The defending champions Denver Nuggets are looking to make their way back to the NBA Finals, but first, they will have to get through the Los Angeles Lakers. LeBron James' team is looking for revenge after being swept by Denver in the Western Conference last postseason, so it's going to be an interesting battle.

With that being said, in this article, we are going to explain everything that you need to know about the first-round matchup.

Where is Nuggets vs. Lakers?

The Nuggets are the number two team in the Western Conference, meaning they will have homecourt advantage in the first round. Games 1 and 2 will be at the Nuggets' home court, Ball Arena in Denver, Colorado. If the series isn't a sweep this year, Denver would also host Games 5 and 7. Games 3, 4, and 6 would be in Los Angeles, California, at Arena.

How to watch Nuggets vs. Lakers

Game 1: Lakers @ Nuggets on Saturday, April 20 @ 8:30 p.m. ET – ABC

Game 2: Lakers @ Nuggets on Monday, April 22 @ 10 p.m. ET – TNT

Game 3: Nuggets @ Lakers on Thursday, April 25 @ 10 p.m. ET – TNT

Game 4: Nuggets @ Lakers on Saturday, April 27 @ 8:30 p.m. ET – ABC

Game 5 (if necessary): Lakers @ Nuggets on Monday, April 29

Game 6 (if necessary): Nuggets @ Lakers on Thursday, May 2

Game 7 (if necessary): Lakers @ Nuggets on Saturday, May 4

Lakers storylines

Nikola Jokic vs. Anthony Davis in the 2023 Western Conference Finals Nuggets vs. Lakers series
Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY Sports

The Nuggets cruised through the postseason last season. Denver only lost four games en route to winning the NBA Finals, and that included a sweep over the Lakers in the West Finals. Los Angeles is hot right now, though. Including their win over the New Orleans Pelicans in the Play-in Tournament, the Lakers have won 12 of their last 15 games.

LeBron James knows how to win in the postseason. The 20-time All-Star has four championships to his name and has only lost in the first round once in his career.

Although the Lakers weren't able to steal a game away from Denver in the Western Conference Finals last year, they did find some success by deploying Rui Hachimura on Nikola Jokic while using Anthony Davis as a help-side free safety of sorts. Davis is one of the best rim protectors in the NBA, but no one is really able to stop Nikola Jokic.

Instead, of trying to limit the two-time (soon-to-be three-time) MVP, the Lakers let Davis use his reach and athleticism to make it harder for Jokic to find open passing lanes. Denver did find answers to this, but it will be interesting to see if Darvin Ham uses this defensive strategy again.

Offensively, D'Angelo Russell has really picked up his game recently. He has taken a step forward in his first full season with the Lakers, and that was evident in his big performance in the Play-in Tournament. The Lakers will also hope that Austin Reaves will look more like the player he was in the postseason last year. Reaves has been solid for the Lakers this year, but he was on another level in the playoffs last year.

Nuggets storylines

Aaron Gordon vs. Rui Hachimura in the 2023 Western Conference Finals Nuggets vs. Lakers series
Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY Sports

The Nuggets are still the team to beat in the Western Conference. The team didn't capture the 1-seed, and the West is much more stacked than it was last year, but Denver still has a winning pedigree. Last year's NBA Finals win was the first in franchise history, and the only thing better than one championship is two.

The mindset is certainly championship-or-bust for Denver. Luckily, Nikola Jokic and Jamal Murray always turn things up a notch in the postseason. In fact, Denver's two stars rank first and second all-time for increasing their scoring production from the regular season to the postseason.

The star duo aren't alone in Denver, though. While losing Bruce Brown in free agency hurt Denver's depth, other players have stepped up.

Michael Porter Jr., once a major injury concern, played in 81 of Denver's regular season games while still being one of the most elite 3-point shooters in the league. Furthermore, he was once again improving defensively. Aaron Gordon's chemistry has increased with Jokic this season, and the pair seem to connect on alley-oop attempts multiple times per game. Additionally, Kentavious Caldwell-Pope has played at an All-Defensive level this year.

Even some young bench players are thriving this year. Christian Braun and Peyton Watson both have the ability to defend at a high level in the postseason despite their lack of experience.

Twelve teams have repeated as champions in NBA history (an additional 10 three-peated or better), so the Nuggets going back-to-back would put them in exclusive company. They, of course, have to get past the Lakers first, though. Denver certainly has the talent to make quick work of the Lakers, but you can never count out LeBron James, and there is a case to be made that the Lakers are better than they were last season.