DENVER (May 16) – The Denver Nuggets are set to face off against the Los Angeles Lakers in the Western Conference finals, marking a clash of titans. The Nuggets, who have a history of disappointing playoff performances against the Lakers, are determined to change their fortunes this time around.
Where To Watch Lakers at Nuggets Game 1?
The highly anticipated matchup will take place at Ball Arena, where the Nuggets have been virtually unstoppable, boasting an impressive 40-7 record at home. The game will be available for live streaming on WatchESPN.com and the ESPN app, with ESPN/ESPN+ providing live television coverage starting at 8:30 PM ET. The Nuggets enter the game as 6.5-point favorites.
Throughout their playoff history, the Nuggets have struggled against the Lakers, losing all seven playoff series against them, including a heart-wrenching defeat inside the NBA bubble in 2020.
However, the Nuggets are determined to break this streak and make a statement in this year’s Western Conference finals. With their exceptional home record, winning all six of their playoff games at Ball Arena, the Nuggets have a solid foundation to build upon.
Acknowledging the challenging atmosphere created by the Nuggets, Lakers’ first-year coach Darvin Ham described Ball Arena as one of the best home environments in the league. The energy from the crowd, characterized by standing, stomping, and screaming, is expected to play a significant role in driving the Nuggets forward.
Ahead of the showdown, Nuggets coach Michael Malone has chosen to focus on the present rather than dwell on the past. He avoids discussing Denver’s disappointing 8-25 record against the Lakers in the playoffs, instead emphasizing that their ultimate goal is to reach the NBA Finals.
The fact that they are facing the Lakers adds an extra layer of excitement for their fans, and Malone welcomes the prospect of a passionate atmosphere at Ball Arena.
Both teams are known for their fast-paced style of play, but the high altitude of Denver could potentially pose a challenge for the Lakers, who are not as accustomed to such conditions.
However, Nuggets’ superstar Nikola Jokic downplays the significance of altitude, attributing their success to their own abilities rather than external factors.
Jokic highlights the Lakers’ ability to secure homecourt advantage in the previous rounds by winning Game 1 on the road, and he hopes the Nuggets can prevent them from doing the same in Denver.
As the game approaches, Jokic remains tight-lipped about any strategic takeaways from their past playoff encounters that could benefit the Nuggets this time around. The team is solely focused on their performance in the present moment, leaving fans and analysts eagerly anticipating their approach to this critical matchup against the formidable Lakers.
The Nuggets have an opportunity not only to overcome their historical playoff struggles against the Lakers but also to establish themselves as legitimate contenders in the Western Conference. The stage is set, and all eyes will be on Ball Arena as these two powerhouses collide in their quest for NBA glory.
Information from AP used