Lakers @ Nuggets preview – 12/26/12

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Andrew Ross

Andrew Ross is an 19-year-old student at Delaware State University (DSU), where he is pursuing a mass communications degree, concentration convergence journalism. At DSU, Ross is a sports writer for the paper, and also has his own sports radio show on campus. Ross aspires to one day be a successful sports writer, and to possibly even have his own radio show. Make sure to follow him on Twitter @AJRoss94
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If you haven’t noticed, the Los Angeles Lakers are starting to look like the team everyone thought they would be.

The world seemed to be coming to an end as the Lakers were recently 9-14, but since then they have gotten back to .500 by winning five consecutive games. 

On Wednesday, the Lakers look to have their second winning record of the season by defeating the Denver Nuggets (15-14).

These teams previously met up in Los Angeles about a month ago, and the Lakers had arguably their best game of the season winning 122-103.

You can look back on that game here with the Lakerholicz game report.

Don’t overlook the Nuggets due to their record because they have the toughest schedule in the NBA by only having nine home games through their first 29 games.

At home the Nuggets have been phenomenal (8-1 and averaging 105 PPG), and the only lost came from the Miami Heat.

KEY PLAYERS

Ty Lawson
Lawson is the engine that makes the Nuggets work. Lawson is averaging 14 points, seven assists, two steals a game, and is also leading the team in minutes at just over 35 minutes a game. The Nuggets are a young, deep team that wants to get up and run, and a good way to slow that down is to contain Lawson. If they Lakers can slow down Lawson, they will slow down the Nuggets.

Steve Nash
Since coming back from his injury, it has been impossible not to say that Steve Nash is the key player for his team. The world preached that his presence would help this team immensely, and that has now been showed to be true. In his two games back, Nash is averaging 14 points, 10 assists, five rebounds, and is shooting 61%. Those are beautiful numbers. One number is worrisome though, and that is the number of minutes Nash is playing; just about 40 a game. The Lakers would like to be able to bring that to about 32 minutes per game so we can continue seeing this Nash magic near June.

KEY TO A LAKERS VICTORY

Transition Defense
Transition defense is a topic that has not gone away from the Lakers all season, as they have shown poor effort in it throughout the year. However, the past couple of games have been a little better, but there is still much room for improvement. The Nuggets want to run as much as possible, so the Lakers must be prepared to have good transition defense. If the Lakers don’t make it difficult for the Nuggets on transition, the Nuggets will make the game difficult for the Lakers.

PROJECTED STARTING LINE-UPS

Los Angeles Lakers:
PG: Steve Nash
SG: Darius Morris
SF: Kobe Bryant
PF: Pau Gasol
C: Dwight Howard

Denver Nuggets:
PG: Ty Lawson
SG: Andre Iguodala
SF: Danilo Gallinari
PF: Kenneth Faried
C: Kosta Koufos

The game starts at 6:00pm PST and will be broadcast on TWC SportsNet.

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