Although we were very close to the L.A. matchup between the Lakers and the Clippers in the Western Conference Finals, the Nuggets managed to secure a ticket for the upcoming tie. Who will come up as a winner of Game 1 and get a bit closer to the Grand Finals? Let’s see what we can expect from both sides in this match.
LA Lakers – Will they finally win Game 1?
The Lakers managed to go through the Conference Finals after winning a tie against the Houston Rockets without major troubles. They lost just once in that series, and it was the very first game. LeBron James and the Co. burned the nets in the last four matches by scoring more than 100 points per contest. James and Davis dominated the tie, and they have probably been the two best players in the playoffs so far. Two of them averaged 57 points, 14 assists, and 22 rebounds so far, and on top of that, they have been playing stifling defense.
Besides them, Rajon Rondo has been on fire against the Rockets, hitting 44% behind the arc. In addition to that, he was making seven assists and two steals per game, and if Rondo can keep up the form, the Lakers could wrap the series. However, the matchup with the Nuggets will be completely different from the one against the Rockets, and we’ll see how he will look like in this series.
Expected Line-Up: LeBron James, Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, Danny Green, Anthony Davis, JaVale McGee
with best odds
Denver Nuggets – Great comebacks in the last two ties
Denver’s playing style is nothing like any Lakers’ opponents in the playoffs. They are playing a beautiful team basketball that relies on splaying the ball around the court and hitting open shooters. Although all guys on the court have a significant role in their playing style, two of them can be considered as team leaders. The Nuggets mostly rely on Nikola Jokic, who is, with all due respect to other players, the best offensive center in the league. The Serbian international is a very versatile player, and quite untypical for his position. Besides scoring from the post, his three-pointers give another dimension to Denver. We usually ask ourselves how it is possible that a tall player like him has such lucid and creative passes, and some of his state-of-the-art assists make you think he can be used as a playmaker.
Another guy that makes a significant contribution in offense is Jamal Murray. He has been averaging 27 points per game with an astonishing 49% three-pointer shooting. When he was allowed to take at least eight attempts behind the arc, Murray scored 33.6 points per match. That’s something the Nuggets might take advantage of and try to capitalize on Jamal’s shooting capabilities. It will be interesting to see who can take on Murray since the Lakers will miss Avery Bradley.
Expected Line-Up: Gary Harris, Jamal Murray, Jerami Grant, Paul Millsap, Nikola Jokic