Basketball

NBA Western Conference Finals Prediction

Well, even though many were expecting the battle of L.A, it looks like this could be just as interesting of a matchup, if not better. In this series, there are two duos of players that will be the major factors in influencing the outcome of this series. 

On one side, there is the matchup between ,who is believed to be, the best offensive center in the NBA in Nikola Jokic and ,who is believed to be, the best defensive power forward in the NBA in Anthony Davis. While many people may consider him to be a center, Davis has actually stated in the past that he highly dislikes playing in that position. This is because Davis is not a fan of being in the middle where he is susceptible to a good number of bumps and bruises, he prefers a more open position like power forward where he has more room to move around the basket to defend. In the playoffs so far, both are very similar in average ppg and rpg with Jokic averaging about 25.4 points and 10.8 rebounds while Davis is averaging about 27.6 points and 10.9 rebounds. While those are impressive stats, the numbers that help people know why they have been given the names mentioned earlier are in assists and blocks. In assists, Jokic has the advantage with averaging about 6 assists while Davis averages about 4.1. In blocks, Jokic being more offensive oriented is averaging only about 1.0 blocks with Davis having the clear advantage at 1.5. Even though numbers are convincing, by watching the games it is easy to tell which side of the game each player is more proficient in. With Jokic you see him catch fire on offense with hot streaks from the three point line and circus shots that people cannot believe actually go in, while on the defensive end he tries his best to defend the basket, but more often than not people are able to get past him with a quick step and score. With Davis, while he does have the ability to put up the same stats offensively as Jokic, he is also considered a defensive threat with using his large wingspan to affect any shot in his path and his large build in general to stop anyone from getting to the rim. Needless to say, these two players will more than likely have an engaging time going against one another. 

On the other side of these two duos are the players that have been considered the faces of these two impressive teams throughout these playoffs. For the Lakers, it is not surprising that the face of the team has been the multi-time MVP and future hall of famer, Lebron James who is having another impressive playoff run averaging a double-double with 26.6 ppg and 10.3 rpg. For the Nuggets, it is the impressive young all-star Jamal Murray who has had a phenomenal playoff run with an average of 27.1 ppg while also being very beneficial for the offense of others with averaging about 6.4 apg, along with four games of 40+ points. Overall, with these two phenomenal players combined with their dominant big men, this will definitely be a series where every game goes down to the wire. 

Along with these two duos, both teams are filled with young role players looking for their time to shine. In this series, look out for Michael Porter Jr. for the Nuggets who has continually been looking like the star he was in college. Porter Jr. will be someone the Lakers will be sleeping on all series and help bolster the Nuggets attacking regime.

Many questions  still revolve around this series. Will the experienced and champion filled Lakers team have an advantage over this youthful Nuggets team? Will the Lakers easy playoff run be their disadvantage against this perseverant Nuggets team? Finally, will the magic that has been on the Nuggets side while completing two back-to-back comebacks from being down 3-1 in the same playoff year, which is something no team has ever done in the history of the NBA, finally run out? This is definitely a difficult series to predict a winner for. However, in the end this will be an engaging seven game series, with the Nuggets continuing their historical playoff run to the NBA Finals. The Murray-Jokic Dynamic Duo will be too much for the Lebron-David tandem. The energy that the Nuggets stars have will keep the Lakers on their toes and end up costing them the series.

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