Nikola Jokic defending LeBron James

Jan 15, 2022; Denver, Colorado, USA; Denver Nuggets heart Nikola Jokic (left) defends Los Angeles Lakers ahead LeBron James (6) within the second quarter at Ball Area. Necessary Credit score: Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports activities

  • The Los Angeles Lakers face the Denver Nuggets within the Western Convention Finals
  • Denver bounced the Suns in Spherical 2, whereas LA knocked off the defending-champion Warriors
  • Discover the most recent Lakers vs Nuggets sequence odds, betting dialogue and picks beneath

After which there have been two within the West’s NBA playoff bracket.

Whereas the Denver Nuggets took the standard path to skilled hoops’ Ultimate 4, it’s been something however for the Los Angeles Lakers.

The Nuggets, behind the play of 2-time MVP Nikola Jokic, raced out to the most effective file within the NBA, securing the highest seed and crushing each the Minnesota Timberwolves and Phoenix Suns.

LA, in the meantime, began out 2-10, and are simply the fourth crew to be that far beneath .500 and attain the convention finals because the 1970-71 season. They’ve bounced the Memphis Grizzlies and the defending champion Golden State Warriors to get right here.

Not surprisingly, oddsmakers are leaning on Denver to advance to the championship last within the early instalment of the NBA odds, pegging them as -150 favourites to win the sequence.

Lakers vs Nuggets Collection Odds

Staff Odds to Win Collection Collection Unfold
[7] Los Angeles Lakers +125 +1.5 video games (-195)
[1] Denver Nuggets -150 -1.5 video games (+160)

Recreation 1 goes Tuesday (Might 16) and Thursday (Might 18) from Ball Area within the Mile Excessive Metropolis, and may be seen on ESPN.

The scene shifts to Los Angeles for Recreation 3 on Saturday (Might 20) on ABC. Recreation 4 goes Monday (Might 22) and can air on ESPN. All video games tip-off at 8:30pm ET.

The present NBA Championship odds have the Nuggets in second at +230. LA, in the meantime is within the third spot at +500 odds.

Odds as of Might 12 at DraftKings. 

Lakers Dispatch Defending Champs

Los Angeles put an finish to what has been a dominant, dynastic run by Golden State. Their 122-101 blowout win in Recreation 6 Saturday snapped GState’s 19-straight sequence win streak within the West playoffs.

Whereas it was both James or Davis that led the crew in scoring and rebounding in each recreation of the sequence, LA’s secret sauce is the depth of their lineup, and the belief the 2 alphas have within the different guys stepping up.

The clincher was an ideal instance: James was a power, going for 30 factors, 9 boards and 9 dimes, whereas AD completed with 17 factors and 20 rebounds. However they’d a lot assist.

Austin Reaves added 23 factors, 5 rebounds and 6 assists, whereas D’Angelo Russell had 19 factors in 41 minutes. All of a sudden-necessary reserve Lonnie Walker IV had 13 factors off the bench, simply two video games after primarily successful Recreation 4 with a 15-point, out-of-nowhere fourth quarter.

Since a Feb 15, and after a bevy of commerce deadline strikes that landed them Rui Hachimura, D’Angelo Russell, Jared Vanderbilt, Malik Beasley and Mo Bamba, LA is now 26-11 via the playoffs.

Lakers vs Nuggets Head-to-Head Playoff Stats

111.5 (tenth) Factors per Recreation 115.8 (T-2nd)
107.8 (sixth) Factors In opposition to per Recreation 106.6 (fifth)
46.8 (2nd) Rebounds Per Recreation 44.4 (seventh)
46.6% (sixth) Area Purpose Taking pictures 48.9% (2nd)
42.6% (1st) Area Purpose Taking pictures Protection 47.1% (eleventh)
31.8% (thirteenth) 3-Level Taking pictures 37.9% (2nd)
34.1% (eighth) 3-Level Taking pictures Protection 33.9% (seventh)

Jokic Shreds Suns as Nuggets Advance

With all due respect to new MVP Joel Embiid, Nikola Jokic is the most effective factor moving into basketball proper now.

Jokic was an absolute menace in a 6-game sequence waxing of the Phoenix Suns, who occur to make use of two of probably the most devastating scoring tandems in basketball in Devin Booker and Kevin Durant.

Regardless of: Jokic averaged 34.5 factors, 13.2 rebounds and 10.3 assists on 59.4% taking pictures from the sphere and 44.4% from downtown. He scored at the very least 29 factors in all however one recreation.

In contrast to the Lakers, who’ve patched collectively a contender, Denver’s power is continuity, constructed round a core of Jokic, Jamal Murray (24.8 pts, 4.8 Reb and 6.5 ast in Spherical 2) and Michael Porter Jr.

Additions like Kentavious Caldwell Pope and Bruce Brown have added actual depth, whereas Aaron Gordon has settled into a gradual wing defender and fourth offensive choice.

Opening Lakers vs Nuggets Prediction

Neglect the common season head-to-head, because the groups break up 4 video games, however haven’t performed since January 9.

AD was all-world defensively towards GState, however he’ll be put to the check towards Jokic, who has each transfer and shot from the free throw line to the bucket.

LA beat Denver within the bubble within the 2020 West Ultimate, however in addition they had Dwight Howard to throw at Joker. Except Bamba is activated, it’s Davis and Hachimura that must deal with Jokic. Main benefit Denver.

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These groups relentlessly take the ball to the ring, rating 1-2 in paint scoring this postseason. The Lakers and Nuggets additionally each like to get out and run, rating 2-3 in fast-break factors.

The Lakers personal the highest defensive score within the playoffs, however we’ll see how they maintain up towards the most effective taking pictures crew left standing (48.9%). Denver can also be 2nd-best in 3-point taking pictures at 37.9%.

If expertise means something, this might be James’ twelfth journey to the convention finals, and he’s a glowing 10-1 in his earlier 11 journeys. Jokic is a beast, and received’t be stopped, however not like Phoenix, LA might need simply sufficient depth to go toe-to-toe with the massive man throughout seven video games.

At +125 odds, the underdog is price a wager.

Eric Rosales

Sports activities Author & Editor