Preview And Chat: Lakers vs. Nuggets

Ryan Cole —  November 13, 2013

The Lakers ended their two-game losing streak last night after getting a pretty convincing home victory over the New Orleans Pelicans, pushing their record to 4-5, which isn’t bad at all for a team that’s been playing without their best player.

The main takeaway from last nights game was that Mike D’Antoni made another change in the starting lineup. Jordan Hill and Wesley Johnson joined the first unit, and used their energy and athleticism to help this team be more effective on the defensive end. We should expect this to be the lineup for the foreseeable future, as Steve Nash is expected to miss at least two weeks of playing time due to lingering injuries in his body.

Tonight the Lakers will be in Denver, as they’ll look to win their second road game of the season against the Nuggets. As we’ve seen so far, the second night of a back-to-back hasn’t been the most favorable scenario for this Lakers team, and Denver is not an easy place to win on the road at all. According to NBA stats and research, NBA teams are a combined 160-376 (.299) when playing in Denver on the second night of a back-to-back, and since 2003, teams are 27-118 (.186).

Along with a good start (which hasn’t been a common trend for the Lakers this season), there a few other things that the Lakers are going to have to key on if they expect to beat the Nuggets:

Match Kenneth Faried’s Energy

It is no secret that Kenneth Faried has been a nightmare matchup for the Lakers since he came into the league. He’s one of the few players in the NBA that can alter the course of a game with his energy and effort, so it’s going to be key that a guy like Jordan Hill match his intensity, and not let him dominate the offensive glass.

The good news for the Lakers is that Mike D’Antoni has been very high on Hill lately, so we can expect him to be matched up with “The Manimal” a lot over the course of tonights game instead of Pau Gasol or Chris Kaman.

Knock Down Three-Pointers

The three-point line has been a very big part of every Laker win so far this season. Currently they shoot roughly around 41% from beyond the arc, ranking 7th in the NBA. As we’ve seen though, this team has the knack for getting trigger happy, so it’s going to be important for them to realize that attempting good threes (open or in the corners) is what they have do.

Transition Defense

Ty Lawson is always a tough player to guard because of his ability to alter the pace of a game with his speed. Despite the fact that new Nuggets head coach Brian Shaw has been trying to incorporate a a half-court offense, he’s allowed his team to get out in transition in order to get easy baskets.

The Lakers must force the Nuggets to operate in the half-court, as they aren’t one of the most efficient teams in a half-court set(ranking 24th in offensive efficiency).

This Lakers team has been one of the hardest to evaluate in years. Some nights they look amazing, and others not so much. One thing that has been a constant though is that the new pieces have made this team fun to watch when they are rolling.

It’s important that we have no expectations for the outcomes of these games, as on some nights they tend to surprise us. Tonight can definitely be one of those nights.

Ryan Cole

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43 responses to Preview And Chat: Lakers vs. Nuggets

  1. Overseas Filipino Worker?

    The Lakers sport the lineup that had success last night. Lets hope we don’t get blitzed tonight. If we can be toe to toe w/ Nuggets till half, we’re giving ourselves a chance to win the game.

  2. You know I always got One For Warren, bro

  3. We can’t lose this game anymore Kareem. There’s just no chance.

  4. I’ve got big money riding on your luck.

  5. Why is Steve Blake pulling a Kobe?
    Just b/c he made a few shots doesn’t mean he can continuously jack up shot after shot, turnover after turnover…

  6. Shawne williams scored, WHAT?

  7. Might be tough night

  8. Like i said earlier, the “other” Laker team showed up. 33 1st quarter points allowed. The offense efficiency overshadowed by horrible D. Nice 3 by Young to end the quarter, at least we are in striking distance. Still got a shot to get the 1st 2 win streak of the year.

  9. Team looks painfully slow tonight.

  10. Thats why i wasnt sold on last night lineup being some kind of master stroke or any resemblance of “figuring things out”, this team cant sustain anything.

  11. Williams is not very good.

  12. Please take Williams out and leave him out.

  13. I dont uderstand why Pau is not in the game. Bad defense by lakers today but I think they will pick it up in the second half.

