Nikola Jokic Vs Lakers
Denver Nuggets center Nikola Jokic, right, works the ball inside as Los Angeles Lakers guard Avery Bradley, left, and center Dwight Howard defend in the first half of an NBA basketball game Saturday Jan. 15, 2022, in Denver. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski)

The Los Angeles Lakers have proved many critics wrong over the course of the season who did not believe they could reach the playoffs. Initially, fans believed that their team might not be able to secure a spot even in the play-ins, let alone playoffs. The Lakers lost ten out of the first twelve games. If the squad had the same scoring streak, they could not make the last postseason. Hence, there was some sort of disbelief that they missed out again this season.

But the way the Lakers turned things around for that, the credit goes to GM Rob Pelinka and the front office of the LA side. The February trade really made the difference. Many of the players who came in played crucial roles in taking the team forward. Players like D’Angelo Russell, Jarred Vanderbilt, and Malik Beasley have been great additions to the team. Rui Hachimura joined the Lakers a few days earlier than these guys. But now, surprisingly, the Lakers are in the Western Conference finals, all set to face the top-seed team, Denver Nuggets. Now the question is, will the purple and the gold army be able to stop the rival’s best offense players, especially Nikola Jokic?


Can Anthony Davis And His Army Stop The Joker’s Nuggets?

Lakers Vs Nuggets - Anthony Davis Vs Nikola Jokic
Anthony Davis Lakers Vs Nikola Jokic Nuggets Source: Los Angeles Times

It is quite extraordinary and unexpected that the Lakers are now in the playoffs and have reached the conference finals. The LA franchise is only eight game wins away from lifting the trophy. However, the question at present is, can the Lakers overcome the challenge of the Nuggets and the Joker? Nikola Jokic has been an unstoppable force for his team Nuggets, in recent times. There is a reason why the great Serbian has won back-to-back MVPs. He has led the Nuggets pretty well this season as well. As a result, they are the top seed of the Western Conference. Hence, the West finals are going to be a battle between the best offense and the best defense of the West. Nikola Jokic and Jamal Murray will be a threat to the defense of the Los Angeles Lakers.

However, the LA side has expert defensive players in Anthony Davis, Jarred Vanderbilt, Dennis Schroder as well as Austin Reaves. These people stopped the defending champions so well. The Golden State Warriors were so strong in offense with a revolutionary three-pointer shooter, Stephen Curry. On top of that, Steve Kerr’s army had Klay Thomson, Kevon Looney as well as Draymond Green. But the LA side was able to stop these great players and a champion team. Now the question remains, Can the Lakers beat the force of the best offense in the season to reach the finals? The two teams will have a second meeting in the Western Conference finals in four years.

Lakers Meet The Nuggets Again

LeBron James Nikola Jokic
LeBron James Lakers Nikola Jokic Nuggets Source: Bleacher Report

The 2023 two conference finals look like a repeat of 2020. Miami Heat meets Boston Celtics in the east, and Denver faces Los Angeles in the West. Moreover, in 2020 the Lakers beat the Nuggets in only five games. However, this time it may not be as easy as 2020. Albeit, the Lakers dominated the last two series and won 4-2 both times.

The Lakers beat the second-seed Grizzlies in the first round of the playoffs. Later, they knocked out the defending champions in the conference semis. Hence, there is a good possibility that the Los Angeles Lakers may come out on top of the Nuggets as well. In the regular season, the Nuggets and the Lakers met four times. The LA and Denver franchises were 2-2 in the regular season.