The NBA Conference Finals will continue on Saturday night as the Denver Nuggets and the Los Angeles Lakers meet up in Game 5 of their series. These two teams have met in a great series so far and I expect another good one on Saturday night. Look for both teams to win a pivotal Game 5. This game will tip off at around 9:00 PM Eastern time on TNT.
The Nuggets finished out the regular season with a record of 46-27, which had them in third place of the Western Conference. Denver met up with the Utah Jazz and the Los Angeles Clippers in the first two rounds. In both series the Nuggets erased 3-1 deficits to win the series in seven games. Now Denver finds themselves down 3-1, which they will look for another spectacular comeback.
Los Angeles put up a record of 52-19 throughout the regular season, which had them in first place of the Western Conference. The Lakers dominated in round 1 and 2, beating the Portland Trail Blazers and the Houston Rockets both in five games. Now Los Angeles can knock off the Nuggets in five games to secure a spot in the NBA Finals.
These two teams have fought in a tough series back and forth, but it could come to an end on September 26. The Nuggets have come back from two 3-1 deficits, but will they have enough left in the tank to pull it off again. Denver has competed with the Lakers in this series, but will need to come out stronger if they want to win Game 5.
Game 1 of this series was back on September 18. Jamal Murray and Nikola Jokic both dropped 21 points as the Nuggets fell short. Anthony Davis scored 37 points and 10 rebounds. LeBron James added another 15 points, 12 assists and 6 rebounds. The Lakers were able to jump out to a 1-0 series lead with a 126-114 win.
The second game of the series was on September 20. Nikola Jokic dropped 30 points and 9 assists. Jamal Murray scored another 25 points, but it was not enough. Anthony Davis scored 31 points and 9 rebounds, while LeBron James dropped 26 points and 11 rebounds. Los Angeles finished with a 105-103 win to take a 2-0 series lead.
The third game of the series was back on September 22. LeBron James scored 30 points, 11 assists and 10 rebounds. Anthony Davis finished with 27 points, but this time it was not enough for the Lakers. Jamal Murray scored 28 points and 12 assists and Jerami Grant finished with 26 points. The Nuggets bounced back with a 114-106 win to cut the series down to 2-1.
Game 4 of the series was back on September 24. Jamal Murray scored 32 points and 8 assists. Jerami Grant finished with 17 points, but the Nuggets came up short. Anthony Davis dropped 34 points, while LeBron James put up 26 points, 9 rebounds and 8 assists. The Lakers took control of the series with a 114-108 win in the fourth game.
Field Goal Percentage
The Nuggets have been able to put up a solid shooting percentage throughout this postseason run. Denver has made 47.4 percent of their shots from the field, which is second best of the remaining playoff teams. The Nuggets have also made 38.5 percent of their shots from behind the arc. Denver has shot 50.5 percent from the field and 35.5 percent from deep.
Los Angeles has put up the best field goal percentage of all the playoff teams this season. The Lakers have made 49.5 percent of their shots from the field. Los Angeles has also made 35.4 percent of their shots from deep. In this series, the Lakers have made 49.2 percent of their shots from the field, while also making 33.9 percent of their shots from behind the arc.
The Nuggets have been the better team shooting from the field throughout this series, but Los Angeles has been better from deep. Denver will look to lock up the Lakers more from behind the arc in this series if they want to come back. If the Lakers can dominate from deep, it will open up the paint for them, giving them a good chance to eliminate the Nuggets.
Jamal Murray has stepped up throughout this playoff run. Murray is averaging 27 points per game through the playoffs. Nikola Jokic has averaged 24.5 points and 10 rebounds per game. Michael Porter Jr. is averaging 11.5 points per game, while Jerami Grant has averaged 11 points per game to help round out this lineup.
Anthony Davis and LeBron James are both dominating for the Lakers throughout this playoff run. Davis is averaging 29 points and 9.5 rebounds per game. James has averaged 26 points, 10 rebounds and 9 assists per game. Kyle Kuzma averaged 10.5 points per game, while Kentavious Caldwell-Pope is averaging 10.5 points per game.
These two teams have leaned a lot on their top two players throughout the postseason. Murray and Jokic have been a big reason why the Nuggets have come back from two 3-1 deficits. Denver will need them both to step up again in this series. If Davis and James continue to take over, I think they will knock out the Nuggets in Game 5.
I believe that the Lakers are coming into Game 5 with a lot of momentum, while the Nuggets are running out of gas. After back to back 3-1 comebacks, I believe that the magic will run out for Denver on Saturday night. If Los Angeles can control the pace of play early in this one, they should be able to push ahead to the NBA Finals.
BetOnline has Los Angeles listed at -4 ½ against the spread for this one. This implies that the Lakers will win this game, but Denver has a chance. I think that this line is relatively small though and Los Angeles can cover. The Lakers have been the better team this series and I think they knock off a gassed Nuggets team to move on to the NBA Finals.