Through all the winning and losing, fans from around the world travel to watch the Los Angeles Lakers play, whether the team is at home or on the road.
The Pepsi Center, where the Denver Nuggets make their home, has been an arena that can turn into a pro-Lakers environment. However, as the Nuggets are competitive this season, they rewarded their fans with a 117-85 win despite Gary Harris (ankle) not playing.
Following the win, head coach Mike Malone had a message to opposing team fans, via Harrison Wind of BSN Denver:
“We don’t want any converts. You’re either with us or against us. We understand. LeBron is arguably the best player ever. When he comes to town, and the Lakers, their fans carry. As long as their fans go home disappointed, that’s all I care about. So the Warrior fans can come in here, the Celtic fans can come in here, Laker fans come in here, but take that ‘L’ on the way out.”
Due to the high altitude, the Nuggets have had a unique home-court advantage and the talent level has finally caught up. While they have only made it past the first round of the NBA Playoffs once since the 1999-00 season, Nikola Jokic and company present a challenge for any team in the Western Conference.
As for the Lakers, they will look to get back to their winning ways when they begin a four-game homestand against the Indiana Pacers. Along with struggling to defend stretch-fives, the Lakers will need to re-emphasize rebounding and limiting their turnovers.