One of the biggest storylines of the upcoming 2023 Western Conference Finals between the Denver Nuggets and the Los Angeles Lakers is the fact that this would be the second time in three years that these teams will be meeting in the same round. Nikola Jokic surely remembers that 2020 series in the bubble against LeBron James and the Lakers, but admitted that he had zero lessons learned from that matchup.
“To be honest, I don’t remember,” Nikola Jokic said when asked about what he learned from the most recent playoffs series the Nuggets had against the Lakers (h/t Mike Singer of the Denver Post).
To refresh everyone's memory, the Lakers defeated Nikola Jokic and the Nuggets in the 2020 Western Conference Finals in the Disney Bubble, four games to one. In that series, Nikola Jokic averaged 21.8 points on 53.2 percent shooting from the field, 7.2 rebounds, and 5.0 assists. Well, Jokic has seemingly gotten a whole lot better since. So far in the 2023 NBA Playoffs, the Serbian big man is averaging 30.7 points on 54.9 field goal percentage, 12.8 rebounds, and 9.7 assists per outing. He is definitely going to be a huge problem, literally and figuratively, for the Lakers, who went on to win the NBA title in 2020 after dispatching the Nuggets.
Jokic's combination of size and skill is a major ingredient to the success of the Nuggets, who are in great position to capture the franchise's first NBA Finals berth in history, as they have homecourt advantage in the Western Conference Finals. Game 1 of the series begins Tuesday night at Ball Center in Denver.