NBA Western Convention Finals: Key matchup, high performers, and extra

The Los Angeles Lakers are in search of their thirty third journey to the NBA Finals. LeBron James is in search of his eleventh. And the Denver Nuggets are in search of their first.

Denver has been the staff that everybody has chased within the Western Convention for a lot of the season. The Nuggets moved atop the convention standings in mid-December and stayed there the remainder of the way in which. The Lakers began 2-10 and didn’t spend a single day over the .500 mark till March 31. However they’re 18-6 of their final 24 video games. That is the NBA’s finest file over that span.

Key matchup: Denver’s Nikola Jokic vs. the Lakers’ Anthony Davis. Jokic can’t be stopped. The 2-time MVP is Mr. Every thing for Denver, a triple-double machine who makes scoring, passing and rebounding look really easy. However Davis is among the finest defenders within the sport and certain one of many few gamers within the NBA who actually could make life tough for somebody as robust and expert as Jokic.

Damage watch: There isn’t a lot to report right here. James and Davis have nagging points that require them to be on the harm report, however until one thing else occurs, they’re at all times going to play.

Numbers of observe: Denver is 40-7 at dwelling this season, on tempo for the NBA’s finest dwelling file since Golden State went 45-5 in 2016-17. … It’s a rematch of the 2020 West finals from the NBA’s bubble restart, gained by the Lakers in 5 video games on their strategy to a seventeenth championship.

Amongst those that performed in that sequence, solely two Lakers (James and Davis) and three Nuggets (Jokic, Jamal Murray and Michael Porter Jr.) stay with these golf equipment. Kentavious Caldwell-Pope was a Laker then; he’s a Nugget now.

James averaged 25 factors in three video games vs. Denver this season, whereas Davis averaged 18.3 factors and 11 rebounds. … For the Nuggets, Jokic was one help shy of averaging a triple-double (23.3 factors, 12.3 rebounds, 9.8 assists) towards the Lakers this season, and Murray averaged 22.8 factors. … The Lakers and Nuggets haven’t confronted off since Jan. 9.

The one participant to start out for the Lakers in all 4 video games towards Denver this season was Patrick Beverley — who’s not with them. LA used 18 totally different gamers towards Denver this season; eight of them not play for the Lakers.

TOP PERFORMERS: Jokic is taking pictures 63.2% and averaging 24.5 factors for the Nuggets. Murray is averaging 2.8 made 3-pointers during the last 10 video games for Denver.

Anthony Davis is averaging 25.9 factors, 12.5 rebounds and two blocks for the Lakers. LeBron James is averaging 23.2 factors, 9.7 rebounds and 5.6 assists over the previous 10 video games for Los Angeles.

LAST 10 GAMES: Nuggets: 7-3, averaging 116.5 factors, 43.4 rebounds, 25.3 assists, 7.7 steals and three.6 blocks per sport whereas taking pictures 49.3% from the sector. Their opponents have averaged 109.3 factors per sport.

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