Lakers Vs. Nuggets Preview: Kobe Bryant Returns As Lakers Begin Preseason
Richard Mackson-USA TODAY Sports
Richard Mackson-USA TODAY Sports

Following a summer spent wooing numerous free agents to little avail, the Lakers are set to open the season without a superstar teammate to pair with Kobe Bryant. Tonight, however, marks the start of the Lakers’ preseason, as well as Kobe’s return to the court. You can bet Lakers fans from all over will tune in to the early part of the game to get an idea of how well Kobe has recovered from the devastating Achilles injury that sidelined him for most of the past year.

— Have You Seen These LIMITED EDITION “Mamba Strikes Back” T-Shirts? —

The Nuggets are looking to rebound from a losing season and return to the playoffs this year. The re-acquisition of shooting guard Arron Afflalo this summer will certainly help with that as he has taken large strides as a player since his last stint with the Nuggets. Head coach Brian Shaw will have his first look at how best to utilize Afflalo’s improved versatility alongside Ty Lawson in tonight’s preseason action.

Frontcourt: Kenenth Faried headlines the Nuggets’ frontcourt and enters the year with sky high expectations in light of his dominating showing at the FIBA World Cup this summer. Although undersized, Faried is a tenacious rebounder and surprisingly efficient scorer. In fact, his performance with the U.S. Men’s National team this summer should come as no surprise considering his averages of 19.8 points and 10.8 rebounds over the final 25 games of last season. Defensively, Faried gives 100% effort, but is not always able to overcome his lack of size.

This is where the Nuggets are counting on the oft-malinged Javale McGee to take strides in both his maturity and on-court production. McGee played in just five games last season due to a stress fracture in his leg, but has shown a lack of mental fortitude even when on the court. As the second highest paid player on the Nuggets roster, he will be expected not only to contribute on offense, but to also cover up some of Faried’s defensive shortcomings.

Danilo Gallinari will get the start at small forward and is also returning from injury. Gallinari is a lengthy perimeter player with a nice shooting stroke. Before his injury, he was well-regarded as a perimeter defender, so it will be interesting to evaluate both him and Kobe Bryant should they have a chance to go head-to-head in this game.

Backcourt: Despite their losing record last year, Ty Lawson was one of the top point guards in the league, averaging career highs of 17.6 points and 8.8 assists per game. It’s crazy to think that Lawson was drafted (and then traded) by Minnesota’s infamous David Kahn in the same first round that saw him take Ricky Rubio and Johnny Flynn. Lawson is far and away the best point guard of the three and his blistering speed makes him a tough assignment for any of the Lakers’ point guards.

The Nuggets did well this summer addressing their need at the shooting guard position by re-acquiring Arron Afflalo. Afflalo has improved leaps and bounds since his days as a Nugget and will bring another play-making element to their backcourt. This is good news for Ty Lawson as he has seen his field goal percentage dip in each of his seasons as a pro. The addition of Afflalo, who has developed into a well-rounded scorer instead of just a spot-up shooter, will help to alleviate some of the pressure on Lawson.

Things to Watch For:
Develop a Pecking Order on Offense: The preseason is best utilized as an opportunity to evaluate players and develop team chemistry without worrying about W’s. And historically, the Lakers have done exactly that, playing young guys en route to winless 2011 and 2012 preseasons. Regardless of the final score, the Lakers need to begin developing an offensive pecking order. Sure, a fully healthy Kobe Bryant will take the bulk of the shots, but beyond that, it remains murky. Last season’s leading scorer in Nick Young will be sidelined for the beginning of the year and Jodie Meeks and Pau Gasol are playing for other teams now. With so many scorers from last season’s team no longer on the roster, new head coach Byron Scott will have to go to the drawing board on this one and tonight’s contest should give him a little more clarity.

Evaluate the Newcomers: The Lakers have a number of newcomers who are set to have big roles on the team. These include the likes of Jeremy Lin, Carlos Boozer, and Julius Randle. This preseason contest will be a good opportunity to evaluate how these new pieces fit into the Lakers’ plans. Lin will almost certainly see extended run throughout the year as Steve Nash’s minutes will need to be managed. However, with Randle and Boozer, the Lakers will want to get an extended look at each of them as they continue to determine who will get the bulk of the minutes at the four.

Get Kobe Game Reps: There is nothing like actual game action. The pace of the NBA game is hard to replicate even on the practice floor. This will be a good opportunity for Kobe to test his surgically-repaired leg and get reacclimated to the speed of the game. Lakers fans should be more than satisfied If he can put in a handful of good minutes without any setbacks.

Los Angeles Lakers (0-0) vs. Denver Nuggets (0-0)
7:00 PM PST, October 6, 2014
Valley View Casino Center, San Diego, CA
TV: TWC SportsNet, NBATV
Radio: 710 ESPN (English) / 1330 ESPN (Spanish)

Nuggets Projected Starting Lineup
PG: Ty Lawson
SG: Arron Afflalo
SF: Danilo Gallinari
PF: Kenneth Faried
C: Javale McGee

Key Reserves: PG: Nate Robinson, SF: Wilson Chandler, PF: JJ Hickson

Lakers Projected Starting Lineup
PG: Steve Nash
SG: Kobe Bryant
SF: Wesley Johnson
PF: Carlos Boozer
C: Jordan Hill

[divide]

Lakers Practice Footage: 5-On-5 Scrimmage, Kobe Bryant, Steve Nash, Jeremy Lin


Please enable Javascript to watch this video

I simply want to say I am newbie to blogging and really loved you’re blog site. Very likely I’m likely to bookmark your site . You really have really good article content. Thank you for sharing your web page.

