With a final mighty surge, the Lakers swatted aside the pesky Denver Nuggets, ending their 2012 season in a hard fought game 7 in Los Angeles.
Over the summer, the Lakers went out and got 38 year old Steve Nash from the Phoenix Suns in a sign and trade. Then the Lakers traded for Dwight Howard in a big multi-team deal that also featured your Denver Nuggets. Trading away Aaron Afflalo and Al Harrington to the Orlando Magic gave up a bit on offense but should upgrade their perimeter defense by getting Andrea Igoudala in the deal. The Nuggets also drafted for a promising young Frenchman in Evan Fournier and a 2nd round surprise in Quincy Miller. Then the Nuggets showed faith in Javale McGee and gave the Nuggets center a a 4 year deal with roughy $44 million. Lastly, they picked up Anthony Randolph – a promising young player that the Nuggets hope will finally come over age while on their roster.
With these moves, and the rest of that nucleus from the 2012 Playoffs intact, the Nuggets look to improve upon their results of last year. That will take a higher finish in the Western Conference Finals standings – hopefully 3rd or 4th at a minimum. That might have just gotten a little easier with Harden (the Thunder’s prized 6 man) getting traded to the Rockets this week. Unfortunately the Nuggets have their own distraction in the little matter of Lawson’s contract. Lawson will be a free agent this coming summer if a new deal isn’t reached and signed for on this Wednesday.