Tonight's game is on NBA TV at 7:30 p.m. MT. We won't see Kobe Bryant or Chris Kaman and we might not see a lot of Pau Gasol or Jordan Farmar for the Lakers. What a weird off-season for Mike D'Antoni and company. Meanwhile, we all know what the Nuggets have faced this off-season.
We've gone over the storylines of training camp to death. So, let's see if we can come up with some different types of things to be on the lookout for ...
Nate's 8 things to watch:
1.) Look to see if the Nuggets are running plays on the offensive end. We have seen a few plays during training camp. One Chris Dempsey alerted me to is "zipper" - see if you can spot some of Brian Shaw's work early on.
2.) JaVale McGee in the post. He looked pretty good in the scrimmage on Friday. He made a strong move one on play where he slowed down (what the coaches have asked), read J.J. Hickson's coverage, made one fake towards the lane, and then spun back hard to his right in for a lay-up attempt. He was fouled on that play and missed the shot, but he looked good. Also, watch for McGee's mid-range jumper - he was 2-2 just to the left of the free throw line in that same scrimmage (while I was watching).
3.) Switching or no switching on defense? Shaw has indicated that the team has not been allowed to switch yet on defense. Hickson mirrored that to me on Friday, saying they still had not been permitted to switch on defense.
4.) Lawson's pull-up threes and jumpers. He said he has been working on that shot, a la Chauncey Billups, and he has hit a few in practice. Can he translate them to the game? Lawson said he worked on his left hand last season, pulled it off numerous times during the preseason and early on during the year, and then seemed to go away from his left hand when the heat of the season turned up.
5.) Evan Fournier. Is the young guard showing improvement in ball-handling, decision making, and on the defensive end? I've read a lot of opinion from folks on the web and around here that Fournier could start. Let's see if that prediction looks accurate (I think he's still pretty far away from starting).
6.) Quincy Miller. He has shown a very consistent shot and a knack for rebounding in camp. Let's see how he plays in tonight's game. With the backup shooting guard spot being wide open, until Danilo Gallinari returns and perhaps after (Wilson Chandler at the two?), Miller's candidacy starts vs. the Lakers.
7.) Darrell Arthur. He is trimmed down and feeling better than he has in years, now let's see where he fits into the offense. Is he a power forward or can he play some small forward?
8.) The rotation. Shaw is still searching for player combinations and tonight likely won't be a huge indication of how things will shake out come the regular season, but we'll get a first-look at what Shaw has liked thus far.
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