The Lakers will look to continue developing their chemistry as they face off against the Denver Nuggets for the second time in three nights. This past Sunday night, the Laker fans got the chance to see Pau Gasol and Steve Nash make their preseason debuts, and while the Lakers lost to the Nuggets, it was very encouraging to see the two veterans get up and down the court with the new additions and finish the game pain free.
This preseason the Lakers have stressed the concept of constant ball-movement, as well as being an active team on the defensive end. In the first game against the Warriors they achieved some success with these two highlighted principles. Guys like Jordan Farmar, Nick Young, and Xavier Henry would buy into this system early, as their energy and effort would help the Lakers win their first preseason game since 2011.
In the second preseason game, which also happened to occur on the second night of a back-to-back, the Lakers would have some trouble carrying over that good success. The Nuggets came in to Staples and ran the Lakers out of the gym, and simply played with more energy and effort, and that’s to be expected during some nights in the preseason.
So far through two games, the guy that has stood out the most has been Henry. Throughout training camp his name has faintly been mentioned, but after averaging 22 points per game through two preseason contests, he’s grasped the attention of the coaching staff and Laker fans. He’s been working hard to try and make this roster as it is likely his last chance to prove that he is suited to play basketball in the NBA.
Tonight, the Lakers need to make it a priority of theirs to make a consistent effort to prevent offensive rebounds, and get back on defense during transition scenarios. The Nuggets capitalized in transition too many times on Sunday, so it’s key that the Lakers practice making those efforts now, as they shouldn’t want lazy habits to carry on into the season.
Outside of Kobe Bryant being out, the only player whose status is uncertain for tonight is Wes Johnson, as he is listed day-to-day due to a strained left foot. Regardless of that, plenty of guys should get a chance to show the coaching staff what they bring to the table, being that there are still 19 guys on the current roster.
Denver Nuggets (1-0) vs. Los Angeles Lakers (1-1)
7:00 PM PST, October 8, 2013
Citizens Business Bank Arena, Ontario CA
TV: TWC SportsNet, NBATV
Check out our interview with Elias Harris