Skip to main content

The Lakers have a tough matchup tonight facing off against the Nuggets in Denver. At 21-19, the Nuggets haven't been a dominant force in the league, but any team with Nikola Jokic is sure to provide fits to opposition without great defense. 

And unfortunately, that's exactly where the Lakers are at the moment. So much so that Frank Vogel used the film sessions this week to show where they had fallen short on defense in their loss to the Kings. 

Vogel also said their film session featured a heavy emphasis on controlling Nuggets' star Nikola Jokic. He's putting up 25.5 points per game and is easily one of the most athletic big men in the entire league. 

Scroll to Continue

Read More

It starts with Joker, obviously. A lot of different coverages go into guarding all of the action that he's in. He's the most unique player in the NBA and a lot of our focus today was to go over those unique coverages.

In terms of the lineups used against Jokic, the Lakers could go a few different directions. They could opt to use some of their bigger guys to keep him out of the paint and force him to the perimeters, but even that might be an issue, 

We'll see, I'm not going to release my lineups yet. There's a lot of value in trying to stretch him out and make him guard on the perimeter as much as possible and use the space that we've been using offensively. But I'm not going to release what lineups we use with that. 

Jokic is shooting 56.6 percent from the field this year, and an impressive 35.6 percent from beyond the arc. If they are going to win this game, it all starts with them controlling The Joker.