe thing, that’s just Paris Hilton stuff. Pure L.A. He’s not going to have a more talented sidekick than Lamar Odom, with the promise of Andrew Bynum developing into a consistent player. Bynum, the 7-foot teenager, is the youngest in history to play in the NBA. With what teams need to give up to get Kobe, his best chance at winning is right at home.

It would be poetic for Kobe to wind up with less talent around him in, say, Toronto, where he can be the new Vince Carter. And it would be great for the Lakers, who can pick up more young talent to build on, not to mention people capable of playing team ball.

Like the Spurs.



Just don’t trade Kobe to the Nuggets. They don’t need that guy. Chicago, fine. New York, fine. If they are dumb enough.

The Nuggets just needed Allen Iverson to make a couple of more layups to beat the team that became the champs. Super defenseman Bruce Bowen didn’t do so much to slow A.I. as just missing open shot after open shot did.

Nene played Tim Duncan better than any other power forward. Nene will be stronger next year, without that knee injury to rehab. I hope the Nuggets hang on to old man Camby one more year. He’s worth more swatting shots and getting rebounds than as trade bait.

Kenyon Martin, with luck, will be back. Maybe he can be next year’s Nene, working himself back over the season from his knee injury. Linus Kleiza shouldn’t be quite so wide-eyed and useless in next year’s playoffs.

J.R. Smith, God knows. No one has more pure athletic talent, save Melo. If he’s not in jail following the crash in which his friend died, maybe this life experience will sober that kid up a bit.

The Nuggets could be something special next season. Could be. Not saying they will.

But they could beat the Cavaliers now.


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