GAMEDAY Recap Lakers @ Nuggets 10-26-2022
Lakers look to end losing skid on road @nuggets.
Hollywood, we have a problem.
Coming into Wednesday the Laker shooting woes have the team at the bottom of not only the west but, in the entire league. Everyone who follows the NBA knows the lights always shine brightest in LA. The scrutiny any team faces when LeBron James is the face of is already extreme, being in LA multiply that times 100.
Most of the blame has unfairly gone on Former MVP Russell Westbrook and his shooting struggles. Westbrook is shooting 28% from the field and a shocking 8% from three 3 games into the season. For better or for worse he would be sitting tonight out with a hamstring injury. Would no Russ equal no excuses? Let's find out.
The Lakers would start the game looking pretty solid with Anthony Davis taking the ball aggressively to the rim even with Back to Back MVP Nikola Jokic guarding him tough. Lebron would look to get his teammates going early with 2 beautiful dimes: One to Laker guard Austin Reaves who started in place of Westbrook, the other to his favorite target Anthony Davis under the rim for an easy finish. Even though everyone thinks this Los Angeles Laker team is a complete mess there are a few positive stat trends favoring LA. The team is currently second in pace with this years squad playing much quicker. Lonnie Walker IV is a huge part of that being one of the few Lakers who is constantly attacking the rim in transition.
The Nuggets would play through their star big man in a pistol action at the elbow. "The Joker" would keep the ball high above his head running several screen actions looking to either find a open teammate or put his head down and take it to the rack. It's a lot of fun watching the Nuggets style of play because it seems like the ball never sticks for too long. When it does it usually ends with Jokic hitting a one legged fade away or no looking a sweet dime into one of the corners.
Lebron would head to the bench at the 2:30 mark scoreless after committing a few uncharacteristic turnovers trying to force the issue. Denver guard Jamal Murray took flight late in the first testing out that ACL which had him miss over a year and a half of playing time. He followed a Nuggets miss slashing into the paint soaring above Lebron who chose to stay grounded making a business decision.(view here). Joker would finish the quarter with 6pts,4rebs,4ast and the Denver Nuggets would lead 26-22 headed into the second.
The lakers keep it close
Lebron would open up the second quarter with his first points on a beautiful long range jumper. Bruce Brown the newest Denver Nuggets formerly of the Brooklyn Nets would start the quarter hot hitting two three pointers which put the Nuggets up 6. It would seem him and James would go back and fourth with some words for each other after Brown hit one of these where Lebron almost dared him to shoot.
The Lakers’ gameplan last night was to make Bruce Brown shoot more threes. After Brown went 4-for-5 from three, LeBron started talking trash. Bruce Brown responded to LeBron: “Your game plan isn’t working, sir.” (via @harrisonwind)
The Nuggets would go into a Zone defense forcing the lakers to continue to shoot from the outside. After making their first three pointer of the game, Los Angeles would go 3-15 shooting beyond the arc for the first half.
Lebron would end the half going 2 for 7 from the field but gave us a signature moment when he took a pass in transition and rose above the only defender between him and the rim with a monster jam!
Anthony Davis would continue his strong play finishing the half with a alley-oop from Bron tying the game 54-54 headed into the second half, behind a 13-0 run Lakers run. Davis would finish the first half with 16pts and James would dish out 7ast. With all things considered I was impressed with the way the Lakers came out and competed despite the poor shooting continuing.
VINTAGE LEBRON JAMES DUNK 🔥👑 pic.twitter.com/dIcpL3Rnnp— Lakers Lead (@LakersLead) October 27, 2022
The Wheels start to come off.
AD would continue to try and carry this Laker team opening up the third with a nice turn around jumper over Jokic. Lebron would continue his off night with his second travel and another forced bounce pass which gave him a running total of 6 turnovers on the night.
Midway through the 3rd momentum would put on a Nuggets jersey with Joker COMPLETELY dominating this Laker squad. Joker would grabbed his 10th board and score his 21st point this quarter, none more impressive than this slam! .
Jokic would continue the onslaught after stealing the ball taking it coast to coast and dishing it off to former laker KCP to take a 86-71 lead into the fourth quarter.
The Joker has the last laugh.
Lebron would start the fourth quarter along with AD a sign the Lakers were desperate for a win. Matt Ryan would join the quarters starting lineup in hopes to give Bron a shooter on the wing. Ryan would do just that. Without any hesitation Matt Ryan took a pass into his shooting pocket and pulled a perfect formed 3 to cut the Denver lead to 7, forcing the Nuggets to call a timeout. It looked like the Lakers still had some fight left in them.
Nikola Jokic would enter the game after the time out and set things right for Denver. Grabbing an offensive rebound and putting the layup in with a foul pushing the lead back to 10. A pivotal stretch would see Lebron with a chance to cut the lead to 5 points instead missing it at the rim and seeing Nuggets back up point guard Bones Hyland walking into a 3. His first three of the night after going 0-10 on the night. This was followed by a Denver Nugget transition basket coupled with a Darvin Ham technical foul which pushed the lead all the way back up 12pts. Jamal Murray would hit his first 3 of the game after 0-6 capping a nice night for the returning guard.
The night cap would be Joker signature side step jump shot over AD which would all but end any hopes of a Laker comeback.
The Sombor Shuffle never gets old pic.twitter.com/ZoTXxJed6D— Denver Nuggets (@nuggets) October 27, 2022
On a night where I felt like LeBron James would come out and force managment into a situation trading the only Draft picks they have left I was disappointed. I felt like Bron came out too passive and tried to force the pass where it wasn't there which hurt momentum in key parts of the game.
- The game was closer than the media is going to let you know. Once ESPN and all the talking heads have a narrative they push it hard. Right now is how bad the Lakers are.
- AD is playing with a lot of heart but it looks to me like his body just isn't what it use to be during the championship run.
- Lonnie Walker is a nice piece and if this team could find some shooting you would see him impact games in victories.
- Joker is so good. Sometimes he gets the ball in the high post and if you slow down the tape he never even looks at the corners but because of his IQ he makes a no look pass that is dead on. As good as a passer as Lebron in his prime.
- It's cool to see Jamal Murray out there after his ACL injury. He looks like he's trying to get his legs back underneath him.
- The Nuggets if healthy will be a top 4 team in the west.
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