Nikola Jokic is undoubtedly the biggest problem of LeBron James and the Los Angeles Lakers in the 2023 NBA Western Conference Finals. The Denver Nuggets big man proved that with a sterling performance in the series opener on Tuesday, as he clearly got nearly everything he wanted offensively.
Jokic's shooting display in Game 1 versus the Lakers even had him tying Los Angeles legend Kobe Bryant for a particularly impressive feat in the playoffs, per Shane Young of Forbes Sports.
“So, just discovered this while writing on Jokić: He and Kobe Bryant now have the same number of playoff games (10) with at least 30 points on 70% true shooting or better.”
To refresh, Nikola Jokic churned out 34 points on an incredible 12-for-17 shooting from the field in Game 1's 132-126 victory over the Lakers. He drained all three of his attempt from behind the arc and went 7-for-8 from the free-throw line. All told, Jokic posted a 79.4 effective field goal percentage and 82.8 true shooting percentage in that contest.
As great as Nikola Jokic has been all season long, it would be tough for him to sustain that kind of offensive efficiency the rest of the way. However, he can still be expected to be a cut above the rest when it comes to shooting efficiency. For one, he is posting a 60.2 effective field goal percentage and 64.0 true shooting percentage so far in the 2023 NBA Playoffs. There has been no absolute solution for Nikola Jokic, who should continue having success with the ball in the Lakers series.