Lakers vs. Nuggets Game Preview: Lakers Look to Recover from Worst Loss...

Lakers vs. Nuggets Game Preview: Lakers Look to Recover from Worst Loss in Franchise History


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As professional athletes, each member of the Lakers should be embarrassed with their effort last night. Tonight’s matchup with the Denver Nuggets, who have lost 12 of 14 themselves, will show the competitive nature of each player on the team. Last night’s loss to the Clippers, a historic 142-94 defeat, was the worst final margin in the history of the proud Laker franchise. Denver has been a difficult place to play for the Lakers over the years, and tonight will be no exception even though the Nuggets have been unraveling of late. Let’s take a look at how the Lakers match up with Denver.

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Frontcourt: Denver’s frontcourt brings a high level of energy to the game, and this is embodied in the play of Kenneth Faried. The Nuggets’ starting power forward, now in his third season, is an explosive leaper who excels at finishing above the rim as well as crashing the offensive boards. He averages 2.8 offensive rebounds per game in only 25 minutes per game. Wesley Johnson, who has been starting at the four, is going to have his hands full in trying to box him out if Coach D’Antoni continues to go to his four-guard starting lineup. Timofey Mozgov starts at center, and he had his two highest scoring games of the season in the team’s previous two games with the Lakers, scoring 23 and 20 points, respectively. Pau Gasol must work to push him off the block and not let him get easy baskets near the rim.

Wilson Chandler is another athletic player who is dangerous on the break for the Nuggets. Chandler is adept at slashing to the rim and finishing over defenders. Kent Bazemore is a good matchup for Chandler, as he has the quickness to keep him in front of him. Laker management should be using these remaining games to see how Bazemore works as a lockdown defender on athletic wings to see if he can fulfill that role in the future. Chandler averages 14.1 points per game on the season and is a capable three-point shooter (35.2 percent on 5.9 attempts per game).

Backcourt: The Nuggets go as point guard Ty Lawson takes them. Lawson is amongst the quickest players in the NBA from end-to-end with the ball in his hands, and is every bit as fast as the Russell Westbrooks and Tony Parkers of the league when it comes to straight-line speed. Kendall Marshall will unquestionably struggle with this defensive assignment, so expect to see lots of Jordan Farmar tonight. Over the course of his career, Lawson has developed his midrange jumper and his shot from beyond the arc. The way to defend him is still to force him to hit these shots outside the paint because he is also able to distribute effectively when he penetrates (8.8 assists a night). Lawson leads the Nuggets in scoring at 18.8 points per game.

Randy Foye starts at shooting guard, and he can get it going in a hurry from the three-point line. Known as a knockdown shooter through his seven-year career, Foye has kept that reputation intact in his first season as a Nugget. He takes over half of his shots from three and hits on 38 percent on the season.

Keys to Lakers Victory: 

Keep It Half-Court: It is hard to see the Lakers winning this game if the Nuggets thoroughly dominate them in the area of fastbreak points. Though Denver ranks tenth to the Lakers’ twelfth in fastbreak points per game, the Nuggets hold a considerable advantage in athleticism and have an All-Star caliber point guard to lead the charge. Operating more of a half-court game could help the Lakers control the ball better, too.

Continuous Defensive Energy: Fresh off of giving up 142 points last night, the Lakers’ coaching staff should not be talking about anything other than defensive effort and rotations. The Lakers should come out with defensive intensity after last night’s effort, but it is about sustaining that effort for 48 minutes.

Erase Past: From the Lakers’ poor history at the Pepsi Center to last night’s 48-point less to the rival Clippers, the Lakers cannot dwell on things that have happened in the past. If they come out tentative and downtrodden, it could be another long night against a Nuggets team that just recently snapped a six-game losing streak.

Heading into tonight’s game, the Lakers are 10-point underdogs according to

Los Angeles Lakers (21-41) vs. Denver Nuggets (26-34)
6:00 PM PST, March 8, 2014
Pepsi Center, Denver, CO
TV: TWC SportsNet
Radio: ESPN
Radio 710 ESPNLA

Nuggets Projected Starting Line-up
PG: Ty Lawson
SG: Randy Foye
SF: Wilson Chandler
PF: Kenneth Faried
C: Timofey Mozgov

Key Reserves: G Nate Robinson, C J.J. Hickson, PG Aaron Brooks

Lakers Projected Starting Line-up
PG: Kendall Marshall
SG: Jodie Meeks
SF: Kent Bazemore
PF: Wesley Johnson
C:  Pau Gasol
VIDEO: Robert Sacre, “I’m Just Happy The Game’s Over

  • MliAN

    Lakers are fully out of playoffs contention right?????Lakers are the worst team.

