The Los Angeles Lakers are looking to stop a two-game skid tonight against the visiting Denver Nuggets. The matchup will be the third of the season between the two teams, with Denver taking the last game 126-114 at the Pepsi Center two weeks ago. The game kicks-off a difficult week for the Lakers, one that will pit them against Denver, Houston, San Antonio, and Oklahoma City. Los Angeles desperately needs a win tonight, or they could easily be six games below .500 a week from today. The Lakers are coming off an emotional loss to the Los Angeles Clippers Friday night.
The Lakers are beat up, with four injured players who are probable tonight including Chris Duhon (back spasms), Pau Gasol (plantar fasciitis), Jordan Hill (herniated disk), and Dwight Howard (sprained rotator cuff).
The uncertainty in Lakerland was magnified when Howard expressed his feelings about the team’s chemistry to the media. Howard said what Lakers fans already know, the Lakers have no chemistry. Not only that, Howard suggested that the players don’t even like each other.
“Even if we don't want to be friends off the court, whatever that may be, when we step in between the lines or we step in the locker room or the gym, we have to respect each other and what we bring to the table.”
It’s apparent that the wheels are falling off the wagon in Los Angeles, and a trade may be imminent. Unfortunately for the Lakers, they face a team tonight that has tremendous team chemistry, the Denver Nuggets.
When watching the Nuggets play basketball, it’s obvious they enjoy playing with each other as portrayed by the fact that they average 23.1 assists per game, which ranks 5th in the NBA. The Nuggets are led by SF Danilo Gallinari who averages 16.1 points per game and is coming off a 26 point, 7-11 shooting performance in a win over Utah on Saturday. The Nuggets have given the Lakers problems this year because of their athleticism. Their backcourt is extremely talented, with Ty Lawson and Andre Iguodala presenting matchup problems for the Lakers Steve Nash and Darius Morris. PF Kenneth Faried lack size but his strength and quickness make him a nightmare for Lakers bigs to defend. Faried is averaging just under 15 points and 9 rebounds in Denver’s two games against Los Angeles.
The game tips-off at 6:30PM PT at Staples Center on TWC SportsNet and ESPNLA 710.
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