Los Angeles Lakers Offense
Part 1 of the Nuggets vs Lakers Series Preview
I cannot wait for this matchup where we get possibly the most unguardable offensive player in Jokic vs the most dominant and versatile big defender in the NBA in Anthony Davis. Not only that, it is the best offense with the Nuggets scoring 1.21 PPP in the NBA playoffs vs the best defense in the Lakers holding teams to 1.07 PPP. Not to mention so many X’s & O’s and adjustment possibilities - this series is going to have everything!
Note: I preferred this all in one post, but Substack was not able to properly upload everything in one place. I will have a separate solution moving forward.
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All stats from Cleaning The Glass unless otherwise noted.
Since we don’t have any regular season film as these teams matched up 4 times before February, most of the matchups is just guesswork and assumptions right now. It is unclear what the Lakers are going to do with their starting lineup since inserting Schroeder for Vanderbilt was a big positive to their offensive spacing and matched up well with the Warriors lineup. The Nuggets have a similar lineup to the Warriors in roster construction but having a player like Vanderbilt against a lengthy shooter like MPJ would help, but then again also give MPJ or Jokic a potential place to hide on defense.
Besides that one tweak the lineups are pretty standard for both teams and I think it will likely matchup like this to start. With all of the cross matches and potential switching off the ball, these are not super important but the main one that I am watching closely is who Jokic & AD are matching up with and if there will be any curveballs from the staffs on how they guard the other team - more on that below.
Nuggets likely on Lakers
Murray - DLO
Gordon - LeBron
Jokic - AD
KCP - Reaves
MPJ - Vanderbilt
Lakers likely on Nuggets
DLO - Murray
LeBron - Gordon
AD - Jokic
Reaves - KCP
Vanderbilt - MPJ
While the Lakers’ offense does still revolve around AD & LeBron, it has become a more ballscreen-centric offense with both AD & LeBron setting ballscreens for their guards like Austin Reaves, Schroeder, and DLO. 36% of their possessions end in a pick-and-roll possession and is clearly one of their core focuses as an offense, but not the same level of threat as a Steph Curry or Devin Booker attacking off it. They use pick and rolls in their offense to create chances for their guards to score but also put pressure on the rim by finding little spaces for AD and LeBron to attack off of catches.
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