After a little bit of a break, the Los Angeles Lakers will be facing off against the Denver Nuggets in the Western Conference Finals. LeBron James has been playing some of his best basketball in the playoffs this year and he’s clearly as motivated as ever to play in his first-ever Western Conference Finals. LeBron sent a strong message on social media ahead of Game 1.
Quartine 15 clearly doesn’t exist for the superstar. He looks jacked in preparation for the matchup against the Nuggets. It’s obvious that being stuck in the bubble hasn’t affected his ability to stay in shape. He may be 35 but he’s is as good of shape as anybody in the NBA.
LeBron Has Huge Respect for Nuggets
Even though they finished the season with the third-best record in the Western Conference, the Nuggets have been counted out for a lot of these playoffs. They went down 3-1 to the Utah Jazz and then again to the Los Angeles Clippers. The Lakers would be foolish to underestimate this team at any point in the series. LeBron knows how good this team is.
“Very resilient, very confident, very driven, very well-coached team,” LeBron said of the Nuggets. “It takes a lot of energy, effort, a lot of desperation to be able to come back from a 3-1 deficit. They did it twice. So the respect level is out of this world for what we have for this ballclub. That’s how we’re going into this series: understanding what they’re capable of, where they stand.”
LeBron used to be coached by Nuggets head coach Mike Malone, so he knows what’s he’s capable of. Denver is still really young but clearly has the ability to pull off one more upset. Luckily, it doesn’t sound like the Lakers are underestimating them at all.
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LeBron Calls Nuggets ‘Extremely Dangerous’
The Lakers have an amazing duo in LeBron and Anthony Davis but so do the Nuggets in Nikola Jokcic and Jamal Murray. Denver has already surprised the world twice. It’s possible they could do it again.
“We’re preparing for an extremely dangerous, extremely well-coached, extremely great team in the Nuggets,” LeBron said. “That’s been our only focus.”
While the Nuggets are a great young team, the Lakers are a different beast. They haven’t faced a team close to this good yet. Los Angeles handled the Portland Trail Blazers, who were the hottest team in the bubble. They followed that up with a dominant performance over the Houston Rockets.
The Lakers beat the Nuggets in three of four matchups this season and that’s because they match up really well against them. Jokic is probably the best offensive center in the NBA but he plays next to no defense. Davis is one of the two best defensive players in the NBA and should be able to slow Jokic down. With the lack of a rim protector, Davis and LeBron should feast on the Denver defense.