Many people could predict that one of the two teams in the Western Conference Finals would be there, and that’s the LA Lakers. The Lakers have been favorites to compete for a title, and now they are one step closer.
The Nuggets and Lakers are familiar with each other in the Conference Finals
These two teams are no strangers to each other when it comes to the Western Conference Finals. The last time the Lakers and Nuggets met in the Conference Finals was in 2009, and it was a battle between Kobe Bryant and Carmelo Anthony. LA went into the playoffs as the No. 1 seed, and Denver was the No. 2 seed. It was the matchup that everyone was looking forward to.
Both teams went back and forth during the series, and after four games, the series was tied at 2-2. The Lakers took control of the rest of the series and won the final two games to win the series. Bryant led all players in scoring during the series as he averaged 34 points in the six games. Anthony did his best to lead the Nuggets past the Lakers as he averaged 27.5 points, but it wasn’t enough for the Nuggets to win the series.
The Lakers went on to win the 2009 NBA Finals defeating the Orlando Magic 4-1, giving Bryant his fourth overall title. Now 11 years later, the two teams face off again in the Conference Finals, and the two teams look a lot different from the last time they played in this setting. This should be an exciting series given the Nuggets terrific playoff run.
The Denver Nuggets have shocked a lot of people during the playoffs
Denver has proved all season that they are one of the top teams in the Western Conference. For the past few years, they’ve had success in the regular season but have not made a deep postseason run. This year that has changed. It’s been a battle for the Nuggets during the playoffs. They were almost knocked out of the first round when they took on the Utah Jazz. Denver won the first game of the series but quickly found themselves down 3-1. With their backs against the wall, the Nuggets won two straight to tie the series and force a Game 7.
In an epic Game 7, the Nuggets were able to pull out an impressive 80-78 win to advance to the second round. Denver had to regroup quickly and get ready for the LA Clippers. Like the first round, Denver found themselves in a 3-1 hole, and many thought the series was over. One thing Denver did was battle even though they were down in the series. They came together as a team and tied the series and forced another Game 7 for the second straight series. Denver pulled out the Game 7 win, and many people throughout the NBA world could not believe it. But that team chemistry the Nuggets have helped them overcome and advance to the Western Conference Finals.
This Denver Nuggets team is for real
It’s no surprise that the Nuggets go into this series as the underdogs, but they’re not paying attention to any of that. During the playoffs, the Nuggets have shown that they have the team to compete with anyone in the league. Now they face a big challenge going up against the highly-favorite Lakers who feature two of the league’s top players in LeBron James and Anthony Davis. Denver already proved they could take on the league’s best as they defeated Kawhi Leonard, Paul George, and a talented Clippers team who many thought would play the Lakers in the Conference Finals.
This will be an exciting series to watch. Jamal Murray has played like an All-Star during his time in the bubble, and the Nuggets have had big performances from players like Michael Porter Jr. and Nikola Jokic. One thing the Lakers will make sure to do is not to take any game for granted. They know what the Nuggets have done in the playoffs, and they don’t want that to happen to them. This will be a series that people don’t want to miss out on.