Home US Sports NBA 2020 NBA Western Conference Finals: A Victor Emerges

2020 NBA Western Conference Finals: A Victor Emerges

The Los Angeles Lakers and the Denver Nuggets will meet for the second time in the NBA Western Conference Finals. The Lakers managed to breeze through Portland and Houston in the first two rounds, while Denver has proven themselves to be true underdogs, coming back from a 3-1 deficit against Utah and the L.A. Clippers. Will the Lakers blow past the Nuggets, or will Denver pull off another unimaginable moment in the playoffs?

 

Screen Shot 2020 09 17 at 1.42.41 PM

Point Guard: LeBron James vs. Jamal Murray
LeBron James is a jack of all trades type of player. He can play just about any position on the court and then some. It shouldn’t surprise anyone that LeBron is playing at the point guard position, when he regularly plays small forward. Nevertheless, LeBron still plays at a high level.

Speaking of high level, Jamal Murray has been nothing short of stellar during the playoffs. He recorded 50 points twice against Utah, which sparked Denver’s comeback throughout their first round series. Now, Murray faces another gargantuan task of going one on one against one of the elite players in the NBA.

Throughout the playoffs, LeBron averages 26.6 points and 10.3 rebounds per game, while Murray averages 27.1 points and 5 rebounds per game. Murray may be coming into his own during the postseason, but he will have to elevate his level of play against one of the best in the league.
Advantage: Los Angeles

Shooting Guard: Kentavious Caldwell-Pope vs. Gary Harris
The matchup between Kentavious Caldwell-Pope and Gary Harris isn’t going to set the series on fire, but what they lack in certain tangibles, they make up for being reliable players that work within the team concept. Neither guy is gonna have numbers that jump out at you in awe as both players average 9.2 points per game. There’s not much to say about this matchup, but if you want to see team players doing whatever they can for their team, then by all means, sit back and enjoy.
Advantage: Even

Small Forward: Danny Green vs. Jerami Grant
These playoffs have not been too kind to Danny Green. His shooting has been erratic and inconsistent, a far cry from the San Antonio Spurs player from the 2013 NBA Finals, who made six three-pointers. Jump to now, and Green has managed to make it this far, thanks to being a part of teams with elite players.

Jerami Grant, on the other hand, has time to grow into a player of his own. Though he hasn’t put up decent numbers, that hasn’t stopped him from being a reliable player for the Nuggets. Grant, much like Green, has to be thankful that he has high caliber players in Murray and Nikola Jokic doing the heavy lifting, but Grant will have to do his part.

Green averages 8.5 points per game, while Grant averages 10.1 points per game during the postseason. Both players haven’t scored much throughout the playoffs, but in the Western Conference Finals, there’s always room for improvement and very little for error.
Advantage: Denver

Power Forward: Markieff Morris vs. Paul Millsap
Markieff Morris and Paul Millsap are two bigs who do the dirty work for their respective teams, but in this matchup, it would feel a bit one-sided. Morris will have to put up a stance against Millsap, who averages 4.1 rebounds per game. Much like the matchup KCP and Harris, this isn’t gonna set the series on fire, however, this isn’t Millsap’s first Conference Finals rodeo.
Advantage: Denver

 

nikola jokic denver nuggets

Center: Anthony Davis vs. Nikola Jokic
The center matchup between Anthony Davis and Nikola Jokic will be a must-see matchup. Both players have been stellar throughout the playoffs, putting on double-double and triple-double performances. While this may be their first NBA Conference Finals appearance, their numbers are also similar.

Davis averages 27.6 points and 10.9 rebounds per game, while Jokic averages 25.4 points and 10.8 rebounds per game during the postseason. A marquee matchup between two players with similar skill sets, and a true battle down in the post. Expect AD and Joker to pull out all the stops.
Advantage: Even

Bench:
The Los Angeles Lakers’ bench consist of veteran players who have experience of playing in the Finals in Rajon Rondo, Dwight Howard, JaVale McGee, plus young players like Kyle Kuzma and Alex Caruso. Denver’s bench consist of Michael Porter Jr., Mason Plumlee, Torrey Craig, Will Barton, and Bol Bol. In the West Semifinals, the Lakers benched their bigs against Houston, but now they’ll be utilized to go up against Jokic and Bol. Expect the Lakers to go deep into their bench with their bigs and experienced vets.
Advantage: Los Angeles

Coach:
Frank Vogel is no stranger to reaching the NBA Conference Finals, having done so twice with the Indiana Pacers in 2013 and 2014. This will be Vogel’s third time back to the Conference Finals and first time leading the Lakers in a decade. Michael Malone, on the other hand, makes his Conference Finals debut, having led the comeback for the Nuggets in both occasions. Vogel looks to make the third time a charm for himself as he looks to get the Lakers back to the Finals. Malone may have gotten Denver far, but how much can he push them to their first Finals appearance?
Advantage: Los Angeles

The NBA Western Conference Finals will be a marquee matchup of LeBron and AD taking on a rising Jamal Murray and an all-star in Jokic. The key factor for the Lakers will be not only LeBron, but also proven vets who have played in the Finals and looking to get back. Denver’s key factor will be their team chemistry and helping one another as a solid unit like they’ve done so many times.

