- Location of the game: Ball Arena, Denver, CO
- Date & Time: Tuesday, May 16, 2023, 8:30 PM ET
- How to watch: ESPN
The Los Angeles Lakers must be defeated in the Western Conference Finals, which begin with Game 1 on Tuesday night, if the Denver Nuggets are to reach the NBA Finals for the first time in team history. Denver, who is the top seed in the West, defeated the Phoenix Suns in their semifinal series, which finished on Thursday, in six games.
After having a sluggish start to the season, Los Angeles has improved, beating Memphis and Golden State on route to reaching the West finals as the conference’s seventh seed. Let’s take a deeper look at the highly anticipated game of the day.
Los Angeles Lakers began this season with a record of 2-10, but they are currently among the four teams left in the postseason with a genuine chance to win a championship. Given that several of the rotation’s important players just joined the Lakers in midseason trades, the team’s chemistry is strong, which is noteworthy.
Despite finishing 12th in NBA team statistics for points scored per game during the regular season, the Nuggets are the second-highest scoring team in the postseason. Denver can step up its defense as well, but when its attack is on, it has the ability to outscore any opposition.
Any discussion of the Denver Nuggets draft choices must begin with center Nikola Jokic, who has excelled throughout the postseason, averaging 30.7 points, 12.8 rebounds, and 9.7 assists. He will be the coordinator of the Denver attack, but he must also defend Davis by being a force in the paint.
Jamal Murray, a guard, scored 26 points in the victory over Phoenix that ended the series, and he is averaging 25.9 points overall. Unfortunately, owing to an illness, he is labeled as doubtful for Tuesday’s game; the Nuggets will probably decide whether to play him at that point.
Prediction: Nuggets take game 1