TLN’s Game Preview: Lakers @ Nuggets

The Lakers are in Denver to face the Nuggets. A win tonight and the Lakers can close out February an impressive 12-1.

The Lakers, lead by Kobe Bryant, jumped on the Suns early and did not take their foot off of the accelerator until they had administered a 26-point beat down in a 132-106 win.

The Lakers tied their season high in scoring 132 points and made a season-best 54 field goals topping the 48 made against Minnesota on 1/30.

Kobe later stated that he saw Thursday’s match up as a trap game and made sure from the start that the team wouldn’t see an injury-riddled team relax and take the night off.

The Lakers scored 70 points in the first half, shot 57 percent from the field, made 9 of 20 three point shots and had six players score in double digits. The team was able to rest the starters, there was D.J. Mbenga sighting and everyone contributed to the embarrassment of the Suns.

The Nuggets hold the third-best record in the western conference but have won only 2 of their last five games and have lost three in a row and were a missed shot at the buzzer away from losing four in a row.

The Lakers beat the Nuggets 104-97 on 11/1/08 and 104-90 on 11/21/08. The Lakers, including the sweep in the 2007-2008 playoffs, have won their last six games against the Nuggets and have beat them in their last three trips to the Pepsi Center.

Since the trade Denver has been a better team under Billups veteran leadership. The Lakers can’t sleep on the Nuggets. Defensively is where this game will be won or lost.

Billups is highly skilled at running the pick-and-roll play and he will test the Lakers defense. The team needs to be on the same page defensively, fighting through the screens and not allowing an open jumper or layup.

Kobe has provided the Lakers with veteran leadership and the league MVP has become a better leader. The Lakers are a more focused, mature team that will have to control the tempo, the glass, get back in transition and rotate out to three point shooters. The Lakers will need to slow Billups & Carmelo Anthony and limit J.R. Smith’s impact.

The Lakers are playing to their advantage establishing Pau Gasol in the low post, attacking inside and letting him set the table for everyone else and passing the ball out to open shooters. The Lakers big three Kobe, Pau & Odom will be huge and the bench will be a factor. For some reason, I feel that tonight will be a huge night for Lamar Odom.

Tipoff: 6:00 PM PST

Television -

  • Los Angeles: KCAL Channel 9 HD (Joel Myers & Stu Lantz)
  • Denver: Altitude HD (Chris Marlowe & Scott Hastings)

Radio -

  • Los Angeles: AM570 KLAC (Spero Dedes & Mychal Thompson)
  • Denver: KCKK AM1510 (Jerry Schemmel)

Injuries -

Lakers:

  • Andrew Bynum (Knee)

Nuggets:

  • Nene (Knee)
Jeff Little is the pre-game writer for LakerNation.com. Follow him on Twitter.
  • Juilliard Dancer LA

    We got this game. i think we are going to blow them out and that Kobe is going to have a huge game, but his supporting cast is going to have a great game too because of the confidence he has given them all..they all step up and it’s amazing to watch. that’s one of the difference in his game and lebrons and the cavs..sure lebron passes out to open shooters, but overall game is a lot more then trying to feel the stat sheet yourself..Kobe’s overall game allows everyone to do what they need to do..Lakers don’t rely on Kobe to feel the stat sheets to get the win..guys rebound, guys steel, guys block, the team does with they have to do to be prepared to win the next 8 Championships. a one man team doesn’t win rings. everyone has to do their part cuz if that one guy is off or is being stopped and everyone else panicks like when La came into Cleveland or when they went to Houston last night.. you are not going to get it done against a team. A team has guys who do their job in every spot and that’s the Lakers style. Kobe MVP for his Over all game style that WORKS

  • Diehardfan

    I love it when the Lakers beat any team but there are several teams that I feel that it’s more personal. Denver is at the top of the list. G. Karl hates! Kobe and he has said so publicly and Chauncey is making him look better than he really is. I hope the Lakers beat them worst than the Suns got beat! let’s go LAKERS!

  • http://TheLakersNation.info Billy Kupchak

    TLN!, grammar check on 2nd paragraph: “The Lakers, led by Kobe Bryant, jumped on…”

  • DWinsRings

    Yeah for some reason i think Odom gonna have carrerr high tongiht, maybe he might go for 40 something

  • ICE CREAM MAN

    I miss Shaq. Let’s bring him back. I forgive him.

  • Lakers 24 7

    If we count the 3 wins we had against Denver in the reg. season last year..then we have 9 STRAIGHT WINS ON THEM!

    07-08 Season vs. Denver, 7-0 (3 reg. season games, 4 playoff games)
    08-09 Season vs. Denver, 2-0

    9 STRAIGHT WINS, WE OWN!

  • will

    nder Billups veteran leadership

    its Billups’

  • Andrew Andrekopoulos

    Lakers 123 Denver 98… Go LA!!

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