It appears the Los Angeles Lakers (28-29) may have turned the corner since coming back from break, and now have a chance to get back to .500 for the first time since New Years Day.
Since January 25, the Lakers’ 11-4 record is 3rd-best in the NBA behind the Miami Heat (13-2) and San Antonio Spurs (11-2).
However, continuing their hot streak in Denver against the Nuggets (35-22) will be very difficult, especially considering they have a 23-3 home record.
The Nuggets lead the season series against the Lakers 2-1, and their last meeting can be looked at here.
What is there to really say? Over his last two games, Bryant is averaging 39 points on 64% FG, 10 rebounds, and 6 assists a game. Bryant may need to have another gigantic effort since Lakers’ point guard Steve Nash is having back issues and has said he just needs to get through this game so he can get treatment. After their most recent win in Dallas, Bryant was quoted on saying he is in his “grumpy” mood and that won’t change until June. If this is what his grumpy mood entails, the league should be worried. No one knows if the Lakers will make the playoffs, but it will be amazing to see Bryant try to will them there.
Quietly, Lawson is on a fantastic streak of his own. Over the last six games, Lawson is averaging 26 points on 56% FG and 8 assists a game. As previously stated, Nash is having back issues, and guarding a player like Lawson is not ideal for the veteran point guard. Surprisingly, Lawson has not dominated the Lakers this season like most would expect. In their three meetings, Lawson is only averaging 16 points on 41% FG, but is still dishing out 10 assists.
KEY TO VICTORY
In their three meetings against the Lakers, the Nuggets are averaging an insane 110 points. If the Lakers want to win this game they must get back in transition, make fast defensive switches, guard the three, and simply put in the effort on defense. Dwight Howard has to stay out of foul trouble so he can control the tempo of the game. Howard can help slow the game down, and of course, make his presence known on defense. If the Lakers allow this to become a track meet, the Nuggets will light up the scoreboard again.
PROJECTED STARTING LINE-UPS
Los Angeles Lakers
PG: Steve Nash
SG: Kobe Bryant
SF: Metta World Peace
SF: Earl Clark
C: Dwight Howard
PG: Ty Lawson
SG: Andre Iguodala
SF: Danilo Gallinari
PF: Kenneth Faried
C: Kosta Koufos
6:oo PM PST, February 25, 2013
Pepsi Center, Denver, CO
TV: Time Warner Sports Network
Radio: 710 ESPN (English) / 1330 ESPN (Spanish)