Last night was the first preseason game for two teams going into the unknown this season, the Los Angeles Lakers and Denver Nuggets. Expected to be without Kobe Bryant for a long time, and after losing Dwight Howard, the Lakers roster looks nothing like a roster we’ve come to expect in Los Angeles. The Nuggets also had a tough offseason, losing their GM, coach and star player. The game last night was the first step in what figures to be long, tough journeys for both franchises.
With Howard gone, and Bryant out, the Lakers are going to have to rely heavily on Steve Nash and Pau Gasol. Last night, Nash provided us with a reminder as to why he is one of the greatest point guards in NBA history.
Late in the second quarter, with the Lakers trailing 37-35, Nash brought the ball up the court. As he neared the three-point line, he came off a double-screen and drove towards the basket on the right wing. Easily making his way into the paint, Nash forced the Nuggets’ Quincy Miller to cut off his path to the basket. This left Miller’s man, Steve Blake, wide open in the corner. Nash fed Blake with a slick behind-the-back pass right that was right on the money. Blake rewarded the sweet feed by knocking down the triple.
Nash finished with 6 assists on the night, and Blake chipped in 4 points and 7 assists of his own, but the Lakers fell to the Nuggets 97-88.
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