KEY POINTS

  • The Denver Nuggets are coming off a comeback victory against the Los Angeles Clippers
  • Lakers star LeBron James shared his thoughts in preparation for Nikola Jokic
  • Jokic and Jamal Murray have had a historic postseason run in the bubble

An unexpected Western Conference Finals matchup is scheduled on Friday between the Denver Nuggets and the Los Angeles Lakers. Prior to game one, LeBron James shared his thoughts on what he expects from the Nuggets.

While it was heavily anticipated that the Lakers would face off against the Clippers, Nikola Jokic and Jamal Murray surprised everyone expecting a battle of Los Angeles. Despite trailing 3-1 for the second straight postseason series, the Nuggets pulled through with another historic comeback.

This puts the Lakers in a matchup against a team with momentum on their side. For James, he mentions that their opponents should not be underestimated with the kind of playoffs they’ve had.

"Very resilient, very confident, very driven, very well-coached team," James said, as reported by ESPN.

Led by Jokic and Murray, the two have shown immense performances that will be remembered for years to come. The star guard Murray has already tallied multiple offensive outbursts that have saved the Nuggets from elimination. This is coupled with Jokic’s all-around game as a playmaking center.

"It takes a lot of energy, effort, a lot of desperation to be able to come back from a 3-1 deficit. They did it twice. So the respect level is out of this world for what we have for this ballclub. That's how we're going into this series: understanding what they're capable of, where they stand," James added.

It will take some adjustments for the Lakers in the upcoming series. Their Western Conference semifinal matchup against the Houston Rockets involved a lot of small-ball rotations. This time, the Lakers will have to be ready for what seven-footer Jokic brings on the court.

"When you have the best player on the team, one of the best players on the team, not really caring about himself at all for the better of the team, that sends a message to the rest of the group," James continued, referencing Jokic’s style as the Nuggets’ star.

This will be the first time since 2009 that the Nuggets will play in the Western Conference Finals. They lost in that series, coincidentally against the Lakers, and are looking to bounce back and claim a trip to the NBA Finals.

Los Angeles Lakers superstar LeBron James (pictured August 18, 2020) voiced solidarity with the boycott in a tweet, writing, "WE DEMAND CHANGE. SICK OF IT Los Angeles Lakers superstar LeBron James (pictured August 18, 2020) voiced solidarity with the boycott in a tweet, writing, "WE DEMAND CHANGE. SICK OF IT" Photo: GETTY IMAGES NORTH AMERICA / Mike Ehrmann