Lakers Game Day
(Anna Lupean/Los Angeles Lakers)

3 Things to Know: Lakers at Nuggets (12/3/19)

by Rodrigo Azurmendi
Staff Writer

Here is what you need to know before the Lakers’ duel against the Denver Nuggets.

1) Vogel has the Lakers thriving from Day 1
Frank Vogel was named Western Conference Coach of the Month on Monday after leading the Lakers to a 17-2 record in October/November.

The team already had a 10-game winning streak (snapped on Sunday) and is outscoring opponents by 9.3 points per game.

And despite injuries to Kyle Kuzma, Alex Caruso, Rajon Rondo, and Avery Bradley in the early going, L.A. is currently 5th in defensive rating (103.3) and 6th on OffRtg (110.9).

2) KCP is providing wholesale amounts of long-range shooting
Up until the Mavericks game on Sunday, the Lakers had been enjoying a torrid level of accuracy from beyond the arc.

LeBron James and Kuzma had a lot do with it, but right now it’s impossible to ignore Kentavious Caldwell-Pope’s contributions.

KCP is shooting a career high 40.4% on three-pointers through 20 games, and that’s taking into account a cold start to the season. In his last 11, Caldwell-Pope is at an even 50% on 3.3 attempts per night.

Starting suits him well too, since he’s shot 51.4% from downtown in his 10 games in the starting lineup.

3) The best defense and a balanced lineup

Besides having one of the better offensive centers in recent memory in Nikola Jokic, Denver is also having a lot of success on the defensive end. The Nuggets lead the league in defensive rating (101.9).

On top of that, all 5 members of the Nuggets’ starting lineup are currently averaging double digits.

Jamal Murray (18.5 points per game) leads the team, with Jokic (15.6), Will Barton (15.4), Paul Millsap (13.5) and Gary Harris (11.1) not far behind.

Keep an eye on Harris, who’s had a slow start but is coming off a season-high 25 points against the Kings on Saturday.

Injury Report
Anthony Davis (sore right shoulder) and Kyle Kuzma (left ankle sprain) are probable. Avery Bradley (hairline fracture, right leg) and DeMarcus Cousins (rehabilitation, right knee) are out. Talen Horton-Tucker, Zach Norvell Jr. and Kostas Antetokounmpo are on G League assignment.
Nuggets: Jerami Grant (illness) is probable. Bol Bol (left foot injury management) is out. Jarred Vanderbilt, Vlatko Cancar, and PJ Dozier are on G League assignment.

Tip-Off: 6 p.m. PT
TV: Spectrum SportsNet
Radio: 710 ESPN & 1330 Tu Liga
Unis: White Association
Location: Pepsi Center — Denver, Colorado

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