Lakers-Nuggets Game 2 Preview

David Zalubowski / Associated Press

The Lakers look to bounce back in Game 2 after falling to the Nuggets 114-103 in Game 1.

LA led in the first half but could not maintain their lead as Denver was significantly better. 

LeBron James and Anthony Davis played well, but they were unable to get production from others.

D’Angelo Russell, Austin Reaves, and Rui Hachimura need to step up if they want to be competitive in this series.

With that in mind, let’s take a look at two keys to a Lakers win in Game 2.

D’Angelo Russell plays better

If the Lakers are going to upset Denver, Russell needs to play a lot better. Russell finished Game 1 with 13 points on 6-20 shooting and 1-9 from three. 

He is also a negative defender, which means his impact relies on offensive production. The Lakers will need him to step up on offense as a scorer as the Nuggets will focus on James and Davis.

Lakers control the glass

The Lakers need to do a better job of rebounding in Game 2. Denver got multiple second-chance opportunities off offensive rebounds, which hurt LA. 

A few of these opportunities late clinched the win for the Nuggets. 

It needs to be more than James and Davis rebounding. Hachimura needs to be aggressive on the boards and everyone needs to box out. 

If the Lakers can control the glass, it will allow them to get out on the fastbreak, leading to more easy baskets. It will also limit the extra possessions that the Nuggets created in Game 1.

The Purple and Gold have a big challenge in front of them, but with a good game from Russell and controlling the glass, they could steal Game 2.

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