Preseason Chat: Lakers vs. Nuggets, Part 2

Daniel Rapaport —  October 8, 2013

For the second time in three nights, the Lakers will host the Denver Nuggets in a preseason game to be played at Citizens Bank Business Arena in Ontario.

This time, Kobe will accompany the team on the hour-or-so trip to Ontario, as he’s reportedly returned from receiving plasma therapy on his knees in Germany.

Tonight, I’ll be interested to see how the offense looks after a borderline abysmal showing in the game against the Nuggets on Tuesday night. The Lakers shot 32.3% for the game and looked out of sorts often on the offensive end. Nick Young has been doing Nick Young things, going 4-16 and not showing even a hint of hesitation to fire up contested jumpers. I realize that the L.A. native will need to take on a bigger scoring role with Kobe’s absence, but for the Lakers to have any sort of sustained success, he’ll need to look to his teammates with far more frequency.

I’ll also be keeping an eye on Steve Nash, who, despite showing flashes of vintage Nash with a few fancy passes, went scoreless and sat out the second half. With this current roster, Nash is the team’s third best player, and he’ll need to put the ball in the basket consistently for the Lakers to stay in games. If only we could transport some of Nick Young’s shots to Nash, who’s statistically one of the very best shooters in NBA history.

Xavier Henry has been a bright spot for the Lakers in the young preseason. After shocking, well, everyone with a 29-point outburst against the Warriors in the first game, Henry had another strong showing on Sunday night, going 4-7 and 7-9 from the line for 15 points. If he can keep up this type of efficient production, his minutes and role will only continue to expand. Also, keep an eye on Pau, who is no doubt enjoying space in the front court that he so famously lacked last year.

Wesley Johnson will likely be out for the Lakers, who is listed as day-to-day after an MRI revealed he has a strained foot.

Daniel Rapaport


34 responses to Preseason Chat: Lakers vs. Nuggets, Part 2

  1. I remember Nash taking a while getting in gear during pre-seasons past with PHX. It may be a rhythm thing. He does so much reading of what is happening, and accounting for the strengths and needs of his teammates, I think it takes a little time to get it going.

    The theme I’m hearing here, on TW and from fans in general, we just want a fun team. Nash should be a big part of that happening. Also hope Farmar is ready to go today.

  2. Nash just need to find his stride. He only shoot like once during that game. I saw very nice passes from him though. He should be ok

  3. I really really want to see a 24/10 Pau Gasol tonight.

  4. Unfortunately, Bill McDonald reports no Jordan Farmar tonight.

  5. Is it just me or is Pau/Kaman working? Weeeeird.

  6. I like that the refs are actually doing their jobs and not letting people travel or commit moving screens.

  7. I could get used to Henry at PG LBJ at SG, Gay at SF, and Melo at PF next year

  8. I like Kaman and Pau on court together. Not Meeks fan last year or so far this year. Guessing Henry and Young get those minutes when Kobe comes back. Denver looks like Lakers in preseason last year. Confused !

  9. Is it just me or is Pau/Kaman working?

    Respect given WWL, but I’m of the belief that no one said that it wouldn’t work offensively. The question was would it work defensively? And unfortunately, with McGee and ‘Manimal’ being two of the least offensively skilled 4 and 5’s in the league (although they’re probably the most athletic tandem), we won’t get our answer tonight as to whether the Pau and Kaman combo is effective.

  10. Aaron really? That is $250 million with penalties. Nice of you to spend the Buss Family Money.

  11. Pau/Kaman works but only for stretches,both can score but are too slow on D, i think Hill should be the one to start alongside Pau thats my opinion. The team looking pretty good tonight, like i been saying all along, this team wont be as bad as people make them out to be.If healthy and everything falling in place they can be pretty good.

  12. I cant believe im saying this, nice dime by Nick Young lol.

  13. Jordan Hill looks better playing center than power forward. I’m not sure any Hill combination with Gasol or Kaman will work effectively. A Hill/Gasol or Hill/Kaman combination is better defensively but offensively….I don’t know.

