Lakers look to bounce back against the Nuggets in Denver

Photo by Doug Pensinger | Getty Images

Western Conference 1st Round – Game 4

It is May 6, 2012 and the (3) Los Angeles Lakers are prepared to bounce back against the (6) Denver Nuggets. The Lakers started slow, came out flat, got behind early and were not able to recover in their 99-84 loss to the Nuggets.

The Lakers recipe for disaster, that has plagued them all season, was on full display in game three. The Lakers shot 37-percent from the field; shot 6-for-25 from behind the arc and the Nuggets outscored L.A.’s reserves 39-to-9.  The Lakers lost the points in the paint battle (52-32) and for the crescendo of their recipe for disaster, L.A. was out-rebounded 54-44.

Despite a slow start and everything, bad happening for the Lakers on the road, again, the Lakers put on a tremendous comeback that simply came up short. The effort and comeback from a 24-point deficit were welcome sights.

L.A. has to bounce back from this setback, make the necessary adjustments to get a win and take a commanding lead in this series.

The Lakers have to come out energized and match the intensity of the Nuggets. The Lakers need to come out focused, control the tempo, get back in transition, control the boards and use a much better shot selection. It is important that the Lakers employ solid ball movement and good player movement to find a high percentage shots.

The ball has to move from the strong side to the weak side to make the Nuggets defense adjust. The ball has to go inside to Andrew Bynum & Pau Gasol; the spacing between the big players has to improve as well. Pau Gasol is contributing in many ways and he is doing a good job of facilitating.

Defensively, the Nuggets are double-teaming Bynum hard, Andrew needs to quickly pass the ball out of the double-team and re-post, but an outlet for said double-team in mandatory.

The Lakers defense has to improve. L.A. has to do a better job of defending the pick-and-roll play, stop the dribble penetration of the guards, the perimeter defenders have to keep the Nuggets out of the paint and L.A. has to take better care of the ball to limit their turnovers. The Lakers have to play with a sense of urgency with a strong contribution from everyone in a purple and gold jersey. It will be a good sign to see the Lakers attacking inside and NOT settling for so many jump shots.

Starters
Lakers: R. Sessions, K. Bryant, D.Ebanks, P.Gasol, A. Bynum
Nuggets:
T. Lawson, A. Afflalo, D. Gallinari, K. Faried, K. Koufos   

Tip-off: 6:30 PM PST

Television -

  • Los Angeles: KCAL (Bill Macdonald & Stu Lantz) & TNT
  • Denver: Altitude Sports & Entertainment (Chris Marlowe & Scott Hastings ) & TNT

Radio -

  • Los Angeles: 710 ESPN (John Ireland & Mychal Thompson)
  • Denver: KKFN AM 950 (Jerry Schemel & Mark Bertagnolli)

Injuries -

Lakers:

  • Metta World Peace (League Suspension – Game 5) Out
  • Matt Barnes (Sprained Right Ankle) Day-to-Day
  • Devin Ebanks (Middle & Ring Finger Contusions, Left Hand) Probable

Nuggets:

  • Al Harrington (Knee, Nose) Day-to-Day
Jeff Little is the pre-game writer for LakerNation.com. Follow him on Twitter.