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Nuggets at Lakers preview: Two teams at the Gates of Delirium

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The Nuggets and Lakers find themselves in remarkably similar situations of late. Although the Nuggets have most of their available point guards.

The Lakers
The Lakers
Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Game 33: 2013-14 NBA Season
@

15-17 (7-9 on road)
Series 1-0
14-19 (8-9 at home)
December 27th, 2013
Staples Center - Los Angeles, California
7:30 PM MT
Altitude / 950 AM

Ty Lawson PG Kendall Marshall
Randy Foye
SG Jodie Meeks
Wilson Chandler SF Nick Young
Kenneth Faried
PF Pau Gasol
J.J. Hickson
C Rober Sacre
Notes
You're Here! Blogs Silver Screen and Roll
Danilo Gallinari (knee) is out, JaVale McGee(leg fracture) is out
Injuries Kobe Bryant (leg fracture) is out, Steve Nash (back) is out, Steve Blake (male pattern baldness) is out, Jordan Farmar (no longer has Phil Jackson around) is out. Chris Kaman is day to day...but aren't we all
Nuggets finally broke their 8 game losing streak against the Memphis Grizzlies on Friday
Etc... In 1999 Dan Issel fired future Lakers coach Mike D'Antoni largely because he didn't like his offensive approach

The Gates of Delirium

The Los Angeles Lakers have been beset with more than their fair share of injuries. So much so that I'm having a seriously hard time mustering up my usual bit of over the top criticism of them. Despite all of their injuries to their back court they have managed to win 14 games. Which is impressive in itself.

Lakers coach Mike D'Antoni has recently become a cause celebre for people who are heavy into analytics. Marking a clear dividing line between the Phil Jackson Triangle offense approach and what is generally pioneered by D'Antoni the pace/high pick and roll offense that produces alot of corner three attempts. Layups and three pointers. There's no right or wrong answer in that debate, however it seems like the Nuggets are having a similar issue to that of the Lakers right now.

When you change over, and play a different system, there is usually an extended period of adjustment that is done to adapt to the system you are playing. So the Nuggets are a mirror image of the Lakers in that they are adjusting from George Karl's similar (but not the same) offensive approach to something more akin to what the Lakers used to run. It is an interesting situation.

It seems like most of the players other than Pau Gasol have bought in to the D'Antoni way of thinking. The "Pau problem" may be solved soon. Who knows. In the grand scheme of things, up until Kendall Marshall took the reigns in the last game the Lakers played, injured point guards was the Lakers largest problem. Yes, Kobe Bryant was injured as well ... but as we all know, Kobe is an entity all to himself. His actual injury affects the Lakers only insofar as the money they have, and will be spending on him.

In the mean time, it's my opinion that despite the issues they have faced this season the Lakers have actually done a decent job in staying somewhat afloat. There's something admirable about that.

Nuggets of wisdom

Meanwhile, your Denver Nuggets got off the losing streak schneid and beat the Memphis Grizzlies in semi-unimpressive fashion. However, as past teams have taught us it is very hard to break out a losing streak, and you will take every win you can get.

The best news to come out of Friday night's victory was Brian Shaw saying he will keep the rotation fairly consistent from here on out. Likely you will see lineups featuring the same players we saw on Friday (starters the same, with bench of Nate Robinson, Evan Fournier, Darrell Arthur, Timofey Mozgov) without going 11 deep like he has been in the past. Obviously that leaves out Andre Miller. We will see how that affect's Dre when he returns from hiatus on Monday. We will cross that bridge when we get to it though.

Nuggets just need to play better. Lost in the Drama from New Years Day was the simple fact that the team has been playing like garbage. You can talk about players yelling at coaches all you want, but, until the team plays better as a unit ... all the talk of unity is hogwash. the proof is in the pudding and right now, as fans, all we should be looking for is baby steps toward the ultimate goal of just being a better and more competitive team.

Hopefully that continues tonight.