  • LA Man

    Lakers need to just tank out the rest of the schedule.They desperately need a high lottery pick more than any other NBA team.The Lakers flat out suck,they are futility.No shame in tanking.Forget pride it’s about surviving in the future.

  • Venice

    Lakers are a rotten bunch.They suck.

  • Jim213

    The worst effort in franchise history was placed yesterday. No excuses to not showing up and representing the brand but this roster isn’t necessarily built to represent them foremost. It was a quick patch up given last off season’s (no moves).

    The worsest stage is here given the challenging remaining schedule but no excuses. Even if it’s A BACK TO BACK GAME as too many excuses are given nowadays with relation to not playing competitively especially when it involves back to back games.

  • Bull>Lion

    Lakers need to just tank.This trying to win games crap is meaningless.The Lakers are not making the playoffs anyways,might as well secure the highest pick possible in one of the best drafts ever.The last and only hope the Lakers have left is getting a high draft pick,nothing else matters just the draft.

    This game the Lakers will lose i guarantee it.TY Lawson and Kenneth Faried cause hell on the Lakers also playing in the thin air messes the wind pipes of the Lakers it’s the toughest arena for the Lakers in recent years and coming off a crushing defeat it’s obvious the tank has been ordered by the commander.Denver has no lottery pick of it’s own it goes to Orlando so they have zero reason to lose or tank they just got Lawson back.

    The smartest thing ever for the Lakers is to tank the rest of the way.We need a franchise player from the NBA Draft.Build through the draft and the chances of LeBron James coming are zero as in i have a better chance of being president.Lakers are stuck in this position trying to beat being mediocre forever.

  • Bull>Lion

    Lakers need to lose every game.Tank it out.

  • Mitch

    People need to back off the Lakers and Mike D’Antoni they are just tanking.How stupid can people be really?Figure it out the tank has been ordered,no playoffs hopes it’s about tanking now.THE LAKERS ARE TANKING AND WILL LOSE A TON MORE THE REST OF THE SEASON.LAKERS NEED A TOP 3 LOTTERY PICK.TANKING IS THE ONLY HOPE TO SUCCEED FOR THE FUTURE.BUZZ OFF!

  • Mitch

    Just lose baby!

  • fakerstolakers

    Big Chuckle on this one: Ladies and gentleman, here is yourrrrrrr all star line up.

    at the GM, the Mitchman

    at the coach, Rigatoni

    From the Bench cheering one, Mamba the Revenge seeker.

    From the Bench, Nash, the Canadian All Star from Victoria (who never could get pass Dallas or the Spurs, when, the had all stars line up, Amare, Marion, Joe Johnson etc.

    At Center, yours truly, Mr Gasol, the monster defender

    at the rest of the cast. Is this Universal Studios Special, Lakers should move to Studio City…

    And there is your all star line up.

    • fakerstolakers

      DH gods must be smiling somewhere in the Sky!!!!
      Who knows, if DH, was here, Melo could have demanded coming here before the trading deadline, and adding Granger and Davis (instead the clippers did it), Lakers would be competing in the West and not the Clippers. And, Rondo, is dying to get out of Boston.

      Rondo PG
      Granger SG
      Davis PF
      DH C
      Melo SF

      This would be top one or two team in the West right now.

      Lakers could have rebuilt on the fly!!!!!!

      Kobe and Gasol were both coming off the books at the end of 2014…
      This was very possible. Very Very Very possible. And buying Nash out.

      This would have freed some $60 Million dollars..this would have been absolutely possible.

  • truth24

    Worst loss in FRANCHISE history……………….no one on this current Lakers team is of championship pedigree. Been a long time Lakers fan. Remember during the van excel days along with Cedric Ceballos and butter fingers elden campbell???? That team was wayyyyy better then what is currently happening now although you can still say they sucked!!!!! Who cares if Bazemore hustles!!!! Come on people he is playing hard for a check but do you really see him in the future with a ring lol!!!!! Exactly…..IMO and I’m so tired of gasoft. He needs to go along w everyone else except for Wes Johnson and farmer. Jim buss doesn’t know what he’s doing. Good thing I canceled twc and paying for lakers tickets, so not worth it.