  14. Nick Young is making me eat my words about being a chucker tonight. If he buys in on creating shots for teammates he could be a real contributor.

  15. @Gary i agree in part but we are going to see the Hill with whoever combo regardless. Nothing wrong to use a more defense oriented pairing if the game dictates it. We are not a fast team a Pau/Kaman starting combination would slow this team to a crawl.

  16. I like hill with Williams – allows hill to go for more offensive boards.

    I gotta agree – Pau-Kaman is working a lot better than I thought – it looks like Kaman is all of the sudden quicker Ex see Kamans block on Lawson.

    Offensively they are just great together – liking the interior passing between them.

    Nash is also looking a lot better – overall you can really see how much better the chemistry is between these 2 units compared to the last 2 games.

    I say Shawne Williams and Xavier Henry are the guys that make the team.

    Great positive game all around so far


  17. @Fern Its still preseason but if Hill is going to have to take jump shots, that’s not a effective way to use him. He’s more comfortable crashing the boards and getting easy dunks by playing closer to the basket. When Kaman and Gasol played, Hill was out at the perimeter most of the time. If mike d’antoni uses Hill like the Nuggets use Faried then maybe it might work. I do agree that sometimes its better to have a more defensive oriented unit on the court and Hill is part of that.

    @shaun that’s what I’m thinking. Hill looked much better when he played with shawne williams because that allowed hill to play at his natural position at center.

  18. Keno,
    Where have you been the entire offseason. You should know by now the Lakers will have no penalties next year. It’s impossible. They are singing max players. They can’t be over the cap until the year after.

  19. Aaron so they are going to gign a bunch of max like the ones you said bc they wont be paying a penalty next year but they will be willing to take a 250 mill hit down the road,LJ, Rudy and Melo all going to get signed for max contracts wherever they sign next season why in the hell would the Lakers worked so hard to fix the cap situation? so they can get on a deeper hole almost inmediatly?, newsflash Lebron aint coming. People need to stop these pipe dreams.We might be able to het one max mayybeee 2 if Kobe take like a 20 mill salary cut and Gasol take a 13-14 mill cut if he stays. The cap situation is theorical right now, we wont know how it will look after this season is over.

  20. BTW LJ as a sg? A pos he is too big for and he never played his entire carrer? I guess you kicking Kobe out of the team too.

  21. if the Lakers can maintain this intensity, they will be a perfectly good defensive team this year.

    it’s funny, with Pau and Kaman on the floor against a very quick team, the Lakers were better at getting back in transition than at any time last year.

  22. Some very eye-opening stat lines from tonight’s game:

    *Jordan Hill–8 points (3-5 shooting) and 12 (!) rebounds, 1 assist, 1 block in only 16 minutes;
    *Shawne Williams–8 points (3-4 shooting), 3 rebounds, 1 assist, 1 steal, 2 blocks in 15 minutes;
    *Steve Blake–16 points, 3 assists, 2 boards in 28 minutes.

    Xavier Henry’s shot wasn’t falling for him tonight. But I like his energy and the fact that he draws a lot of fouls (5-6 FTs in 22 minutes). However, he still doesn’t have a single assist in this preseason. This is clearly a blind spot in his game.

    Nick Young’s game was unspectacular but I like what I saw. He had 3 assists and at least 2 of them were drop-dead gorgeous. (I thought I was hallucinating.) The coaches may have talked to him about sharing the ball.

    Kaman and Pau work together well on offense. But Javale McGee was having far too easy a time scoring on them. I still say that Pau and Jordan Hill will be the best front line combination for the Lakers–certainly on defense.

    The team will be better with Jordan Farmar and Wes Johnson once they come back, not to mention Kobe Bryant.

    I was somewhat pleased with what I saw tonight. Nash looked good, I thought. And the whole team looks 3X more cohesive than last year’s version. But then again, Fairfax High School has a more cohesive team than last year’s Lakers.

