Los Angeles, the No. 1 seed in the Western Conference, is four wins away from heading back to the NBA Finals. The Lakers easily took care of both the Portland Trail Blazers and Houston Rockets in the previous two rounds, but they will have their toughest task ahead of them.
The Lakers actually lost Game 1 against both the Trail Blazers and Rockets, but they bounced back and won four straight games in each series. They will certainly have their work cut out for them in the Western Conference Finals.
The Denver Nuggets, on the other hand, became a part of the record books.
Denver became the first team in NBA history to come back and win two series in the playoffs after trailing 3-1 both times.
In the first round of the playoffs, the Nuggets overcame a 3-1 deficit and defeated Donovan Mitchell and the Utah Jazz. Next, Denver once again fell behind to the Los Angeles Clippers, but the Nuggets strung together three straight wins to take down Kawhi Leonard, Paul George, and the Clippers.
Denver Nuggets center Nikola Jokic (15) and Denver Nuggets head coach Michael Malone, right, celebrates their win over the Los Angeles Clippers in an NBA conference semifinal playoff basketball game Tuesday, Sept. 15, 2020, in Lake Buena Vista, Fla. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)
The duo of James and fellow first-team All-NBA teammate Anthony Davis will lead the charge for the Lakers against the Nuggets. In 10 postseason games, James is averaging 26.6 points, 10.3 rebounds, 8.8 assists, 1.6 steals and 1.1 blocks per game.
Davis, on the other hand, has averages of 27.6 points, 10.9 rebounds, 4.1 assists, 1.5 blocks, and 1.1 steals per contest. The Lakers are only going to go as far as this dynamic duo takes them.
The Nuggets have witnessed Jamal Murray become a superstar right before their very eyes this postseason. During the regular season, Murray averaged 18.5 PPG. So far in the playoffs, he is averaging 27.1 points, to go along with 6.4 assists and 5.0 blocks, and has been the main reason why Denver was able to come back from two 3-1 deficits.
Nikola Jokic also has been fantastic for the Nuggets. His averages of 25.4 points, 10.8 rebounds, and 6.0 assists have been impressive, and it will need to continue in the next round against the Lakers.
This series will get interesting and has the chance to go the full seven games.
Here’s what else you need to know about the series.
SCHEDULE (All times Eastern)
Game 1: Sept. 18 (9:00 pm; TNT)
Game 2: Sept. 20 (7:30 pm; TNT)
Game 3: Sept. 22 (9:00 pm; TNT)
Game 4: Sept. 24 (9:00 pm; TNT)
Game 5: Sept. 26 (9:00 pm; TNT)
Game 6: Sept. 28 (TBD; TNT)
Game 7: Sept. 30 (TBD; TNT)