The defending champion Denver Nuggets have won eight in  a row against the Los Angeles Lakers, and look to continue that dominance in their first-round matchup.

Catch the game this Sunday at 8:30 AM, Manila time.

AWAY: Los Angeles Lakers (0-0)

Projected starting five:

  • D’Angelo Russell
  • Austin Reaves
  • LeBron James
  • Rui Hachimura
  • Anthony Davis

The Lakers enter as 12-3 in their last 15 games. They need all the momentum they can get as they are on an eight-game skid vs. the Nuggets, which includes getting swept in the 2023-24 season series and the 2023 Western Conference Finals.

LA averaged 109.0 points per game in its head-to-head with Denver, nine less than its season average. LeBron James leads the team in that series with 24.0 points, 7.0 rebounds, 7.0 assists, and 1.7 steals on 55.4% shooting. Anthony Davis, meanwhile, is at 22.0 points, 9.3 boards, and 3.0 blocks. Austin Reaves (16.0 PPG) and D’Angelo Russell (14.0 PPG) are right behind the two superstars, with the latter being a probable X-Factor considering he struggled mightily in the WCF last year. Rui Hachimura had a big second half in this season, and should look to make his presence felt.

Ultimately, defense and focus will be the big key for the Lakers as the Nuggets are filled with confidence against them.

HOME: Denver Nuggets (0-0)

Projected starting five:

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

The Nuggets are looking pumped to start their postseason title defense. They are a very well-oiled machine, all rooted in their trust in their system, mostly due to their unflappable maestro, Nikola Jokic.

As per usual, Jokic is obliterating the statsheet against an opposition. He has 29.3 points,12.0 rebounds, 9.3 assists, and 1.7 blocks on 55.2% shooting in three wins vs. LAL in the regular season. What’s also great is three other Nuggets also put up 20-plus in the season series – Jamal Murray (24.7 PPG, 9.3 APG), Michael Porter Jr. (21.0 PPG, 10.0 RPG), and Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, granted KCP’s was a one-game sample. Even so, Aaron Gordon is there, and he’s had success tossing his weight around on the Lakers on both ends of the floor.

Denver scored 119.0 PPG in four games vs. the Lakers, and won by an average of 10 points. Expect the Nuggets to keep flexing their superiority.


Spread: Nuggets (-7)

Over/Under: Under (224.5)