The Denver Nuggets could easily have escaped Game 1 of the Western Conference Finals after building an 18-point halftime lead. The Los Angeles Lakers had other plans. A furious comeback in the final quarter brought them three points, but the Lakers couldn’t get over the hump. Denver now leads the series 1-0, but the Lakers have proven they won’t go down without a fight.
This series will be competitive, and that only adds to the excitement of Game 2 on Thursday. Here’s how you can tune it in as the Lakers try to adjust the series one game apiece.
Lakers at the Nuggets – Game 2
- date: Thursday, May 18 | time: 8:30 p.m. ET
- location: Ballpark – Denver
- TV channel: ESPN | Live broadcast: fobo (try for free)
- Live updateskisa: follow along
- Prospect: nuggets -5.5; O/U 226.5 (via Caesars Sportsbook)
Lakers: The Lakers started Game 1 pickup, as Dennis Schroeder joined Austin Reeves and D’Angelo Russell in the first five as he did to finish the Warriors series. This lineup was destroyed, and the Lakers found success with Rui Hachimura in the closing lineup and defense of Nikola Jokic. Will Darvin Hamm go for this look immediately in Game 2? Or is he going to get Hachimura off the bench and fiddle with some other way to slow Jokic down?
Nuggets: Denver offense was excellent in the first game. his defense? Not much. The Lakers played bully ball all night against weaker Nuggets defenders. Anthony Davis scored 40 points. Lebron James was 26 largely by switch catch Jamal Murray. Even Hashimura got in on the fun. The Lakers are bigger and stronger than the Nuggets in many locations, and they are more reliant on offense near the rim. So how do nuggets adapt? Can they find ways to prevent the Lakers from getting a hold of their mismatch?
The Nuggets are now 7-0 at home this postseason and 41-7 in Denver overall. Yes, the Lakers closed the gap late in the first game, but they also showed Denver some of the best adjustments in the process. Now the Nuggets will be gearing up for Hachimura’s match on Jokic, and they’ll have plans to limit what James can do as an offensive catcher. Denver has been the best team in the Western Conference all season, and until someone in their building bests them, they deserve to be favored in all home games. The Pick: Nuggets -5.5
“Infuriatingly humble internet trailblazer. Twitter buff. Beer nerd. Bacon scholar. Coffee practitioner.”
The Heat hold off the Celtics to reach the NBA Finals after nearly snapping the series 3-0
The Miami Heat beat the Boston Celtics in Game 7 to advance to the NBA Finals
Celtics’ Malcolm Brogdon Available for Game 7, per Source: What his return means for Boston