Lakers vs. Nuggets: What Scouts Expect in Western Conference Finals

Los Angeles Lakers and Denver Nuggets have set the stage for an eagerly awaited Western Conference finals matchup, which features two formidable teams led by LeBron James and Anthony Davis from one side, Nikola Jokic and Jamal Murray on another, respectively. Scouts and insiders believe these key players’ performances will greatly determine the result of this series. Let’s dive into the insights shared by scouts, a coach, and a front-office executive regarding the Lakers vs. Nuggets showdown.

Scouting Analysis

Scout No. 1

Scout No. 1 believes the Lakers match up better against Denver than against Memphis and Golden State due to Denver’s size and motivation advantage, due to Lakers struggles with dynamic guards. However, the scout stresses the need for the Lakers to limit Jokic’s supporting cast even if that means allowing him to score more frequently to wear down Jokic and tire him out more.

According to their coach’s assessment, the Lakers have displayed championship-level resilience. Role players have come through at key moments. Now the focus shifts toward how Anthony Davis could defend Jokic; his coach suggests employing another secondary defender off the ball to disrupt Jokic’s game and stop Jokic from having an advantage in play.

A front office executive spotlighted Denver’s defensive improvements and Lakers’ challenge of containing Jokic. While Aaron Gordon can defend LeBron to some extent, this executive was concerned by how Anthony Davis would handle Jokic given their earlier struggles when guarded by Anthony Davis during the regular season. This executive suggested allowing Jokic to become more of a scorer while lessening his playmaking impact.

Scout No. 2

Scout No. 2 holds the view that the Lakers can succeed if Anthony Davis remains healthy, which could also impact Nikola Jokic’s game and challenge Denver to neutralize both players as major threats for Los Angeles. Jamal Murray may provide enough value in helping Denver secure victory against Los Angeles during this highly-competitive Western Conference finals playoff series.

Game Strategy and X-Factors:

As well as being guided by scouts and insiders, several key aspects will play a part in shaping the Lakers vs. Nuggets series: game strategy and any outside influences could drastically change its outcome.


For the Lakers, utilizing their size advantage and physicality will be key in winning this series. LeBron James and Anthony Davis possess the talent needed to dominate inside while exploiting Nuggets defensive weaknesses. For optimal success against Denver, Lakers should focus on creating an intimidating presence inside while capitalizing on their experience and playoff history.

On defense, keeping Nikola Jokic under control will be an uphill struggle for the Lakers. Although Anthony Davis may be effective at disrupting Jokic’s game, their overall defensive approach will also play an integral part. They must find an equilibrium between pressuring Jokic while still preventing him from setting up teammates; double teams may be employed or help come from different directions to keep Jokic off balance.

The Lakers’ supporting cast will play an equally pivotal role. While LeBron James and Anthony Davis will lead, they must rely on consistent contributions from players like Dennis Schroder, Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, and Kyle Kuzma as reliable backup. Bench depth will be key as it must outperform Denver Nuggets reserves to regain momentum for themselves.

Jamal Murray will be a critical factor for the Nuggets as they pursue postseason glory this season. Murray has proven his offensive prowess in playoff games before, such as his phenomenal playmaking alongside Jokic last season in the bubble round. If Murray can continue providing both scoring and playmaking capabilities to increase their chances of advancement.

Another X-factor for the Nuggets will be how Aaron Gordon and Michael Porter Jr. handle their defensive responsibilities against LeBron James; if Gordon can provide strong protection on LeBron, and Porter Jr. develops his game defensively further, this will ease some of Jokic’s burden while permitting Denver to be more versatile when selecting matchesups.

Coaching adjustments will be crucial throughout the series. Lakers coach Darvin Ham and his staff must devise new tactics to reduce Jokic’s impact and exploit any defensive vulnerabilities within Denver’s lineup, while Nuggets coach Michael Malone must devise plans that neutralize Lakers offensive firepower while creating consistent scoring chances for his squad.


As the Lakers and Nuggets prepare to meet in the Western Conference finals, various expectations from scouts, coaches, and front office executives highlight what factors may shape this series. The Lakers must manage Jokic’s playmaking while relying on LeBron James and Anthony Davis’ dynamic duo for support, while Jamal Murray may add valuable contributions for Denver. Set for an electrifying series that promises to showcase strategic adjustments and individual brilliance, whether the Lakers or Nuggets emerge victorious will only add another thrilling chapter in this tournament that promises a spot in the NBA Finals 2023. Basketball fans are in for a treat as these two teams battle it out for supremacy.

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