The Denver Nuggets and Los Angeles Lakers is one NBA rivalry that’s heating up. It’s only right they kick things off for the 2023-24 season. Get your popcorn ready, folks.

Catch the game tomorrow, October 25th, at 7:30 AM, Manila time.

HOME: Denver Nuggets (0-0)

Projected starting five:

  • Jamal Murray
  • Kentavious Caldwell-Pope
  • Michael Porter Jr.
  • Aaron Gordon
  • Nikola Jokic

The reigning champions will come in with a lot of confidence. They have most of their roster still intact from last year’s title run, with the high-octane Nikola Jokic and Jamal Murray tandem also in their primes.

The Nuggets and Lakers were deadlocked at 2-2 in last season’s regular season series, but, as you know, Denver swept the Purple and Gold in the West finals. It should be expected for Jokic and Murray to fill the statsheet with their offense–the former averaged a triple-double (27.8 PPG, 14.5 PPG, 11.8 APG) in those four contests, while the latter put up 32.3 points on 52.7% shooting.

Shooters Kentavious Caldwell-Pope and Michael Porter Jr., as well as athletic forward Aaron Gordon, should be able to provide damage too. We’ll be able to see more of the same from their 2023 playoff surge.

The Nuggets averaged 115.8 PPG last season, while allowing 112.5.

AWAY: Los Angeles Lakers (0-0)

Projected starting five:

  • D’Angelo Russell
  • Austin Reaves
  • Taurean Prince
  • LeBron James
  • Anthony Davis

After that rough, WCF sweep courtesy of the Nuggets, best believe that the Lakers will have revenge on their minds. However, they’d have to show that the new-look supporting cast has gelled with the mainstays. It hasn’t looked particularly nice as they lost four of their six preseason contests.

LeBron James and Anthony Davis remain as the two primary options (obviously), with D’Angelo Russell and the ever-rising Austin Reaves as the secondary guys. It’ll be interesting to see Reaves in this new role. He’s now a bona fide starter that’s expected to produce, as opposed to the past two years where he’s a pleasant surprise off the bench. 

The new ‘3 and D’ guy, Taurean Prince, will be interesting as well. He looks to be a good fit alongside the carry-overs, but will see if he can adjust well in the overall dynamics.

The Lakers scored 117.2 PPG last season, while allowing 116.6.


Handicap: The Nuggets (-5) showcase that fine offense again. They look good to cover the spread.

Over/Under: The total goes under 228.