The Denver Nuggets have a chance to make history this postseason if they advance past the Conference Finals. As a franchise, the Nuggets only have one Finals appearance and it was when they were still a part of the ABA. They joined the NBA in the 1976-77 season and have not made a Finals appearance as an NBA team. A win in Game 1 tonight would be a great start to that ultimate goal.
Since joining the NBA in 1976-77, the Nuggets have made the Western Conference Finals four times. They are 0-4 in those appearances. Their most recent chance was in 2020 during the NBA bubble. Ironically, their matchup that series was vs the Lakers. It’s fitting that the Nuggets will once again have to go through LeBron James if they want to make the NBA Finals.
Tonight, Colorado Sports Betting sites have the Nuggets at (-240) to win Game 1 at home.
The Nuggets are 6-0 at home in these playoffs.
They are 1 win away from their longest home win streak to start a postseason. pic.twitter.com/pT46zFm6bP
— ESPN Stats & Info (@ESPNStatsInfo) May 16, 2023
Denver would love to start the series with a win tonight vs the Lakers
The Denver Nuggets are a franchise that has never gotten over the hump of the Conference Finals since joining the NBA 45 years ago. On the other hand, the Lakers have made 26 NBA Finals appearances since the Nuggets joined the NBA. That just shows the disparity between the two franchises and how hard it is for some teams to break through to a championship level.
With Jamal Murray listed as questionable tonight vs the Lakers, we may see a monster performance from Nikola Jokic. The two-time MVP is averaging 30/12/9 this postseason. Murray is the second-highest scorer for Denver this postseason. He also dishes out the second-most assists for the Nuggets in the 2023 playoffs.
Jokic will have his hands full on the defensive end tonight and will have to exert a lot of energy on that end of the floor if he wants to slow down Anthony Davis. That is going to be a key matchup for this series. So far, when Davis plays well this postseason, the Lakers win. When he has an off night, they usually lose.