Beginning tonight, the Western Conference Finals feature the Los Angeles Lakers and the Denver Nuggets.
The Lakers, who have been in cruise control for the past month and who seem to have the Western Conference locked up in their own minds, had a difficult time getting passed a Yao-less, McGrady-less Rockets team. Now, a real challenge for them- the team who’s looked the best thus far in the Western Conference players, The Nugs.
Of course, the most important player for the Nuggets will be All-World Carmelo Anthony, and arguably Chauncey Billups is the MVP of the team for his leadership. But make no mistakes about it, it will be Kenyon Martin’s job to get inside the head of the Lakers players and intimidate them, the way K.G. did in last years finals. All season long the Lakers have preached about how they needed to get tougher to be a World Champion- well tonight, it’s time to get tough. Kenyon Martin won’t back down from any challenge, he won’t let Gasol or Odom push him around, and he certainly will bring his pitbull mentality to the best of seven series.
Throughout the Mavericks series, Kenyon shoved around Dirk Nowtizki, and even when fouled hard and offered a hand by the opponent, would opt to get off the ground himself while chewing them out verbally.
His toughness with be a key factor for the Nuggets, if they are to move on to the NBA Finals.