The Los Angeles Lakers face the Denver Nuggets in their final games of the 2021-22 season.
LeBron James, Anthony Davis, Russell Westbrook, Carmelo Anthony, and Kendrick Nunn will all be out for the clash. The absence of L.A.’s stars gives Mac McClung a chance to make his Lakers debut after the guard signed a two-way contract with the Purple and Gold on Saturday.
On the Nuggets’ side, Jamal Murray and Michael Porter Jr. will miss the game, as they’re still rehabbing long-term injuries. They are also resting starters Nikola Jokić, Aaron Gordon, Monte Morris and Will Barton.
Regardless of the result, the Lakers faithful should keep their eyes on McClung, who’s starting his second stint with the franchise after earning the 2021-22 G League Rookie of the Year Award. The 23-year-old guard has recorded significant progress since his 2021 Summer League performance, averaging 21.6 points, 6.6 rebounds, 7.6 assists, and 1.4 steals in 27 games for the South Bay Lakers and Windy City Bulls.
And, McClung has already made his NBA debut, clocking in three minutes in his sole appearance for the Chicago Bulls earlier in the season.
Talen Horton-Tucker’s 40-point performance against the Golden State Warriors showed the young Lakers’ determination to finish the disappointing 2021-22 season strong. Mason Jones, Wenyen Gabriel, and Stanley Johnson’s effort against Oklahoma City on Friday — which ended the team’s eight-game losing streak — further proved the group’s desire to play hard in the so-called meaningful games.
Could McClung follow suit and put himself on the NBA’s radar on the very last day of the regular season?
Lakers (32-49) vs. Nuggets (48-33)
6:30 p.m. PT, April 10, 2022
Ball Arena, Denver, Colorado
TV: Spectrum SportsNet
Radio: 710 AM ESPN LA
Projected Lakers Starting Lineup:
PG: Talen Horton-Tucker
SG: Austin Reaves
SF: Malik Monk
PF: Stanley Johnson
C: Dwight Howard
Key Reserves: Wenyen Gabriel, Wayne Ellington, D.J. Augustin, Mac McClung, Mason Jones
Projected Nuggets Starting Lineup:
PG: Bones Hyland
SG: Austin Rivers
SF: Davon Reed
PF: Jeff Green
C: DeMarcus Cousins
Key Reserves: JaMychal Green, Bryn Forbes, Markus Howard, Zeke Nnaji
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