LeBron James Tips Cap To Nikola Jokic & Nuggets, Who He Says Is Best Team He’s Faced Since Joining Lakers
Nikola Jokic, LeBron James, Lakers, Nuggets
Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

With the season on the line, LeBron James came out with everything he had for the Los Angeles Lakers. But in the end, it just wasn’t enough as Nikola Jokic the Denver Nuggets fought back to win Game 4 and complete the sweep of the Lakers, avenging their loss in the 2020 Western Conference Finals and advancing to their first NBA Finals.

The Lakers tried everything they could to slow down the Nuggets with different lineups, strategies and approaches, but in the end Denver was simply better. So good in fact that LeBron and Anthony Davis believe they’re the best team they’ve faced since coming together in Los Angeles.

“Me and AD were just talking in the locker room for a little bit. I think we came to the consensus, this is if not, one of the best teams, if not the best team, we’ve played together for all four years. Just well orchestrated, well put together. They have scoring. They have shooting. They have play-making. They have smarts. They have length. They have depth. And one thing about their team, when you have a guy like Jokic, who as big as he is but also as cerebral as he is, you can’t really make many mistakes versus a guy like that.

“And even when you guard him for one of the best possessions that you think you can guard him, he puts the ball behind his head Larry Bird style and shoots it 50 feet in the air and it goes in, like he did four or five times this series [laughter]. So you do like this to him [tipping cap].”

As LeBron noted, the Nuggets are just a well put together team as their front office has done an excellent job of surrounding their two-time MVP in Jokic. Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, Aaron Gordon and Bruce Brown all had huge games at different points in addition to guard Jamal Murray returning to the form he showed in the bubble prior to his injuries over the last couple seasons.

But ultimately, it is Jokic who is the centerpiece and when asked if anything the big man did this series surprised James, he said no.

“Nothing. I know how great he is. I know how great Jokic is. There are certain guys in this league that play the game a certain way, a certain way that I like to play the game as well, and he’s one of them where you are always off balance when you are guarding a player like that because of his ability to score, rebound, shoot. He sees plays before they happen. There’s not many guys in our league like that.

“So you already knew you was going against a beast once the series started, and not only just about his game. Everybody gets cracked up into his stats but I don’t think a lot of people talk about, like, this part of his game [indicating cerebral]. Maybe it’s not talked about it, because a lot of people don’t understand it, but I do. He’s special.”

There are certainly times when a team could feel like they were better and simply let the series slip out of their hands, but this wasn’t one of those instances. Without a doubt the Lakers were in the game with a chance to win in the fourth quarter of each contest, but the Nuggets responded better than the Lakers every time and that is the sign of a team just being better and Jokic was the catalyst of that.

The Lakers should be extremely proud of the postseason run they had considering how this season began, but they simply ran into a team and player that was superior and would not be denied.

Lakers’ LeBron James considering retirement this offseason?

LeBron James truly performed at an unbelievable level for a player in his 20th NBA season, but even still, how much he has left in the tank is a reasonable question. One that even LeBron is apparently unsure about.

Reports after the Lakers’ loss are that James is unsure whether he will be back with the Lakers next season and that retirement is a legit option for the Lakers’ superstar after a grueling year.

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