The Los Angeles Lakers leave the great winter weather of Southern California for a trip to Denver to face the Nuggets. Yes, it's snowing like crazy in Denver, so hopefully every Laker received a warm winter coat for Christmas before the trip.
Kobe Bryant will play, which is something to keep an eye on as the schedule moves forward. The Lakers were off Monday and will be off Wednesday as well. Their next game is home against the Grizzlies, so banking on Kobe playing in their lone game over a three-day span seemed like a safe one.
It will be interesting to see if the Lakers' offense continues to ween away from expecting Kobe to put up 20 field goal attempts per night. He picked his spots, mostly out of pick-and-roll sets, in his first game back. Getting him in motion and using other players to create space for him in limited doses feels like a great way to find efficient looks for the Black Mamba.
Denver is dealing with injury problems as well, with Randy Foye, Danilo Gallinari and JaVale McGee all out until further notice. Brian Shaw's second year as head coach has gotten off to a.... rockier .... start than his first, though it's a single-win difference. The problem is the lack of growth despite the continuity the Nuggets' roster has allowed. The Nuggets' defensive efficiency is marginally better while the offense is marginally worse. and the 13-18 record comes as expected based on their performance thus far.
Enjoy the final Lakers game of 2014!
Time: 6 p.m. PT