Warriors Star Draymond Green Makes Prediction on Lakers-Nuggets Series

Lakers' LeBron James and Warriors' Draymond Green

Getty Lakers' LeBron James and Warriors' Draymond Green

On the May 14 episode of his podcast, Golden State Warriors power forward Draymond Green said the Los Angeles Lakers would defeat the Denver Nuggets in the Western Conference Finals.

Green believes Los Angeles will win the series in six games.

“It is going to be on the Lakers to, you either gotta stop Joker from passing or stop him from scoring,” Green said. “The easier one to do is stop him from getting assists. Can’t allow him to get both. If he gets both, you lose. It’s very simple. Denver ready, man. I think Denver is ready. Like Denver taking that next step. They doing it. We watching it. But I think we’re gonna have a rerun of 2020.

“I think the Lakers will take it. I got the Lakers. I got the Lakers in six, closing out at home in six. That is my prediction. That’s what I’m rolling with. And I’m sticking to it.”

The Lakers beat the Nuggets in the 2020 Western Conference Finals at the Walt Disney World bubble in five games. They wound up winning the championship over the Miami Heat in six games behind the strong play of LeBron James and Anthony Davis.

Los Angeles went 2-2 versus Denver during the regular season. The Nuggets, who are the No. 1 seed in the West, have home-court advantage in the conference finals.

LeBron James on the Nuggets: ‘We Understand What They Possess’

After the Lakers beat the Warriors in Game 6 of the conference semifinals on May 12, James told Lisa Salters of ESPN that he and his teammates have to be locked in at all times against the Nuggets, who have only lost three times this postseason.

“It’s gonna be a great series,” James said. “You got two well-coached teams. They’ve been the No. 1 seed in the West all year long. So we give them a lot of respect. We come in with that series with a lot of respect for Denver and what they can accomplish and what they can do against us. And if we’re not locked in, they’ll put it to us. … We understand what they possess. I know what they possess and we’ll be ready for it on Tuesday.”

Both the Lakers and Nuggets are undefeated at home in these playoffs. James, who is looking to win his fifth championship and second title with the Lakers, has a 42-22 record in the conference finals during his legendary career.

LeBron James Predicted to Lead the Western Conference Finals in Free Throws

Bleacher Report’s Andy Bailey predicted on May 15 that James would lead the Western Conference Finals in free throws. LeBron is averaging 5.3 free throw attempts per game thus far in these playoffs.

“Anthony Davis is leading the Lakers in free-throw attempts per game at 5.7. His 83.8 free-throw percentage also tops LeBron’s 76.2. But James is going to sense the moment and an interior defense that struggled for much of the regular season and attack the paint more than he did in the first two rounds,” Bailey wrote.

“There’s real value in LeBron’s willingness to defer to playmakers like D’Angelo Russell, Austin Reaves and Dennis Schröder. It’s spared him some of the immense workload he’s carried in previous postseason runs. But Denver’s offense is a juggernaut when Nikola Jokić is on the floor. And keeping pace may require LeBron to play a bit more like he did in the past.

“That, in concert with L.A.’s gargantuan lead over the rest of the NBA in free-throw discrepancy, means the Lakers will almost certainly get more trips to the charity stripe. And LeBron will spearhead that advantage.”