Life isn’t easy for anybody that has to play across from Kobe Bryant.
However, life is a lot tougher when you allow Bryant average 34.5 points through the first two games of the playoffs while you only average 10 points on 7 of 23 shooting.
That is the life of Arron Afflalo right now. It’s not as nice as it seems, especially after Afflalo received a raving review with how he played down the stretch. Of course the Denver Nuggets return to the comforts of the Pepsi Center on Friday for Game 3, which hopefully will help Afflalo get back on track.
So what does Afflalo need to do get his touch back, but more importantly what do you do to slow Bryant?
There is no easy way of slowing a future Hall of Famer, but Afflalo and the Nuggets found a way during the regular season as they held Bryant to only .275 from the field. However, in the playoffs Bryant has gotten in rhythm and Denver has let him get easy shots without challenging him or getting a hand in the face.
Afflalo may have to get a little dirty, he also may have to shadow Bryant. No matter what Afflalo has to get under Bryant’s skin.
Offensively, Afflalo is trying to do too much. That is apparent in Game 2 when he had a season-high four turnovers. He also must do a better job with his shot selection. He made only 4 of 12 shots in Game 2 and all four of the baskets he made were in the paint.
Afflalo still hasn’t hit a three, missing all five of his attempts behind the arc. Despite his struggles shooting the ball, Afflalo needs to get back to what he does well. He is at his best moving off the ball and working off his teammates. An easy basket early in the game may help Afflalo get out of his slumps.
No matter what, Afflalo needs to be the next Nugget to step up his game for Denver to have any shot overcoming an 0-2 deficit and getting back in the series with the Los Angeles Lakers.