Following an impressive second half showing in their preseason opener against the Sacramento Kings at the Honda Center, the Lakers ironically flipped the script this time around – losing a 9-point lead on their way to their first loss of the preseason.
Like the Lakers, the Denver Nuggets came into Friday undefeated following their close win over the Toronto Raptors in their own preseason opener.
Unlike the start of their last match-up against the Kings, the Lakers made amends with their demons this time around, showing up early in the game against a Nuggets team confident off their last win.
Among these improvements, D’Angelo Russell was a bright spark early on in the first half after conceding that his last performance was “sub-par” in comparison to what he knows he can do.
Like Russell, Jordan Clarkson impressed en route to pouring in 15 points and 4 steals for the Lakers on 50% shooting – leading the bench group in impressive fashion, following a substandard shooting performance against the Kings.
For what is just the second game of this 2016-17 preseason, the Lakers managed to provide just enough to encourage cautious optimism for the development of these young Lakers.
They succeeded a strong second half opener in their first game against the Kings with a consistent following in tonight’s match-up against the Nuggets, and likely would have been a more favorable result if the Lakers third-stringers from the bench held up enough against the Nuggets own third-string players.
Now, Luke Walton and his staff will have an opportunity to rectify the things that went wrong against the Nuggets in this first contest, and apply his learning accordingly to his guys for a better result come Sunday.
However, for the most part, Walton and the Lakers sit in a much better position at 1-1 to start off the preseason, when you compare and contrast the results of this preseason as opposed to the start of the last one.
Oh yeah, much better.