Lakers News: Dwight Howard, JaVale McGee in Line for Extra Minutes vs. Nuggets

Los Angeles Lakers' JaVale McGee passes the ball during the second half of an NBA conference semifinal playoff basketball game against the Houston Rockets Friday, Sept. 4, 2020, in Lake Buena Vista, Fla. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)

Ticket J. Terrill/Associated Press

Los Angeles Lakers head coach Frank Vogel implied that his team will spend facilities JaVale McGee and Dwight Howard more usually in its upcoming Western Conference Finals matchup in opposition to the Denver Nuggets and All-Huge name huge man Nikola Jokic.

“‘Joker’ is indisputably one of doubtlessly the most unfamiliar avid gamers on this planet, and indisputably one of doubtlessly the most unfamiliar avid gamers ever to play the guts situation in this league. He can mainly hurt you in all ways. He can hurt you at the three-level line, in the pocket, taking half in the 4-on-3 game in the publish, and clearly with his passing…

“It does make this sequence a bit diversified—loads diversified, in reality—relating to how grand we are going to spend our facilities. I build no longer are searching for to get dangle of too grand into component, but obviously we’re going to be the L.A. Lakers, who we now bear been all year. We adjusted to a minute-ball team final sequence, but I’d inquire us to return to form.”

Howard averaged 7.8 minutes in the Lakers’ 2nd-spherical sequence in opposition to the Houston Rockets, whereas McGee averaged 7.5. That used to be a stark distinction from their opening-spherical sequence in opposition to the Portland Path Blazers, when Howard averaged 18.9 minutes and McGee averaged 13.4 minutes whereas beginning all 5 games.

The minute-ball Rockets employed the 6’5″ P.J. Tucker at heart and didn’t bear any individual 6’8″ or taller in their rotation, with Jeff Inexperienced being the tallest. Meanwhile, the Path Blazers featured 7-footers Jusuf Nurkic, who averaged 32.2 minutes per game, and Hassan Whiteside, who averaged 21.2 minutes.

Denver usually has an exact heart on the court docket the least bit times between Jokic and 6’11” backup Mason Plumlee, so Howard and McGee must nonetheless exhaust masses of time matched up with that duo.

The Lakers won three of their four regular-season games in opposition to the Nuggets, at the side of a 124-121 victory on Aug. 10 in a seeding game at ESPN’s Wide World of Sports Advanced in Walt Disney World reach Orlando, Florida.

Howard used to be honest in opposition to Denver, averaging 10.8 aspects on 75.0 percent shooting and 7.3 rebounds in 19.9 minutes per game. McGee used to be productive to boot with averages of 4.8 aspects, 4.8 rebounds and 1.0 block in 15.3 minutes.

Game 1 will decide situation on Friday at 9 p.m. ET.

TNT will televise your whole Western Conference Finals, which is a easiest-of-seven sequence. The winner will play the Jap Conference champion, that could presumably additionally honest either be the Miami Warmth or Boston Celtics, in the NBA Finals.