WCF - Game 1 recap
Denver looked like the winner for the large majority of the opening game of the WCF but not without a hint of a challenge from the Lake Show.
The sport’s premier performer Nikola Jokic was incredible.
He posted other-worldly numbers in a dominant display. Dominating himself but also making others better - which could be his greatest talent of all.
Anthony Davis - Jokic’s primary opponent - was also huge on his offensive end. No one accuses Jokic of being a defensive stopper but AD had his way down low.
He poured in 40 and looked every part of a championship-winning big man. Because he is, but the man opposite him is in the pursuit of his maiden championship and he was unstoppable in game one.
Lebron James was everywhere, as we’ve come to know and love.
26 points on efficient shooting from two (0-3 from deep) whilst he also came up with a dozen boards and nine assists in a typically great all-around performance.
Denver remain unbeaten at home in these playoffs. At time, this looked a blowout as the Nuggets got up by as many as 21 before a Laker rally closed the gap to three.
Despite the loss, LA may have found something to pursue as the series progresses.
Forward Rui Hachimura switched onto Jokic in Q4 and had some success. His quickness and strength seemed to upset Jokic - to an extent.
Austin Reaves was the other Laker role player to impact. He drained 11 in the fourth to end the game with 23 and eight dimes. Maintaining the rage will be hard but should he remain impactful, these Lakers will be in with a shot across seven games.
Jamal Murray continues to be undersold. He had 31 and Bruce Brown was a live-wire off the pine, scoring freely.
Game 2 remains in Denver on Friday (Aussie time) whilst Miami and Boston get underway in Bean Town tomorrow.
WHAT TO WATCH FOR IN GAME TWO -
* Hachimura guarding Jokic from the get-go.
* James' desire to facilitate as much as score.
* Murray continuing to sneakily play at a high level.