Morning Buzz

Elliott Teaford breaks down the adjustments the Nuggets will or might try to make tonight in the Daily News.

Steve Dilbeck tries to inspire the killer instinct in the Purple and Gold.

Mike Bresnahan expounds upon Kobe’s motivation in the LA Times. Make sure you read all the way to the end for a little nugget on Ronny Turiaf… (apparently a case of tonsillitis is a good way to lose weight)

Bill Dwyre has a great column on the ups and downs of Denver coach George Karl

Kevin Ding reminds us how difficult it can be to turn a 2-0 series lead into 3-0 in the OC Register

Brad Turner wants Kobe to feed his inner beast in the Riverside Press Enterprise

While Chris Tomasson drudges up some bad memories for Nuggets fans in the Rocky Mountain News.

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Kobe: “I’m a little hungrier now”

Kobe Bryant has been remarkably candid in his interviews with reporters the last few days, providing rare glimpses into his innermost thoughts and emotions. Friday, he was asked to compare the pressure he feels to win a championship compared to the runs he made with Shaquille O’Neal earlier this decade.

“It’s different. The first one, I was so young, plus I was sharing that pressure with somebody else (Shaquille O’Neal).

“We both had the pressure to get it done, he more so than I. Now, the pressure is squarely on my shoulders to try to bring another championship here. It’s something I’ve accepted. So I think I’m a little hungrier now than I was the first time.”

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Bump and Run

This video of the Nuggets rather unique pregame video has been making the YouTube rounds today. Apparently, George Karl and his assistants like to take their aggression out on each other before the games…

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Quote of the Day

“In hindsight, that was my strategy. I’m getting my Phil Jackson on now — I saw it all coming.”

–Kobe Bryant, joking with reporters about his motivation for calling out general manager Mitch Kupchak last summer.

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Morning Buzz

Now that we’ve been getting some of the blog issues resolved, we’ll be posting with a lot more frequently in this space throughout the playoffs.

With such a long break between games, today was a pretty light day for both the Lakers and Nuggets. Big things to look for in tonight’s Game 2, are the adjustments each coach makes. Look for the Nuggets to go big, with Linas Kleiza in the lineup in place of Anthony Carter, continue to mix in some zone defense, and try to be more physical with Pau Gasol. Look for the Lakers to try and get Kobe Bryant on track earlier in the game and slow the tempo down a bit, if Denver goes with a big lineup.

Anyway, here’s a quick rundown of today’s stories:

Elliott Teaford breaks down the chess game in the Daily News.

Jonathan Abrams explains how a new space-age treadmill is helping injured Lakers mend quicker in today’s Times.

Mike Bresnahan checks in on the team’s mood.

Brad Turner talks about the physical nature of Game 1 in the Press Enterprise.

Kevin Ding predicts that Derek Fisher could be th hero in Game 2 in the Orange County Register.

Benjamin Hochman reports on the Nuggets plan to use more zone defense tonight in the Denver Post.

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Linas Kleiza to start game 2

As Elliott wrote in his game story Sunday, the chess match has begun. Denver coach George Karl announced Tuesday that 6-foot-8 Linas Kleiza, who came off the bench to score 23 points in Game 1, will start in place of 6-foot-2 Anthony Carter in Game 2 against the Lakers on Wednesday night.

No word yet on whether he’ll match-up with Kobe Bryant, or whether Kenyon Martin will, but it’s obvious Denver has decided to go big in Game 2 to better match up with the Lakers front line, which consists of three players –Radmanovic, Odom and Gasol — who stand 6-foot-10 or taller.

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