Lakers vs. Nuggets preview: Pau Gasol last man standing for hated Lakers

Doug Pensinger

The Los Angeles Lakers visit Denver on the second game of a back-to-back while the Nuggets seek their first winning streak of the season.

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Game 7: 2013-2014 NBA Season
Los Angeles Lakers (1977 - 2001)
@
Denver Nuggets (1982 - 1993)
4-5 (1-3 road)
Series 0-0
2-4 (1-2 home)
November 13th, 2013
Pepsi Center - Denver, CO
7:00 PM MT
Altitude TV / 950 AM
Starters
Steve Blake PG Ty Lawson
Jodie Meeks SG Randy Foye
Wesley Johnson SF Jordan Hamilton
Pau Gasol PF Kenneth Faried
Jordan Hill C JaVale McGee
Notes
Silverscreen and Roll Blogs You're here!
Kobe Bryant (Achilles), Steve Nash (back) are both out Injuries Danilo Gallinari (knee), JaVale McGee (leg) are both out, Wilson Chandler (hamstring) is a game-time decision, Ty Lawson (right ankle) is probable
LA finished playing the Pelicans about 20 hours before tip-off Stat The Nuggets have won three in a row against the Lakers dating back to last season

Tonight the Denver Nuggets go for their first winning streak of the season. The Lakers, coming off a blowout win at home last night against the New Orleans Pelicans (116-95), offer a tremendous opportunity for the Nuggets to build momentum and confidence off their win in Salt Lake City on Nov. 11th.

Nuggets Key to Victory: Defensive Rebounds

The Nuggets and Lakers rank 4th and 5th in total rebounding, respectively. The Lakers rank 29th in field goal percentage at 40.6-percent. The Lakers average over 26 three point attempts per game, second most in the league. Not only will there be lots of opportunities for the Lakers to grab offensive rebounds, there will be several long rebounds off missed three balls. The Nuggets' bigs need to put themselves into position to grab defensive rebounds and deliver outlet passes to key fast breaks and run these Lakers into the ground.

X-Factor: Pau Gasol

Pau Gasol has a 36.0-percent field goal percentage on the season. He is averaging less than 12 points per game. The Nuggets interior defense has allowed big games for opposing PF/C in nearly every game this season (see below). Pau's numbers will rise over the course of the season and I see this game as an opportunity for him to return to form. Let's just limit him to "Duncan-type" numbers.

PTS REB FG%
Derrick Favors 21 13 0.5333
Markieff Morris 28 10 0.7692
Paul Millsap 29 10 0.6667
Tim Duncan 17 8 0.4667
LaMarcus Aldridge 25 9 0.4615
DeMarcus Cousins 30 14 0.5000
Average 25 10.67

0.5455

What Am I Drinkin'? Crooked Stave Hop Savant

Crooked Stave recently entered the state of Iowa and we are glad to have it. Some affectionately refer to the brewery as Jesus of Colorado, not to be confused with Jesus of Vermont (Hill Farmstead) or Jesus of Nazareth (0-32 AD). Hop Savant was recently listed as one of Draft Magazine's top 25 beers of 2013. Brettanomyces yeast is hot right now and I have tasted few brews that utilize it as effectively as Hop Savant. It is a perfect balance of hops and tartness mixed with the wild grass and hay flavors you would expect from a traditional saison. Am I going to drink such highfalutin beer for every Nuggets game? No. But for the first winning streak of the season, I will.

Why I Hate the Lakers:

-Mike D'Antoni's record as Nuggets head coach: 14-36

-Rick Fox's acting career

-Trevor Ariza

-The Bucket List

-In 1981, the Lakers fired head coach, Paul Westhead. This allowed him to eventually coach the Nuggets to a 44-120 record over two seasons, starting in 1990

-"Close out games are actually kind of easy"

What are your reasons?

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