The Los Angeles Lakers should be eager to pick up a win at home Sunday afternoon, hosting the Denver Nuggets at STAPLES Center. The purple and gold should be sliding into their Sunday whites on a Sunday, something that’s become a rarity as the Lakers don their “Icon” uniforms whenever they want this year. Sometimes it’s the small things, and that’s been a bit of a strange adjustment from a viewership standpoint.
It won’t be an easy night for the Lakers’ frontcourt, having to deal with the versatility of Nikola Jokic and Paul Millsap all night. This is where the absence of Larry Nance Jr. stings a bit more, and the necessity of Julius Randle stepping up as a defender comes into play. Randle’s been busting his tail and playing with a consistent defensive intensity we’d yet to see from him, but all the intensity in the world can’t make up for raw size. We saw that when he was matched up with Joel Embiid just a few nights ago.
The Nuggets have six players scoring in double-digits, spreading the wealth on their way to a 9-10 record. They just dropped 146 points on New Orleans in regulation in their most-recent victory, led by 31 from Jamal Murray. Denver is all about offense right now, boasting a top-6 offense (107.4 points per 100 possessions) and 17th-ranked defense (105 points allowed per 100 possessions).
The Lakers, meanwhile remain a... defense-first... team, allowing just 100.3 points per 100 possessions (good for fourth-overall). Having to deal with the Nuggets’ duo of bigs, along with a team full of scorers ready on the wings, is going to be a big challenge that hopefully the Lakers are ready for.
Enjoy the game, which is hopefully a great way to close the weekend. Let’s go Lakers!
Time: 6:30 p.m. PT
TV: Spectrum SportsNet, ALT