DENVER (AP) — If the Denver Nuggets can maintain their dominance in the ball arena, they can not only beat LeBron James and Anthony Davis, but also destroy the specter of a terrible postseason performance against the Los Angeles Lakers. right.
The Nuggets have lost all seven playoff series games against the Lakers, including one in the 2020 NBA bubble.RELATED
The two clubs will meet for the fourth time in the Western Conference Finals, which starts in Denver on Tuesday night. The Nuggets are 40-7 at home (the best in the NBA) and have won all six playoff games in the ball arena.
“Probably one of the best scenarios in the league for a home team,” said manager Durbin Hamm in his first season with the Lakers. “Audiences will sit in their chairs, stand up, heels clapping and screaming.”
After a vigorous practice Monday, Nuggets coach Michael Malone declined to comment on Denver’s disappointing 8-25 postseason record against the Lakers.
The Lakers have won the NBA championship every time they beat the Nuggets in the Western Conference Series — in 2020, 2009 and 1985 — and have beaten Denver in the opening game several more times.
“The important thing is getting to the NBA Finals,” Malone said. “The fact that it’s about the Lakers will probably make this series more special for many supporters and add to the excitement and frenzy in the ball arena, so we agree.”
Both teams would like to pick up the pace, but that may be more difficult for the Lakers, who are not used to playing in Denver’s highlands.
But Nuggets superstar Serbian Nikola Jokic denies that Denver’s tenuous air will make the team more efficient.
“I think it’s our fault,” Jokic said. “I don’t think it’s because of the altitude.”
Either way, Jokic said the Lakers won their first road games against Memphis and Golden State in the first two rounds of the postseason. “I hope that doesn’t happen here,” he added.
Jokic declined to comment on lessons learned from the last encounter between the two teams that could help the Nuggets this time around. “To be honest, nothing,” he said. “I do not remember”:
But James remembers it well and thinks Jamal Murray and Jokic are the more formidable opponents this time around. Now that Murray has returned from a torn ACL in 2021, they’ve quickly cemented their place as the best offensive dumbbell.