The Denver Nuggets have set foot in the untouchable 3-0 series lead. No team has blown that margin so they all signs point to the franchise’s first conference championship and NBA Finals appearance.
Catch the game tomorrow at 8:30 AM, Manila time.
HOME: Los Angeles Lakers (0-3)
Projected starting five:
- D’Angelo Russell
- Austin Reaves
- Jarred Vanderbilt
- LeBron James
- Anthony Davis
The Lakers have come a long way after a 2-10 start to the season. The ascension has been very good, but unfortunately, they ran into a deep Nuggets team that’s just too much for them.
Anthony Davis (28.7 PPG), LeBron James (23.7 PPG), Austin Reaves (22.7 PPG) are all averaging over 22 points per game in the series, and it would’ve been good if they are able to stop the opposition. James has been forcing too many three-point attempts as well, going a woeful 3-for-19 in the three games thus far, perhaps because his 38-year-old legs can’t attack the basket anymore – some of those should’ve at least gone to Reaves, who’s at 13-for-23 from downtown. Rui Hachimura has been nice, with 17.0 PPG on 63.6% shooting.
Beyond that are underwhelming production. D’Angelo Russell, for one, can only produce 7.0 points on a 29.6% clip (8/27). It’s a far cry from what his Denver counterpart has done, so that’s one of the difference makers too.
LA is scoring 112.3 PPG in the series.
AWAY: Denver Nuggets (3-0)
Projected starting five:
- Jamal Murray
- Kentavious Caldwell-Pope
- Michael Porter Jr.
- Aaron Gordon
- Nikola Jokic
With the way the Nuggets have been playing and carrying themselves this postseason, it’s their time. They are simple deep, so as we’ve seen, one star or a couple of role players having off-nights is no big deal.
Jamal Murray is on fire and should be able to continue his hot streak. He’s lighting up the defense for 35.0 points, 7.3 rebounds, 5.3 assists, and 3.0 steals per game on a 52.1/45.5/93.3 shooting split. Pair that with what Nikola Jokic is doing (27.0 PPG, 14.7 PPG, 11.3 APG), and you’ll immediately see why Denver has dominated the series. If that’s not enough, the secondary guys are also doing their job – Kentavious Caldwell-Pope (15.3 PPG), Michael Porter Jr. (15.0 PPG), and Bruce Brown (14.3 PPG) are all at 14 or more PPG and have combined for 24 threes in the series.
The Nuggets are scoring 119.7 points and sinking 15.3 threes per game in the series.
Handicap: The Nuggets (+3.5) win.
Over/Under: The total goes over 224.