“Punch His Ticket to the Finals”: Trail Blazers Star Backs LeBron James to Lead Lakers Over the Nuggets

Published 09/18/2020, 12:09 PM EDT
Los Angeles Lakers forward LeBron James celebrates with guard Rajon Rondo and forward Kyle Kuzma (top) during game three in the second round of the 2020 NBA Playoffs. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports


After a long wait, the Western Conference Finals finally tip-off tonight. The Los Angeles Lakers hope to make their first Finals appearance since 2010, but face a hurdle in the Denver Nuggets. Blazers star Damian Lillard believes that LeBron James will be the biggest weapon for the Lakers in this series.

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During an interview with ESPN, Lillard was asked who will be the main player for the Lakers in this series.

“I think LeBron,” he said. “Against us in the first game, it was like a filling out process, and then as the series went on, he became more of a problem for us. Then in the second round, it was the same. You see him do chase-down blocks and how dominant he was in that series.

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“Going into this series, I think he was probably expecting to see the Clippers. Not that he’s looking down on Denver, but I think he’s looking at it like I can’t let this opportunity to get back to the Finals slip. I think you’re going to see him come out and be super aggressive and try to really dominate the series. Punch his ticket to the Finals.”

Will LeBron James continue his playoff form?

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The Lakers entered the playoffs after a poor run in the seeding games. Both LeBron and Anthony Davis looked out of touch too. And with Bron turning 35, there were many doubts if we would see ‘Playoff LeBron’ again. But King James just continues to prove his critics wrong.

He is currently averaging 26.6 points, 10.3 rebounds, and 8.8 assists per game in the Playoffs. Not only is he getting buckets but also pulling out the stops, averaging 1.6 steals and 1.1 blocks per game. And as always, his leadership has also been a highlight of his playoff run so far.

Los Angeles Lakers forward LeBron James (23) celebrates after making a basket against the Houston Rockets during the second half of game two of the second round of the 2020 NBA Playoffs at AdventHealth Arena. The Los Angeles Lakers won 117-109. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Against the Nuggets, he will be expected to lead due to their lack of rim protectors. LeBron’s drives are the most dangerous in the game, and the Nuggets don’t have anyone who can keep up with that. As Lillard said, LeBron will be eager to return to the Finals and win his first title since 2016.

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Aaron Mathew

1546 articles

Aaron Mathew is a sports analyst at EssentiallySports. A graduate in Mass Media from Xavier’s College, Aaron has been a part of EssentiallySports since May 2020 where he covers both NBA and NCAA basketball news, and has also covered NBA 2K. In the past, Aaron has worked at the Sports Desk of Mumbai Mirror.

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