HomeSportsThree takeaways from the Nuggets beating LeBron to knock the Lakers out...

Three takeaways from the Nuggets beating LeBron to knock the Lakers out of the playoffs

Los Angeles – On the doorstep of the franchise’s first trip to the NBA Finals, the Denver Nuggets were on the loose.

They were joking during the pregame warm-up hours before tip-off. deandre jordan adding exclamations to players’ dunks, and Jeff Green Laughing while he was trying to get physical with a coach. Nikola Jokic closed out his warmup with a dunk against the poor, little helper tasked with providing token defense — then the joker laughed and taunted him as “too small.”

Maybe the Nuggets were a bit too casual to begin with Lebron James And the Lakers jumped out to a 15-point halftime lead. Although the Nuggets shifted their focus in the second half, they were once again more clutch than the Lakers and pulled out a 113–110 victory.

The Nuggets are headed to the franchise’s first NBA Finals (which don’t start until June 1st), while the Lakers are heading into an interesting off-season.

Here are three takeaways from the closeout game.

1) LeBron Wasn’t Ready To End His 20th Season, Took The Lakers

At age 38, in his 20th season, LeBron James was the best player in a Conference Finals game.

Think about that for a second.

He played all four seconds and nearly led his team to victory (as he had done for lesser teams 15 years earlier). LeBron came out on 7-of-9 shooting en route to 21 first-quarter points. He scored 31 points in the first half – his highest-scoring half ever in the playoffs – on 11-of-13 shooting, including 4-of-4 from beyond the arc.

How well were things going for LeBron? Everything was going in, even near them.

LeBron’s effort and forceful play pulled the Lakers into a game that night that seemed like some of their players were mentally on vacation already, down 0-3 in the series. The Lakers were putting the ball in the paint with dribble penetration, stopping and running, making good decisions with their passes, and talking coach darwin ham It was expected that they would do all season. The Lakers led 73–58 at the half, posting a 156.5 offensive rating for the first 24 minutes.

Lakers fans daring to dream a little…

2) In the second half, the Nuggets showed why they are the better team

The Denver Nuggets are absolutely better than these Lakers.

This became increasingly apparent after halftime when the Nuggets went on a 23–6 run, quickly making it a close game, and then Denver took their first lead with 4:39 left at one. Kentavious Caldwell-Pope,

LeBron said of the Nuggets, “We’re the best team we’ve ever been on in our four years together.”

“There’s not a hole in their system. They’re missing nothing, Austin Reeves Said. “You’ve got two guys — you’ve got Jamal and you’ve got Jokic — and then you have, literally, if you get a chance to pick a team until the system fits, that’s it. You’ve got a cutter in Gordon, you’ve got guys like who can actually shoot the ball, and then you’ve got stuff like ‘doing the dirty’, not dirty players bruce brown, Jeff Green, and you go to their bench as well. It’s a really, really good basketball team all in all.

After LeBron emptied the tank and had to pick his spots, while at the same time the Nuggets were far more dialed down on defense. At the same time, Jokic rolled toward a 30-point, 14-rebound, and 13-assist triple-double. It was Jokic’s eighth triple-double, the most for a player in a single season. He is now averaging a triple-double in two consecutive series.

Jokic scored the game-winner on one drive and proved to be an astute runner across the lane.

LeBron had a chance to tie as time expired but Jamal Murray Read the play – he said he remembered it after the game because the Lakers rallied against Indiana – as Halep slid down the defender and tied up LeBron, leading to a 113–111 win.

Murray added 25 points and Aaron Gordon Had his best game of the series, finishing with 22 points and playing good defense.

The Nuggets deserved to celebrate a historic achievement – the franchise’s first trip to the NBA Finals. It also validates the faith of Jokic, Murray and the organization in them.

3) LeBron’s cryptic postgame comments will dominate the stories the next day

Celebrating the Nuggets’ achievements will have to wait (there is more than a week before their start). For now, LeBron will be in the spotlight — and not just for his 40-point game.

At the end of his postgame press conference, LeBron James answered a question about how he personally evaluates the season.

“It was a very challenging season for me, for our ballclub, and obviously we know that whatever happened (in the season)…” LeBron said. It was cool, a really cool ride. But I do not know. I don’t know I think it was fine. I don’t like to say it’s a successful year because at this point in my career I don’t play for anything other than winning championships. You know, it doesn’t do me any good to make an appearance at the conference (final). I’ve done it, a lot. And not being a part of reaching the finals is not fun for me.

“But we’ll see. We’ll see. We’ll see what happens next. I don’t know. I don’t know. To be honest, I have a lot to think about. To be honest, I have a lot to think about.” Just for me personally moving forward with the game of basketball, I have a lot to think about.

Did he mean retirement? In fact? other reports say yes,

Inside that room, in my ears, LeBron’s comments read as a shot across the bow of exhaustion, frustration, and the Lakers’ front office needing to go all-in next season.

The fatigue and frustration were obvious to anyone watching the game—he played all but four seconds of a 48-minute game and dropped 40 points while carrying his team, which wasn’t enough. And remember that all of that was on a bad leg that will likely require him to have surgery after the season.

Which leads GM Rob Pelinka and the front office to their not-so-subtle message. LeBron can occasionally shine like he did in Game 4, but he can’t carry the team the way he’s had to for much of this season. Anthony Davis is Anthony Davis, and LeBron wants more help. Elite Help. ,Kyrie Irving was courtside for Game 4 and is a free agent. LeBron has played with him before, and while league sources say Lakers management is hesitant to add Irving to the mix — and he’s likely to re-sign in Dallas anyway — ignoring the imagery was difficult.)

The Lakers Will Have To Pay More Than They Want To to keep Austin Reeves, and they’ll re-sign Rui Hachimura also followed his performance in these playoffs. LeBron’s postgame comments emerge more as a threat to push management into bold moves — and to spend — and not just try to do more with next season.

Don’t bet on LeBron retiring, especially if he thinks he might be playing in a league with his son, Brony, in a few years. But being eliminated from the playoffs would one man re-evaluate things.

Three takeaways from the Nuggets beating LeBron to knock the Lakers out of the playoffs originally appeared



Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

Most Popular