For the second time in as many weeks, the Los Angeles Lakers fell to the Orlando Magic on Sunday. Both games played out similarly, Lakers starting off well early on before letting their efforts falter and having the likes of Nikola Vucevic and DJ Augustine take over.
The second loss was close at least, but was that moral victory enough?
Not for Lakers’ coach Luke Walton, and superstar LeBron James as they bemoaned turnovers and free throws that would have extended the winning streak that the Lakers had.
But with a loss, the Lakers will look to start another streak against the Denver Nuggets, who are in third place in the Western Conference with a record of 13-7, just 1.5 games ahead of the Lakers. The teams previously met on October 25th, where the Lakers won 121-114. LeBron James contributed 28 points, and Kyle Kuzma added in 21 of his own.
As most NBA fans know, the Denver Nuggets have one of the most talented rosters out there. Nikola Jokic, who is highly regarded amongst NBA twitter, along with the sharpshooting duo of Jamal Murray and Gary Harris and the veteran Paul Millsap make up one of the most potent offenses in the game. Monte Morris has come up as a huge contributor to the team off of the bench as well.
The Nuggets are currently third in the NBA in defense, allowing just 103.2 points per game. However, the Lakers are seventh in NBA scoring offense, with 114.2 points per game.
It’s like a broken record at this point in the season but the Lakers and Luke Walton are still working on which lineup will fit them best. To the dismay of many Lakers fans, Kentavious Caldwell-Pope was closing out the game with Lonzo Ball watching from the sidelines. Determining how to set this team up for success is still a work in progress and we will see how this plays out tomorrow.
The trend in the past few games is the Lakers’ habit of over-passing the ball, with 18 turnovers against the Magic. Limiting turnovers can swing the game towards their favor as Denver has the players that can capitalize on them.
Any game in Denver is difficult but here’s hoping the team can stay aggressive and come out with a victory. It’s really early in the season but victories over Western Conference rivals can be extremely important. One or two games can separate the eighth seed and the ninth seed.
Lakers play the Nuggets in Denver. The game starts at 6:00pm PST