If any team knows how to handle adversity or playoff games, it will be the one with Kobe Bryant on it. He has more playoff experience than the entire Nuggets team combined. He is third on the all-time playoff scoring list. He owns five championship rings. He knows how to win games. He has a magically reconstructed knee and feels better than he has in a few years at age 33. He was a mere 0.1 points behind Durant for the scoring title this season. But does he know how to purposefully lose games to allow for his starting small forward to return next round? that remains to be seen. Devin Ebanks has shown quite nicely in the first two games, but the Thunder are a different team than the Nuggets. The pressure will be heightened and the Lakers require RonMetta's presence to advance beyond the second round.
The question doesn't lie in how the Lakers should approach the remainder of this series, but how they should monitor their approach to the remainder of the postseason - there are bigger fish to fry than the Denver Nuggets, and the Lakers realize they need Ron Artest to accomplish their goals. Don't be surprised if Game 3 goes to the Nuggets, if only to make it so Artest would only miss Game 1 of Round 2. Rest assured this is part of Mike Brown's and the Lakers' psyche. I'm placing my bet on Denver tonight - be smart and do the same.