In the 2023 NBA Playoffs, the Lakers and Nuggets clash in the Western Conference Finals. Expect The Lakers to triumph by restraining the Nuggets’ offense. The Lakers’ victory over the Warriors had Davis’ helping out. However, Jokic will pose a challenge as the Lakers cannot rely on Davis alone. This puts pressure on the rest of the team. Hence, the Denver Nuggets will win the series over the Los Angeles Lakers.
The Nuggets Will Win the Series Against the Lakers
The Denver Nuggets were expected to reach the Western Conference Finals, while the Lakers struggled. But the Lakers regrouped and became a unit no one wants to face. LeBron James and Anthony Davis were injured, but the whole league knew their potential. The Lakers improved after enjoining PG Russell Westbrook to the team. The LA Lakers have two stars, while the Nuggets only have one. Stars matter in the postseason, and the Lakers have an edge. The Los Angeles Lakers’ rotational pieces are consistent, while the Nuggets’ bench is not. The team still hasn’t reached their full potential, but they may do so in this series.
During the regular season, PG Jamal Murray averaged 22.8 PPG against the Lakers, behind only Jokic (23.3 PPG). With one of the biggest home-court advantages in the league, the Nuggets should prove too much. Although Los Angeles will push harder, the Nuggets are expected to win the series and advance to their first-ever NBA Finals.
In six games, the Lakers ousted the Warriors to enter the third round of the 2023 NBA Playoffs. On the other hand, the Nuggets swept the Suns in Game 6 in a dominant display to move forward.
The Lakers’ Answer for the Nikola Jokic Domination
In the 2020 Western Conference Finals, the Lakers managed to contain Center Nikola Jokic well. However, their current roster is short on big men, and Anthony Davis will likely shoulder the bulk of guarding Jokic.
During the 2020 Western Conference Finals, Jokic’s numbers were slightly lower against the Lakers. However, Jokic has since become a back-to-back MVP and three-time All-Star. The Lakers will face a much improved and dominant Jokic in the upcoming series.
As the Lakers prepare to face the Nuggets, they have to deal with Jokic’s hot hand. He’s coming off an incredible series against the Suns where he averaged a triple-double. The Lakers will have to find a way to contain him, but their current roster is light on big men. As a result, the burden of defending Jokic will likely fall on Anthony Davis, who will have his work cut out for him. Jokic is shooting lights out right now, with an impressive 59.4 percent from the field and 44.4 percent from beyond the arc. The Denver big man’s statistics are all the more reason the Nuggets are expected to win the series over the Lakers. Jokic had a 53-point game and a total of three triple-doubles, including a near 30-20-20 performance in Game 3.
Denver Did Well During the Regular Season
The Nuggets cruised past the Timberwolves in the first round, winning the series 4-1. The Lakers had a more challenging route, having to go through the Play-In Tournament to earn their spot in the playoffs. The Lakers had a tough time defeating the T-Wolves in overtime during the regular season, while the Nuggets swept them in the playoffs. Although the Lakers beating the Warriors was impressive, the Nuggets are in top form and hard to ignore. In their final game against the Suns, they won by 25 points, which was not an anomaly.
In each of their home games in that series against Phoenix, they won those games by margins of 18, 10, 16, and 25 points. With them having the home-court advantage again for the 2023 Western Conference Finals, it’s difficult to ignore that dominance. In effect, expect the Denver Nuggets to win the series over the Los Angeles Lakers.