The Los Angeles Lakers tried to play small-ball vs. the Denver Nuggets’ jumbo lineup, and that obviously didn’t go well.
Mike Malone’s team dominated the glass early in the game, grabbing nine offensive rebounds in the first 11 possessions of Game 1.
Nikola Jokic was close to a double-double early in the game, getting whatever he wanted against the Lakers’ three-guard lineup.
That’s why Shannon Sharpe believes the Lakers can take Game 2 by making a couple of minor adjustments.
“If they don’t make it easy for Jokić, the Lakers will find a way to win this game.”
@ShannonSharpe predicts how Game 2 will look for the Lakers pic.twitter.com/diTHt82YRI
— UNDISPUTED (@undisputed) May 18, 2023
Per Sharpe, Darvin Ham needs to start either Rui Hachimura or Jarred Vanderbilt, so they can match up better with the Nuggets’ size.
Moreover, he expects the Lakers to be way more aggressive, crashing the glass and limiting the Nuggets’ second-chance opportunities to make it a closer game.
Sharpe pointed out the fact that the Nuggets were borderline perfect through the first three quarters of Game 1, yet the Lakers still had a chance to tie the game late in the fourth quarter.
The Nuggets were up 18 points at halftime and led by as many as 21, so losing by just six points was a huge victory for the Lakers in terms of morale at least.
It’s hard to play any better than how the Nuggets played for the better part of the game, but they need to keep that same intensity for 48 minutes.
The Lakers have enough resources on the bench to try and counter the Nuggets’ size.
Then again, Jokic has been unstoppable, and sometimes there’s just nothing you can do against a player like him.NEXT: Draymond Green Reveals What Adjustments Lakers Should Make In Game 2