  14. I think Johnson might be an NBA player

    I hope Henry can be an NBA player

    I know Williams is not an NBA player

  15. Excessive fouling is the callin card of bad defense.

  16. Jordan Hill is the Laker’s best big man and also get rid of Williams. He is terrible.

  17. Jordan Hill may be obe of the best O boarders in the league.

    He has willed Lakers back into this game.

  18. Jordan Hill with 5 ORBs so far but is in foul trouble with 3. Lakers hanging around and could steal a win in the second half.

  19. +/- is a stat of limited usefulness.

    However, it is helping confirm the “eye test” tonight. Wesley Johnson and Hill are playing hard. I don’t think it’s any accident they are the two Lakers with a positive +/-

  20. Who would have guessed a month ago Hill would be their best player?

  21. Ty Lawson’s ability to just run into people (an offensive foul) while pretending to shoot and getting awarded foul shots for it is truly Wadesque

  22. Nick Young deserves more minutes.

  23. Xavier now leads the Lakers in freak head injuries this year.

  24. Nick Young is really playing well off the bench.

  25. Win or lose they continue to play hard. Really enjoy Hill, Johnson and Young tonight.

  26. The Lakers are hanging with a team that ran them out of this building last year – and they are doing it with no Kobe, Nash and basically without Pau (who looks like he has fallen off decline mountain).

  27. Joe,

    Denver no longer has Iguodala. Gallinari is out and they are playing without McGee. Plus Karl is gone. Denver is probably a lottery team. The Lakers are doing a good job in Denver on a b2b, but this not the same Denver team.

  28. Can’t compete with Hill and Pau on bench.

  29. Nice to put Meeks back in who stinks tonight and bench Young who didn’t. What game you watching Mike?

  30. Ugh,game over. The offense looks better but our D is still putrid i guess were not improving 1 game winning streak. We have a lot of home games ahead so lets see if they take advantage of that. Another blowout loss.This was Kobe’s quarter.A scrub loke Mosgov with 23 points today SMH.

  31. Pau cant even shoot a hook geez.

  32. Lakers defense is always going to be bad. Problem was turnovers and those 5 minute droughts where the Lakers can’t score a bucket.

  33. Everything is Mike’s faults huh? Meeks has been playing pretty good as of late he deserves the minutes i guess shooting 4-12 for the game dont stink. But hey, there is always something to complain about.Pau with 21-12 and people still complain. Turnovers, miss fts and bad D did us in

  34. good effort on a b2b, let´s head on back to L.A.

  35. Without Kobe lakers are right there with Denver, New Orleans a .500 team fighting for 8th. Why would you expect more Fern? At least they play hard.

  36. Nice effort but the Lakers ran out of gas in the 4th quarter, just too many points in the paint given up tonight with 60.

  37. I dont expect much but i dont spend my time whinning about every little thing. Nobody can tell me this Denver team is better than the Lakers even w/o Kobe,no Mcgee no Galinary and they let that scrub Mosgov have a career night? is embarrasing, btw, the way this team plays now dictates how it would play with a healthy Kobe this lineup should the the one going fwd , the pieces are there to win games against teams like this lottery bound team. Even with Kobe healthy we be hard pressed to be higher than 7th

  38. … And their fans will have the opportunity to enjoy Tacos. Courtesy of us.

  39. Pau is allergic to boxing out. The only rebounds he gets are ones that fall right in his hands. The lakers just don’t have a player that can control the tempo of the game when the game gets tight. Mike dantoni just sits there and pouts when the team sucks. I give credit to pau being aggressive but we may have to face the facts that he’s just not that good anymore. 12-27 for a center is awful and he now gets a lot of his shots blocked

  40. Farmar at zero baskets and Meeks 1 for 5 and 0 for 2 FT with zero rebounds in 26 minutes means tough to win. Need more from guards.

  41. Like i been saying all along, this team cant sustain anything, i dont care if its a b2b, we have a lot of young legs now and we werent facing the Heat tonight.

  42. This loss stings bc is like the Lakers playing at home w/o Pau and Hill and they win bc Robert Sacre score 23 points. This game should not been a loss. We had the better team for a change. Infuriating.