Did Metta World Peace Cost Kobe Bryant a Shot at Another Ring?

Ethan Sherwood Strauss@SherwoodStraussNBA Lead WriterMay 1, 2012

Subscribe on YouTube

While it may make sense to cite Metta World Peace's suspension as a difference-maker in this Nuggets-Lakers series, I believe Los Angeles will pull this one out. It is difficult to make this kind of analysis without seeming banal. Simply put: Denver's too little. 

While the Nuggets and Lakers are both decent rebounding teams, my preference is towards the taller of two similarly skilled squads. Kenneth "The Manimal" Faried wreaks havoc against average-sized opponents, but I don't anticipate him to crash boards with such fervor when flying into the gargantuan Gasol-Bynum tandem. 

Both teams have defensive concerns, but I don't believe Denver can exploit L.A.'s weakness. The Lakers struggle to contain point guards who run a seamless high screen-and-roll. While Ty Lawson certainly looks the part of the guard who gives Los Angeles trouble, he's more a slasher than a surgeon. Also, when in doubt: Bet against JaVale McGee. 

Be sure to sound off and let us know what you think in the comments below. If you like what you see, click here for more from Bleacher Report Productions.