Lakers Vs. Nuggets Preview: Lakers Look For Second Straight Win Reviewed by Momizat on . [caption id="attachment_85205" align="aligncenter" width="2118"] Chris Humphreys-USA TODAY Sports[/caption] On Friday night, the Los Angeles Lakers snapped thei [caption id="attachment_85205" align="aligncenter" width="2118"] Chris Humphreys-USA TODAY Sports[/caption] On Friday night, the Los Angeles Lakers snapped thei Rating: 0
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Lakers Vs. Nuggets Preview: Lakers Look For Second Straight Win

Chris Humphreys-USA TODAY Sports

Chris Humphreys-USA TODAY Sports

On Friday night, the Los Angeles Lakers snapped their six-game losing streak with a 110-99 victory over the Utah Jazz. While the Lakers will remain shorthanded for at least another month, Kendall Marshall stepped up adding 20 points and 15 assists in his first start. Although the Jazz are one of the worst teams in the league, Los Angeles looks to build on this victory. For the first time since Kobe Bryant’s injury, head coach Mike D’Antoni will have the same starting lineup heading into tonight’s game against the Denver Nuggets.

Frontcourt: The Nuggets’ frontcourt rotation is unique as five players play at least 18.5 minutes, but no more than 30.5 minutes per game. Without Danilo Gallinari and JaVale McGee, Wilson Chandler has played well recently. In the past five games, Chandler is averaging 15.6 points, 6.0 rebounds, and 2.6 threes per game.

Although he doesn’t play major minutes anymore, Kenneth Faried has been a player the Lakers have had difficulties containing since he entered the league. In the past five games, Faried has struggled with an ankle injury and it’s shown in his performance. He is only averaging 9.8 points and 4.5 rebounds.

Backcourt: In his fifth season, Ty Lawson remains one of the fastest players in the league and is having the best season of his career. While head coach Brian Shaw has tried different lineups this season, Lawson has started all 30 games and is averaging 17.7 points and 8.1 assists.

Joining Lawson in the backcourt is Randy Foye. Known as a strong three-point shooter throughout his career, Foye has struggled this season. The eight-year guard is only averaging 9.0 points while shooting 37.5 percent from the field and 32.6 percent from beyond the arc. Although he has struggled, Shaw has been playing him significant minutes and will be a threat to have a breakout game against the Lakers.

Keys to Lakers’ Victory:

Kendall Marshall: Without their three top point guards, the Lakers have naturally struggled. However, Marshall’s emergence into the starting lineup and his ability to create wide open opportunities for his teammates has been crucial. With Nick Young remaining the only player who can create a shot for himself, it will be interesting to see if the Nuggets force Marshall to become a shooter instead of a passer. Although Marshall has shot very well since arriving in Los Angeles, teams are going to force him to shoot moving forward and he’ll need to make some shots to keep the defense honest.

Rebounding: With a depleted roster, the main issue has been rebounding and the Nuggets are sixth in the league in that category. While head coach Mike D’Antoni is trying to conserve Jordan Hill’s energy, the Lakers will have to make a concerted effort to rebound as Denver has numerous big men that are exceptional on the boards.

Turnovers: While the Nuggets have tried to slow down the pace, they still have one of the fastest players in the league and strong finishers around the rim. With Marshall being the only point guard available, Nuggets will likely try to trap him to force other players to make decisions. As a result, the ball needs to go through Pau Gasol as he can operate from the low post or elbow.

Denver Nuggets (15-17) at Los Angeles Lakers (14-19)
6:30 PM PST, January 5, 2014
Staples Center, Los Angeles, CA
Radio: 710 ESPN (English) / 1330 ESPN (Spanish)

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

Key Reserves: PG: Nate Robinson PF: Darrell Arthur SG: Evan Fournier

Lakers Projected Starting Line-up
PG: Kendall Marshall
SG: Jodie Meeks
SF: Nick Young
PF: Pau Gasol
C: Robert Sacre
Coach D’Antoni on Kendall Marshall, Jeremy Lin, Chris Kaman Not Playing

About The Author

Dan Duangdao is the Editor-in-Chief of Lakers Nation. Follow him on Twitter: @DanDuangdao

Number of Entries : 458
  • LakersHeatBeef

    Come on lets get the win.

    Go Lakers!

    • LakeShow

      What for? To get the Lakers further away from top lottery pick while not making into playoff?

      • LakersHeatBeef

        I can cheer my team on to win.I have that right.:-)

        • Jim213

          Although they’ll miss the playoffs barring a big trade or a few serious injuries that would hurt other play bound teams it’d be best if they won this game. Given all the Laker injuries the next road trip may get real ugly.

  • Roger

    No injuries please.

  • Jeff

    Bottom video… “Coach D’Antoni on Kendall Marshall, JEREMY LIN, Chris Kaman not playing.” ???????? tf lol

  • Lakers Fan

    With all the trade rumors going around, it will, once again, be interesting to see how Pau plays tonight. In the end, it will depend on how Marshall plays and how the defense holds up. If Marshall can have some semblance of the last game and the defense can hold up as well, the Lakers have a good chance of winning. But they have to contain Lawson and Faried/Hickson(rebounding). As inconsistent as the team has been this year, I wouldn’t be surprised if they lose this game. And if they do, get ready for another long losing streak cause the games after this one is brutal, especially on the road.

    • Gregory Choa

      I really hope this trade with Pau doesn’t go down – the dude’s finally healthy and I think the Lakers and their fans owe it to themselves to see what this team can do with a healthy emerging point guard and a spry, motivated Pau Gasol. We saw that magic at work against the Jazz, let’s see it again against the Nuggets. Two really good performances by both Pau and Kendall Marshall would go a LONG way towards restoring some real faith and normalcy within the Lakers Nation and put a lid on this ridiculous Tank Talk.

      • Lakers Fan

        Well we also have to take into account that the game was against the Jazz. Personally, I think it would do Pau a lot of good to play for another team. He could help the Cavs make a playoff push, while here he would have to wait for Kobe to get healthy. I don’t think we will make the playoffs, and moving Pau would be strictly business. While Marshall had a good game, we can’t predict anything long term. Lets wait to see what we have in him before we write him off as the future point guard. Like I said, the game was against the Jazz. We can’t allow ourselves to get caught up in one game against a sub par team. Lets wait to see what we have in Marshall, but as far as Pau, this is a business. We can’t allow our emotions to get in the way of what’s best for the organization.

        • Gregory Choa

          I’m not getting caught up on one game, I’m just saying we kinda owe it to ourselves to see if his lineup can do it again.

          • Lakers Fan

            Well yea I agree with you on that, but considering the Lakers want to get the deal done today we have to wait and see.

          • Gregory Choa

            I understand the urgency, given that Bynum’s contract becomes un-guaranteed on Tuesday, but the Lakers shouldn’t just do this without getting real value in return. They shouldn’t settle for anything less than a real player and a quality draft pick in the exchange, and in addition to Bynum’s expiring contract.

  • Gregory Choa

    Now that this Pau Gasol trade nonsense has been put to rest, it appears that Nick Young will move back to the bench for the Lakers while Wes Johnson will join Kendall Marshall, Jodie Meeks, Pau Gasol and Robert Sacre in the starting lineup.

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