Trevor Ariza Is Ready for Carmelo Anthony in Game 2

Trevor Ariza came up huge for the Lakers near the end of their Game 1 victory over the Nuggets. You remember the play: Denver, trailing by two with 30 seconds left, is inbounding the ball on the near sideline. Anthony Carter puts a little too much air under his pass to Chauncey Billups, and Ariza sprints towards the ball and gets the steal -- which led to two free throws from Kobe Bryant that sealed the win.

Before he made that play, however, you may remember Ariza as the guy who Carmelo Anthony was scoring on repeatedly to start the game, to the tune of 16 points in the first quarter.

"I was getting served," Ariza said after Wednesday's practice. "So I had to figure out some kind of way to help my team out."

Ariza expects to be able to help out a whole lot more in Game 2, especially on the defensive end against Anthony. There's no question that Carmelo has upped his game to become one of the most efficient scorers remaining in the playoffs, but the short turnaround time between the two series probably had a little to do with Ariza's inability to check the Nuggets' star, especially early on.

"I watched a little tape on him," Ariza said. "We watched film [yesterday]. And I think I can do a better job now. Since [Game 1] I got a few tips what to do. So I think I’ll be better prepared."

The extra preparation will certainly help, in terms of seeing what Anthony's go-to moves are and what he likes to do when he gets the ball in different spots on the floor. But even if Carmelo should go off again for a big night in Game 2, we still might see another heroic play from Ariza down the stretch. Why? Because he's focused on the future, and not the past.

"Just forget about everything that happened the play before and just worry about the next play," Ariza said.

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