3 Lakers Who Need to Play More to Avoid Another Loss to Nuggets

The Los Angeles Lakers need to give more playing time to these three players to have a shot against the Denver Nuggets.
Stephen Lew-USA TODAY Sports
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Anthony Davis

Well, it's hard to argue that someone averaging 35 minutes per game should be playing more but the Lakers need every single second of Anthony Davis against the Denver Nuggets. The way this team is constructed makes it very difficult for Los Angeles to survive without AD against a team like the Nuggets.

The Lakers became a more offensive-minded team this season. Their perimeter players in the starting lineup D'Angelo Russell, Austin Reaves, and Rui Hachimura are all better offensive players than defensive. Russell and Reaves are huge minuses on the defensive side of the ball. LeBron James can obviously be a massive difference-maker when he is locked in on that end but it's hard to expect that from him night in and night out. He simply has too big of an offensive burden to be an elite defensive player at this stage of his career.

Therefore, the defensive burden rests entirely on Davis's shoulders. He hasn't really been able to make the Lakers an elite defensive team in the regular season as they ranked below average in the league defensively. But, we know that AD has the ceiling of the best defensive player in the league in the playoffs.

Davis already had one of the healthiest seasons of his career. If he can push over 40 minutes per game in the series, the Lakers might have a chance. Keeping Davis near the basket to take the rim away from Aaron Gordon and Nikola Jokic is the only hope the Lakers have to slow down the high-powered Nuggets offense.