  • Howdy! I simply would like to give a huge thumbs up for the good data you have here on this post. I will probably be coming again to your weblog for more soon.

  • Hey! This is my first visit to your blog! We are a group of volunteers and starting a new project in a community in the same niche. Your blog provided us useful information to work on. You have done a wonderful job!

  • Hello there! Do you know if they make any plugins to assist with Search Engine Optimization? I’m trying to get my blog to rank for some targeted keywords but I’m not seeing very good success. If you know of any please share. Appreciate it!

  • After study a few of the post on your internet site now, and also I truly like your method of blog writing. I bookmarked it to my book marking website listing as well as will certainly be checking back quickly. Pls look into my website too as well as let me know what you think.

  • This is the right blog for anybody who intends to find out about this subject. You realize a lot its almost difficult to suggest with you (not that I in fact would want?HaHa). You most definitely put a brand-new spin on a subject thats been blogged about for many years. Fantastic stuff, simply wonderful!

  • I?m pleased, I have to state. Truly rarely do I run into a blog that?s both instructional as well as entertaining, and let me tell you, you have struck the nail on the head. Your suggestion is impressive; the concern is something that inadequate individuals are speaking smartly about. I am really satisfied that I stumbled across this in my search for something associating with this.

  • After study a few of the blog posts on your web site currently, as well as I genuinely like your way of blog writing. I bookmarked it to my bookmark website listing and also will be inspecting back quickly. Pls take a look at my internet site too and also let me understand what you think.

  • Can I just claim what an alleviation to discover someone who in fact recognizes what theyre discussing on the internet. You certainly understand exactly how to bring an issue to light and also make it essential. Even more people need to read this and understand this side of the story. I angle believe youre not much more preferred due to the fact that you certainly have the gift.

  • Spot on with this write-up, I really believe this site needs far more consideration. I?ll most likely be once again to read far more, many thanks for that info.

  • Can I simply just say what a relief to find somebody who actually knows what they are discussing on the internet. You actually know how to bring an issue to light and make it important. More and more people really need to look at this and understand this side of the story. I was surprised you are not more popular given that you surely possess the gift.

  • There are some intriguing points in this write-up but I don?t know if I see every one of them center to heart. There is some validity but I will certainly hold point of view till I consider it further. Good short article, thanks and we desire much more! Included in FeedBurner as well

  • Can I just state what a relief to locate someone that in fact knows what theyre speaking about online. You most definitely recognize exactly how to bring an issue to light and also make it vital. More people require to read this and understand this side of the tale. I angle believe youre not much more popular because you most definitely have the gift.

  • Can I simply claim what an alleviation to find someone that in fact recognizes what theyre speaking about online. You most definitely understand how to bring an issue to light and also make it essential. More people require to read this and comprehend this side of the story. I cant think youre not extra popular due to the fact that you certainly have the present.

  • An intriguing discussion deserves comment. I assume that you ought to compose extra on this topic, it could not be a frowned on subject however usually people are inadequate to speak on such subjects. To the following. Thanks

  • Environment Awareness is the notice of the importance and fragility of our surroundings. It helps us notice the fragility of our surroundings by making us understand the issues that we can do and contribute to the preservation of our environment. Environmental awareness is a straightforward approach to be an energetic environmentalist and help contribute in making a bright future for future generations. It is also important for us to know the issues that are contributing towards the destruction of the environment and what may be carried out to stop them from taking place.

  • I really loved reading your blog. I found your posts very interesting. In fact after reading them, I had to go show it to my friend and he enjoyed it as well! I hope that you will read ours now available here

  • My brother recommended I might like this web site. He was totally right. This post actually made my day. You cann’t imagine just how much time I had spent for this information! Thanks!

  • I?d have to check with you here. Which is not something I typically do! I appreciate reviewing a post that will make individuals think. Also, thanks for enabling me to comment!

  • Can I just state what a relief to find a person who actually knows what theyre speaking about on the web. You certainly understand exactly how to bring an issue to light and make it crucial. More individuals require to read this and comprehend this side of the tale. I angle think youre not much more prominent because you absolutely have the gift.

  • I am frequently to blogging and i actually value your content. The post has actually peaks my rate of interest. I am going to bookmark your site and also keep checking for new info.

  • Wonderful post. I find out something much more challenging on various blogs daily. It will certainly constantly be stimulating to read web content from other authors and exercise a something from their shop. I?d choose to make use of some with the material on my blog site whether you don?t mind. Natually I?ll provide you a link on your internet blog. Thanks for sharing.

  • Youre so cool! I do not mean Ive read anything like this prior to. So good to find someone with some initial ideas on this subject. realy thank you for starting this up. this web site is something that is required online, a person with a little creativity. valuable task for bringing something new to the net!

  • Oh my benefits! a remarkable short article guy. Thanks However I am experiencing problem with ur rss. Don?t recognize why Unable to sign up for it. Is there any person obtaining similar rss problem? Any person who understands kindly respond. Thnkx

  • I am frequently to blogging and i really appreciate your material. The write-up has actually peaks my interest. I am mosting likely to bookmark your site as well as maintain looking for new info.

  • Youre so great! I don’t expect Ive read anything similar to this before. So nice to find someone with some initial ideas on this subject. realy thank you for starting this up. this website is something that is needed on the web, someone with a little originality. helpful task for bringing something brand-new to the web!

  • Leave a Reply

    Your email address will not be published.