Lakers News: LeBron James Explains What Makes Nuggets So Hard To Beat
LeBron James, Nikola Jokic, Lakers, Nuggets
Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

LeBron James and the Los Angeles Lakers find themselves sitting at home watching the 2024 NBA Playoffs after being eliminated in the first round by the Denver Nuggets.

Despite strong series showings from Anthony Davis and James, the Lakers were dispatched in five games which sets up an eventful summer.

James was as healthy as he’s been in years, but failed to lead Los Angeles over the hump against the defending champions. James previously reflected on what it was like to lose to the Nuggets for the second consecutive year but he later explained what makes them so hard to beat in a playoff series on his Mind the Game podcast with JJ Redick:

“I think obviously it starts with Joker. But I don’t think Jamal Murray gets enough credit. He’s not a part of the All-NBA conversation, discourse. He’s not a part of the, ‘I’m an All-Star every year’ discourse, all that shit. I think people get caught up in just thinking it’s Joker. Joker, Joker, how do you stop Joker? Man, when it comes to nut-crunching time, yes, Joker going to make a lot of plays, but it’s that motherf—– Jamal Murray that will send you home and I’m a victim of it. He just makes plays. It’s a sense of calmness when the ball is in his hands and they’re working either that clear side 1-5 pick-and-roll or that mid pick-and-roll or that angle pick-and-roll where he’s either handling and Joker is setting it or he’s playing touch game to Joker where he can come off full speed with the ability to go backdoor. He’s so shifty, the stepbacks going right…. And then to add on to those two guys, Michael Porter Jr. is a f—— laser. I don’t know if it’s just cause he sees the Lakers or the gold or whatever, but I feel like versus us that motherf—– don’t miss. He does not miss… And then those other two guys. You got KCP out there, a guy who’s just a winner who makes winning plays. He could have zero points, he could have 15 points, and he’s going to make an impact on the game. And the same with Aaron Gordon. Aaron Gordon if he has two points or if he has 20 points, his impact doesn’t change. He’s gonna rebound, he knows his role, he’s gonna be in the dunker, he’s gonna slash from the baseline, he’s gonna guard. I just think they’re super well-organized as a group and then obviously their coaching staff is pretty damn good on knowing what their strengths are and they go to their strengths. They avoid their weakness.”

As James notes, Denver’s starting five is a well-oiled machine that understands what it needs to do to win games. Couple with an excellent coaching staff, the Nuggets could very well repeat as champions assuming their core stays healthy.

LeBron James shares high praise for Michael Porter Jr.

Michael Porter Jr. was the catalyst in multiple losses for Los Angeles and LeBron James went on to give him high praise after their postseason series was over.

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