The Los Angeles Lakers took the opening game of the preseason against the Sacramento Kings 103-84 despite plenty of issues in the first half. Now the team looks to clean up some of those mistakes against a young Denver Nuggets team in the midst of it’s own rebuild.
LA’s starting five struggled from the field against the Kings, shooting 37.5 percent from the field on 32 shots. In addition to the shooting struggles, D’Angelo Russell and Julius Randle combined for nine turnovers. That number has to be lower for the Lakers to have success offensively this season.
The bench won the game for LA, but prized rookie Brandon Ingram went 0-for-5 from the floor and looked out of sync for most of the game. Ingram will take some time to adjust to the NBA and he’ll look to improve against a Nuggets team that finished last season in the bottom-10 in opponent points per game.
Under Luke Walton, the offense is supposed to be predicated on more ball movement and that did happen. However, the team only tallied 19 assists. The Lakers were at the bottom of the league in assists per game at 18 last season. There will be an adjustment period and maybe going up against a younger Nuggets team will help the Lakers execute better offensively.
Jordan Clarkson came off the bench and had a solid game with 12 points and six rebounds. Let’s see if Walton continues to bring Clarkson off the bench of if he gives the third-year guard a starting role.
Tarik Black and Anthony Brown also had stellar outings for the Lakers. They combined for 25 points on nine-for-nine shooting against Sacramento. The duo should continue to see more looks against Denver.
This is another measuring stick for the Lakers. The Nuggets are going through a rebuild of their own, meaning they have younger players with potential. The Lakers can see where they stack up against a team they might be contending against in the future in addition to working out their offensive struggles in the first preseason game. It is also an opportunity to self-evaluate the Lakers roster.
Time: 7:30 PM PT
Where: Spectrum SportsNet