3 Things the Lakers Must Do in Game 3 to Get First Series Win

The Lakers have to fix these three areas if they want to make this a series against the Denver Nuggets.
Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports
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3. Play the Starting Five As Many Minutes As Possible

One thing Lakers fans can hang their hats on in this series is the fact that their starting lineups have actually been doing well against the Nuggets. Denver has had one of the best starting units in the NBA for the past few seasons, with Murray, Caldwell-Pope, Porter Jr., Gordon, and Jokic making a very well-fitting and consistent group.

However, the Lakers have performed admirably against that unit with their own starting five of D'Angelo Russell, Austin Reaves, Rui Hachimura, LeBron James, and Anthony Davis. That unit is +8.7 per 100 possessions so far in the series, with a whopping 125.2 offensive rating.

The problem for Los Angeles occurs when hybrid lineups including bench players come into play. Spencer Dinwiddie and Gabe Vincent have been non-factors so far and Jaxson Hayes is looking completely helpless out there. Hayes looking unplayable means that Anthony Davis has to play as many minutes as he can possibly handle.

Dinwiddie, Vincent, and Hayes haven't made a shot so far in this series. Taurean Prince has been fine but he doesn't do anything except shoot threes when he is open. This makes the Lakers' depth a massive question mark. There aren't too many options on the bench that coach Ham can trust.

This means that if the Lakers are going to win, it has to be on the back of their starting lineup. Ride the Russell-Reaves-Hachimura-James-Davis group for 40+ minutes, and live with the consequences.

The Lakers are very slight home favorites (-116) against the Nuggets (-102) in Game 3 on Thursday night. Head over to FanDuel Sportsbook now to get in on the action before the games begin.

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