The Los Angeles Lakers travel to Colorado to face the Denver Nuggets at Pepsi Center on Tuesday. The Lakers (17-3) most recent loss snapped a stretch in which they won 17 of 18 games. That’s a truly ridiculous stretch and it emphasizes just how much this team has improved. The addition of Anthony Davis is obviously a major reason why, as he’s in the midst of MVP discussions. Where they’ve been really effective is on the defensive end, ranking Top-3 in efficiency ratings and fourth in points allowed. That’s no surprise with guys like Davis, Avery Bradley and Danny Green on the roster and it’s scary to think that this team is still figuring out how to gel. As long as James is flirting with triple-doubles and Davis is providing 25-15 lines night after night, this will be one of the favorites to win an NBA title. The Nuggets (13-4) have yet to play their best basketball this season but they still own one of the best records in the league. That’s strange to say but Mike Malone has said that his team has only played one or two complete games all season long. Where that’s really evident is in their offense, with Denver ranked 24th in points scored. That’s a truly shocking statistic from a club who’s usually a Top-10 offense at altitude and it’s a wonder why they have stopped running. That pace has led to some stifling defensive numbers though, with the Nuggets allowing the fewest points in the NBA this season. It remains to be seen if this is the correct recipe for this roster but it’s hard to argue with 13 wins in 17 games played. Denver has dominated this series over recent years, winning 18 of their last 24 games against Los Angeles.
December 3, 2019