This series has a David vs. Goliath feel to it, with many believing that the Lakers will reach the Finals, but will Denver play spoiler once again? One can imagine how much grit and fight the Nuggets will have left. In the regular season, the Lakers won 3 of their 4 meetings. It should be also noted that both teams faced each other in the 2009 NBA Western Conference Finals, in which the Lakers prevailed in six.
Prediction: Either team in 6 or 7.

The NBA Western Conference Finals take place tonight at 9pm on TNT.

56e08ba75e40ea730be3f70f319d26d8?s=117&d=mm&r=g
ronnybasketballhttps://worldinsport.com/
NBA Writer at World in Sport

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

RELATED ARTICLES

Billy Joe Saunders Defends WBO Title against Martin Murray on December 4.

Eddie Hearn of Matchroom Boxing has today confirmed that WBO Super Middleweight Champion Billy Joe Saunders will make his return to the ring after a one-year layoff. Saunders will defend his WBO Crown against fellow Brit Martin Murray on December 4 on Sky Sports and DAZN. A contest between Saunders and Murray has been scheduled two times prior for Saunders' WBO Middleweight Belt in 2018 but postponed both times due to injuries from Billy Joe. Murray...

Super Rugby Unlocked 2020: Bulls Vs Sharks

Every South African rugby fan will shift their attention to Loftus Versveld, Pretoria this Saturday at the Super Rugby Unlocked the latest game between the Blue Bulls and The Sharks; both with plenty of pride to play for in this South African rugby derby. Both Bulls and Sharks have a vast blend of youth and experience, as both teams are leading contenders to lift the South African Super Rugby Unlocked trophy this year. Previous Meetings: In many...

UFC 254: Khabib vs Gaethje – Main Card Preview

Main Card Preview UFC 254: UFC 254: Khabib vs. Gaethje will take place on October 24, 2020, at the Flash Forum on Yas Island, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates. Khabib will look to defend his UFC title against Justin Gaethje in a fight Island classic for the ages. The co-main event features former middleweight champion Robert Whittaker taking on rising top contender Jared Cannonier. The 3 Fights To Look Forward To; Khabib Nurmagomedov vs Justin Gaethje Khabib Nurmagomedov...

Evander Holyfield – The Real Deal

Boxers have always had nicknames; sometimes chosen by themselves, sometimes bestowed upon them by the public or some other third party. The point of a nickname has either been to in some way highlight the intimidation factor of the boxer, or to help with the marketing of the fighter through the “catchiness” of the name. There’ve been some doozies, too. Jake “The Raging Bull” LaMotta, “Sugar” Ray Robinson, Seales, or Leonard, “Iron” Mike Tyson, or...

Can Barcelona Achieve Success This Season?

Will it be the fourth year that Barcelona faces a humiliating season or will they get their hands on the Champions League trophy for the sixth time? It has been a long time since 2015, that Barcelona last won the Champions League. What’s more disheartening are the heavy losses, the team has been suffering for the past few years. Obviously, last year's famous 8-2 thrashing from Bayern Munich highlighted the hollowness created in the team. And...

Fabinho Acrobatics Seals Liverpool Win

Reds opean European campaign with a win and solid defensive display

The Rejuvenation of Isaiah Thomas During the Pandemic

Isaiah Thomas has seen highs and lows like no other all-star in the NBA. From being an MVP candidate who finished 3rd in regular-season - MVP voting averaging of 29 points per game, to being traded the next year. And then being traded two more times from Washington to Denver and then on to the LA Clippers and then cut by the Clippers, it has been a real roller-coaster ride (not a good one)...

Lazio FC – The Rich History of SocietĂ  Sportiva Lazio

Lazio Football Club is an Italian football club based in Rome, known mainly for their love for the beautiful game of soccer. They are annual participants in the Italian top league, Serie A, and usually pull their weight in challenging for titles and trophies. They have been Italian Scudetto winners twice in 1974 and 2000, and have lifted the prestigious Coppa Italia a whopping seven times, the Supercoppa Italiana three times and the European collections...

2020 World Series Preview/ Exciting Championship Reviews

A preview of the Dodger facing off against the Rays in the World Series. The Braves-Dodgers and Rays-Astros series wrap-up.

Estrada Headlines World Title Triple Header on October 23

Matchroom USA will return to North America for the first time in over 8 weeks with an exciting World championship Triple Header topped by pound-for-pound star Juan Francisco Estrada. Estrada defends his WBC and Ring magazine belts against Carlos Cuadras in a rematch of their 'Mexican War' which took place in 2017. Roman Gonzalez faces off against Israel Gonzalez for Chocolatito's WBA (Super) Super-Flyweight title in the co-main event. The Nicaraguan won the title by...
Do NOT follow this link or you will be banned from the site!