Preview: Lakers look to win final game before All Star Break against Nuggets

Nuggets
December 22, 2019; Los Angeles, California, USA; Los Angeles Lakers forward Anthony Davis (3) shoots against Denver Nuggets forward Paul Millsap (4) during the second half at Staples Center. Mandatory Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

The Lakers (40-12) are looking to finish the pre- All Star game stretch strong by going into Denver and beating the Nuggets (38-16).

This is going to be an incredibly tough game for the Lakers to win. The Nuggets are one of the best teams in the league and are in a much better position than when the teams met back in December. The Lakers have been coasting for about a month now, and it’s unclear whether or not the Lakers will decide to give in and start their break early. If the Lakers decide to show up and play to their potential, this could be a great win and a tone setter heading into the All Star break.

If the Lakers decide to show up, they will need to be sharp on defense. The Nuggets come in with one of the best offenses in the league, and they can get as hot as anyone. The Lakers will need to ´┐╝pay special attention to Nikola Jokic, who has been the best center in the league this year. Jokic combines a unique and special skill set of shooting, passing, and all around scoring. He is incredibly tough to handle, but the Lakers are specially equipped to give him a hard time.

The Nuggets also have a bevy of guards who could give the Lakers a hard time. Jamal Murray in particular could give the Lakers trouble. While not necessarily a star, he is a talented young guard who could easily have a great night. If the Lakers are not sharp on defense this could be a game where Murray steps his game up against the best team in the West.

If the Lakers want to win this game, it’s going to take their best collective defensive performance this calendar year. It will also take LeBron James and Anthony Davis being the two best players on the court. That’s entirely possible, but again, I don’t know what the Lakers mentality will be. Will they already be thinking about the All Star break? Or will they want to send a message to one of the best teams in the league? I honestly don’t know which Lakers team we will see, but I hope they give Lakers fans a reason to be happy going into the break. Make sure to tune into the game tonight at 7 PM PST, it’s sure to be an exciting game no matter what happens.

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