  23. Only complaints about today was the vast number of offensive rebounds given up, and the number of and-one fouls in the 4th.

    Solid preseason workout, and good to see Kobe in uniform, even if not playing.

  24. Fern: “newsflash Lebron aint coming”

    second that – why would he?

  25. Everyone hustled and have made an effort to be a team player. This team will have its issues but a least there aren’t any drama queens to deal with. It’s going to be an interesting journey. GO LA!!

  26. Aaron
    Using my handy adding machine?
    With zero chance
    James $20 plus
    Anthony $25
    Kobe $20 to $25
    Gay $15 plus
    Looks like you over the cap. Guess you have to bring back Jim Krebs since you have no center and stu Lantz since you have no PG. Fill in the roster of Z leaguers and
    your still over $120 . Seems like penalty on your fantasy league team puts them at $200 with a 60 year old bringing up the ball and a. 80 year old at center.

    Keep your day job as Jimmy just fired you as GM.

  27. Fourth qtr tonight was the 3rd team. Last year we didn’t even have a 2nd team so I will take the upgrade.

    About the CBA. The rule for the repeater tax next year is that a team has to be under the Luxury Cap in at least one of the last 5 years. After next year it goes up to two of the last 5 years. That means the Lakers have to avoid the Luxury Cap for the next two years, not just next year. All this talk about max contracts is just blowing steam. They have to get under the Luxury Cap and stay there for two years or they will really have to pay the piper for a couple of years, not just one, in the future.

  28. depending on how things play out they will trade guys to get under the cap this year so that they do not experience the hikes.

    repeater only goes into effect this year – 1st 2 years of the new CBA teams got a bye

  29. Keno,
    I forgot to tell you… There is a cap. They can’t sign all those players. They can sign three MAX players. Kobe isn’t one of them. By definition it is impossible to sign the players and be over the tax threshold. They can’t even get to the tax threshold because they can’t even get over the cap. They are following the Miami heat model. Where were you this offseason when all of this was spelled out? You are wrong. Let it go.

  30. Kobe $20 to $25

    Like I have said several times, there is virtually no chance that Kobe will get a contract that size. Garnett didn’t, Duncan didn’t, Nowitzki won’t. The only way would be if KB comes back very strong, the Lakers strike out in FA, and they sign him to a one-year deal at 18-20M to keep the fanbase engaged next year. And even then, they would be bidding against themselves.

  31. Solid preseason workout, and good to see Kobe in uniform, even if not playing.
    AusPhil, you said it!
    As for Swaggy P dishin´ the rock:
    he´ll never have a better mentor (& that´s putting it lightly) than Mamba, hope he takes full advantage

  32. All this talk about max contracts is just blowing steam.

    Not sure how you are framing this point, exactly, but if the Lakers are going to get off the deck before 2018 or so, even leaving James out of it, they will need to give out at least two max or near-max deals. If Greg Monroe actually hits the market, they will need to be around the max to have any shot at him. Same with Kevin Love and Marc Gasol in 2015. There is no question that Love will get a max deal if he is healthy in July 2015 and on the market.

    And if James by some miracle actually wanted to come here, there is no question that it would involve at least two max deals (James’ deal and another one for someone to play with him) and another large deal.

    If you are just saying that the Lakers will try very hard to avoid the severe repeater penalities in the new CBA, that is true. But talking about max deals for FAs is not just blowing steam.

  33. After reading stories around the web this morning I think the Kaman-Gasol pairing may be a feature of this year’s club. Not to say that Mike D. won’t change up his starting lineup at times, but that duo may be the most common theme. With Kaman’s pick-and-roll defense being his main weakness and having Hill with better skills at the center position, I suspect we may see more of the Gasol-Kaman and Hill-Williams combinations to both score and defend. This would better cover up Nash’s defensive weaknesses and present a lethal front court offensive combination. The 2nd unit front court wouldn’t be as good offensively, but they might shut down any other team’s 2nd unit. Now the Laker wing players just have to step up their game – i.e. Farmer, Blake, Young, Meeks, etc.