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Lakers vs. Nuggets Preview: Can L.A. go streaking into the All-Star break?

The long awaited NBA All-Star break is right around the corner, but the Lakers have one more game to play before it officially begins.

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NBA: Denver Nuggets at Los Angeles Lakers Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

Whether you’re currently going to school or already graduated, we all know the feeling of being in class on a Friday. All day, all you can think about is class being over and the weekend starting. That’s how these last few Los Angeles Lakers games have felt, except instead of the weekend, the Lakers are just waiting for the NBA All-Star break to begin.

Before that break starts though, the Lakers have one more game to play against Denver Nuggets. With Rajon Rondo’s recent performance, he’s probably going to be named a starter in today’s game.

No, I’m not serious. I’m just waiting for my own All-Star break right now so I thought it’d be fun to see how everyone reacts to reading that. But, the Lakers could really use a similar type of performance from Rondo from his game against the Phoenix Suns.

But a win won’t be easy. The Lakers have split their two games against the Nuggets — who have the second-best record in the Western Conference at 38-16 — this season. The Nuggets rank second to last in the league in pace, so it’ll be important for the Lakers to speed things up and not play at the pace the Nuggets are comfortable at.

LeBron will be in charge of that for the starting lineup, but once he’s subbed out of the game, Rondo becomes the floor general. He’ll have to make sure he’s consistently pushing the pace for the bench unit.

The Nuggets also rank third in opposing 3-point percentage, holding their opponents to 34.1% shooting. This, again, is where pace will play a role. Denver’s able to hold their opponents to such a low 3-point percentage when in the half-court, so it’s important for the Lakers to continue to push the pace and get transition threes.

If the Lakers can do that, they’ll have a good chance to enter the All-Star break with a three game win streak, but even if they don’t, Lakers fans shouldn’t be too worried. Of course you’d want to see the team play hard before the break, but It’s very clear this squad needs this break. And sitting at first place in the Western Conference, they absolutely deserve it, and so do their fans. Just one more game to go.

Notes and Updates

  • Anthony Davis is once again probable to play with a right finger sprain, but considering that he’s played in every game prior that he’s been listed with that designation, it’s probably safe to assume he’ll suit up. He is the only normal rotation player on the injury report.
  • For all the talk of the buyout candidates, the Lakers feel comfortable with what they have. If that changes, though, we came up with a few names for them to take a look at.

The Lakers and Nuggets will tip-off at 7:00 p.m. PST. The game will be televised locally on Spectrum SportsNet and nationally on ESPN.

For more Lakers talk, subscribe to the Silver Screen and Roll podcast feed on iTunes, Spotify, Stitcher or Google Podcasts. You can follow Ali on Twitter at @ali_behpoornia.

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