Lakers Need to Make a Statement in Denver

Derek Fisher didn’t mince words after the Lakers repeatedly hit the snooze during their weak win over the Wolves the other night. No disrespect to Minnesota. Kurt Rambis had his crew ready to play that night. But when a team that’s been getting beat worse than Brock Lesnar by Cain Velasquez turns it over 25 times and still has a chance to win then it’s clear that there was no urgency to play like champs.

Tonight the curtain goes up on the Lake Show’s first appearance in Denver. Hopefully Fisher’s words are still ringing in the Lakers’ ears.

Despite all the Carmelo turmoil in the Mile High City, this is still a formidable team. Well, don’t tell that to Indiana. Much like the Lakers, Denver should have some added motivation coming off of an off-night in their last outing.

While the Lakers won despite some poor play, the Nuggets were annihilated by the Indiana Pacers to the tune of 144-113 including an unreal 54-point third quarter onslaught. That quarter will live in NBA infamy as Indiana shot an unbelievable 20 0f 21 from the field over the course of the third frame.

With the Lakers leading the league in scoring this game has the chance to be a highlight fest. While the Lakers are more than capable of playing at any tempo and winning, they’d be better served not trying to out-pace the Nuggets. This contest could prove to be the toughest test this team has faced in the young season. Or it could be another cruise control victory.

That all depends on which squad shows up tonight.

Phil Jackson was far from thrilled with what he saw two nights ago in Staples. D-Fish saved Phil the trouble of scalding his players for their pathetic effort but that doesn’t mean he didn’t have a few choice words behind closed doors.

Yes, it is too early in the season to let one game – that was still a win – become an overblown subject. But if the Lakers don’t take tonight’s nationally televised contest as a chance to send a stern message to the league then you can bet Sasha Vujacic’s game check that the whispers will be screams if another Minnesota-type effort ensues.

Topics: Carmelo Anthony, Derek Fisher, Kurt Rambis, Phil Jackson, Sasha Vujacic

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