The (55-20) Los Angeles Lakers will be in their white jerseys for a Sunday matinee at Staples Center hosting the (46-29) Denver Nuggets.
The red-hot Lakers, winners of nine straight games are looking to push their winning streak into double digits. They’re a league-best 17-1 since the All-Star break.
The Lakers and Nuggets have split the first two games of their three-game series. The Lakers are 5-5 in their last 10 games against the Nuggets. They’re 18-3 all-time against the Nuggets at the Staples Center, and 10-2 in their last 12.
The new-look Nuggets are on a five-game winning streak of their own. They’re 14-4 since the All-Star break. Since rhe Carmelo Anthony trade, the Nuggets are a faster team with depth at every position. They’re the top scoring team in the league averaging 107.5 points per game.
They’re a solid rebounding team averaging 41.9 boards per game. The have a solid defensive by allowing 102.7 on the season; they’ve lowered that number to 95.2 in their last five games. With the combination of Ty Lawson and Raymond Felton at point guard, they have made their squad a faster team that likes to get out in transition.
The Lakers defense has been outstanding, omitting the Suns game; they’ve allowed an amazing 87 points per game in their last five. The front line has been the key.
Andrew Bynum has been in beast mode, his impact on both ends of the floor has been dramatic. He’s been doing a solid job of clogging the middle, protecting the rim, blocking or changing shots and grabbing every available rebound.
The Lakers front line has to come out aggressive on both ends of the floor. They need to control the tempo of the game, stop the dribble penetration of the guards, get back in transition and rotate out to open shooters. They can also control the tempo by establishing Bynum and Pau Gasol in the painted area and provide them enough touches to dominate. The Lakers have to rely on their offense, using excellent ball movement and excellent player movement moving the ball from side to side to find a high percentage shot as well as move the defense.
The Lakers done an excellent job of taking care of the ball and limiting their turnovers. They’ve shown the mark of champion, winning when you don’t play your best game. The bench played well in the second half of the Jazz game. That trend needs to continue. This is the attack the rim time of the year.
The Purple & Gold need a repeat performance from the reserves as well as more consistency. The Nuggets bench scored 45 points in their last game. The Lakers need to play with a high level of energy, activity, effort and with playoff intensity.
Lakers: D. Fisher, K. Bryant, R. Artest, P. Gasol, A. Bynum
Nuggets: T. Lawson, A. Afflalo, D. Gallinari, K. Martin, N. Hilario
Tip-off: 12:30 PM PST
- Los Angeles: ABC
- Denver: ABC
- Los Angeles: 710 ESPN (Spero Dedes & Mychal Thompson)
- Denver: KKFN AM 950 (Jerry Schemel & Mark Bertagnolli)
- Theo Ratliff (Left Knee Surgery) Out
- Devin Ebanks ((Stress Fracture, Left Tibia) Out
- PF Chris Anderson (Sprained Right Ankle) Out
- SG Arron Afflalo (Hamstring) Game Time Decision
- PF Al Harrington (Undisclosed) Day-to-Day
- PF Kenyon Martin (Flu) Day-to-Day
- SF Wilson Chandler (Sprained Ankle) Day-to-Day