NBA Conference Finals 2023, Game 4 on Monday, 23.05.2023
In these NBA play-offs, more than a small preliminary decision was made in the Conference Finals over the weekend.
For the purple and gold would now have to accomplish something that – as I will point out in my Lakers Nuggets tip – has never been done before in the history of the sport.
And indeed, I also wonder with what means the Californians would like to realise this great basketball miracle at all? After all, the Nuggets own a better squad that will deservedly go 4-0 in the NBA Finals on my tip sheet.
It’s clear by any rule of reason that the Nuggets will contest the NBA Finals. The only question that even comes up is whether to give the Lakers another moment of success or go straight for a so-called “sweep”.
Because in the history of the NBA, no team has ever been able to recover from a 0:3 deficit in the play-offs. It happened 3 times that a series equaliser was achieved, but the subsequent deciding game was still lost.
Beyond that, I don’t trust the tired-looking Lilagoldens to bounce back against these Nuggets anyway. Especially because Denver managed to execute their game plan and spread the offensive production across multiple shoulders.
It was players like Jamal Murray who made the difference in Game 3. The Canadian alone scored 30 points and did so almost exclusively with jump shots. To his four three-pointers he added five jumpers from mid-range!
And yet the Nuggets only led by three points after 24 minutes. Among other things, this can be explained by the fact that the purple and gold successfully took Nikola Jokic out of the game in the meantime and dominated the zone.
However, in my previous Lakers Nuggets tips I have already expressed the opinion several times that the Californians should refrain from taking the Serbian into a double-man defence, as the Nuggets are much more dangerous as a team due to the resulting free spaces.
In fact, in the past, it was perfectly sufficient to double-team Jokic and thereby embarrass the Nuggets. For this season, however, they have strengthened themselves with several role players to counteract this once big problem.
With success: Because besides Jamal Murray (37) it was also Kentavious Caldwell-Pope (17), Bruce Brown (15) and Michael Porter Jr. (14) who generated a lot of points and at the same time showed a sure hand with the ball.
The Nuggets committed just 6 turnovers over the 48 minutes. In addition, the Western Conference leaders hit 50% of their shots inside the arc and 41.5% from beyond the arc.
The Lakers haven’t really been razed to the ground against the Nuggets in any of the games so far in this series. But I doubt they’ll find the fortitude to win even one game yet.
LeBron James has been running on fumes for a while now, while Anthony Davis played three good quarters last Saturday but also looked flat in the final period, landing just one basket and securing two rebounds.
LAL is now simply mentally flat and no longer gets the support from the bench as it did against the Grizzlies and Warriors. For example, D’Angelo Russell has almost completely checked out in this series!
The purple and gold role-player was outplayed by Jamal Murray time and time again last Saturday and has a miserable hitting rate from both inside (30%) and outside the arc (19%) in this Series.
The really delightful thing about my Lakers Nuggets tip is the odds that the sportsbooks have called on what could be the last game of these Conference Finals.
The purple and gold know that no team has ever managed to recover from such a deficit, and they don’t give me the impression that they really believe they will make it to the finals.
In this context, the Bet365 bonus in general and especially the average DEN win odds of 2.35 across providers on Game 4 are true “bookmaker gifts” that should not be missed!
Conclusion: The Nuggets have every reason to put the lid on tonight and prepare for the NBA Finals early.
The Lakers are also far from 100% conditionally and don’t have enough players to cover all opposing offensive forces anyway.
Murray, Caldwell-Pope and Brown, along with Jokic, are also extremely dangerous players who have helped Denver achieve the success that they have wanted for many years in Colorado!
My Lakers Nuggets tip: The visitors win thanks to a strong team performance.