The Los Angeles Lakers face the Denver Nuggets on Tuesday night to open their 2023-24 regular season. For the game, the Lakers’ injury report has ruled out several players including key role man Jarred Vanderbilt.
Key Players Out for Lakers in Season Opener
But LA will have its stars suited up, with LeBron James, Anthony Davis, and newcomer D’Angelo Russell leading the charge. The Lakers are coming off a 2022-23 season where they reached the Western Conference Finals before being swept by these same Nuggets. Denver went on to win the NBA title.
Seeking Playoff Revenge Against Reigning Champs
Last season, the Lakers battled to the 7th seed but caught fire in the playoffs, beating Minnesota, Memphis, and Golden State before the Nuggets sweep. Denver was the West’s 1st seed and finished the job in the Finals, taking down Jimmy Butler’s Miami Heat.
The Nuggets will get their rings in a pre-game ceremony, while the Lakers look to avenge last season’s playoff exit. With LA’s roster retooled and playoff experience under their belt, they aim to go from conference finalist to champion.
Nuggets Boast Stars Like Porter Jr. and Gordon
Denver returns key pieces from its title team, including skilled forward Michael Porter Jr., who posted big numbers throughout the playoffs. Forward Aaron Gordon also provides production up front, averaging 12+ points against LA in his career.
The Nuggets match talent with continuity, keeping their championship core intact. That chemistry and experience give them an early edge as they unfurl another banner.
Lakers Armed with James, Davis, and Revamped Roster
But the Lakers can counter Denver’s stars with iconic veterans LeBron James and Anthony Davis. James nearly averaged a 30-point triple-double against Denver in the 2022 conference finals.
Davis also excelled, going for 40 points and 10 boards in Game 1. Both remain centerpieces of LA’s efforts to unseat the champs. With new pickups like D’Angelo Russell, the Lakers aim to shorten the gap after last season’s 4-1 ouster.
Their veterans and revamped roster give them a fighting chance against the Nuggets.