Following an outstanding preseason victory over the defending champion Golden State Warriors on Saturday night in Oakland, the Denver Nuggets head south to Los Angeles to take on the Lakers. Newcomer Paul Millsap bolstered the Nuggets in their 108-102 victory over the Warriors with 22 points, while the much heralded Lakers fell in their opener to Jimmy Butler and the Minnesota Timberwolves.

Tonight marks the first of two consecutive preseason games against the Lakers, first at Staples Center and then in Ontario, CA Wednesday night. It’s fun beating the Warriors, but there’s nothing like beating the Lakers and getting to do it twice in a row will be a real treat.

The Basics

Who: Denver Nuggets (1-0) at Los Angeles Lakers (0-1)
Where: Citizens Business Bank Arena, Ontario CA
When: 8:00 PM MT
How to watch: NBA TV or Altitude TV
Rival blog: Silver Screen and Roll

Three things to watch

The point guard battle, continued

If the decision on who will be the starting point guard were a contest based on each performance, the score right now would be Emmanuel Mudiay 1, Jamal Murray 0. Murray had a quiet night against Golden State with just nine points from three 3-pointers but also showed a ton of hustle on defense. Mudiay, on the other hand, stole the show with his performance. He still had some classic Mudiay moments, but overall he looked improved as he went for 19 points off the bench. Coach Malone has indicated that both guards will get opportunities to start this preseason, so don’t be surprised if Mudiay gets the nod tonight. Regardless, whoever Malone does choose to start will be going against Lonzo Ball in what should be a fun matchup.

Showtime Nuggets?

Expectations have been high for the Nuggets offense since dominating that end of the floor in 2016-17, but in the first preseason game the Nuggets were far from being in cruise control. Adding a high caliber player like Millsap does not always allow for a seamless transition, and that’s perfectly okay – the Nuggets frontcourt will obviously need time to work out the kinks. I for one would have liked to see the offense run through Nikola Jokic a bit more but it was still great to see Millsap take over in the third quarter like he did. Having a veteran who can take over when needed will pay huge dividends for the Nuggets this season. The good news is, the offense should continue to improve game by game.

Kenneth Faried’s Role

I wrote about this yesterday, but Kenneth Faried got no playing time on Saturday and is not listed on the injury report tonight. Will he be able to crack the rotation, or will Malone roll with Trey Lyles off the bench again behind Millsap? It will be very interesting to see what the rotation will be and to see if Faried will get his chance to prove everyone wrong or if he’ll remain sidelined again.

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