LeBron James: Series Against Nuggets Shouldn’t Be ‘Personal’ For Lakers
LeBron James, Jamal Murray, Lakers, Nuggets
Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY Sports

The Los Angeles Lakers got the rematch they wanted as they’re set to take on the Denver Nuggets in the first round of the 2024 NBA Playoffs.

The Nuggets have owned the Lakers in the past year, sweeping both the 2023-24 regular season series and their Western Conference Finals clash last year.

Los Angeles will once again enter the series as the underdog, though the team is in better position thanks to LeBron James, who has looked locked in and healthy on the floor.

Ahead of the first round matchup, James explained why he doesn’t believe things between the Lakers and Nuggets should be personal despite the battled they’ve had and eight straight losses.

“It shouldn’t be personal at all,” James said. “I think you allow yourself to get away from the game plan if you make it personal. We have a game plan, just go out there and execute it and you live with the results… I just stay even-keeled.

“I’ve been in the postseason way too long in my career to know that you don’t get too high off of Game 1 or get too high over whoever the matchup is. You gotta just stay even-keeled. There’s gonna be a lot of swings throughout the course of the game, throughout the course of a series. And it’s how long you can just keep your mind even-keeled and keep the main thing the main thing. They’re a great team. We know what we’re capable of. But the game is not won in the transcripts. The game is won in between the four lines. And that’s all that matters.”

Denver’s late-game execution has been the difference between the two teams, and James emphasized the need to play mistake-free basketball and be better in all areas of the game.

“We just got to be better all around,” LeBron added. “Obviously it’s a great team that we’re playing against, a team that won a championship so they’ve been in a lot of big games and know what they want to get to late in games. We just have to be very disciplined and have our mind into it throughout the course of 48 minutes or however long it takes. It’s gonna be challenging, but that’s what the postseason is all about. It should be.”

Lastly, James revealed his message to the team before they see the Nuggets on Saturday.

“Just be ready to go. Hold yourself accountable, take all the information that’s been given by the coaching staff and apply it to the floor and just stay present. Stay present throughout the whole game.”

The purple and gold have a chance to prove they can compete with the defending champs and James will surely be giving it his all.

Nikola Jokic details huge respect for Lakers

Nikola Jokic seems to agree with LeBron James’ belief that things don’t need to be personal between the two teams. In fact, Jokic detailed his great respect for the Lakers ahead of the series.

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