NBA Playoffs: Los Angeles Lakers vs Denver Nuggets Game 1 WCF Injury Updates, Lineup and Predictions

Published 09/18/2020, 7:00 PM EDT
Los Angeles Lakers forward LeBron James (23) celebrates with guard Rajon Rondo (9) and forward Kyle Kuzma (top) during the second half of game three in the second round of the 2020 NBA Playoffs at AdventHealth Arena. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports


Nobody has fought harder than the Denver Nuggets to reach the stage they are standing on. They have clawed their way through every round to make it to the Western Conference Finals. And the Los Angeles Lakers are the ones waiting on the doorstep for them. The Lakers have had a very untested postseason and are well rested to face the Nuggets. However, the Nuggets have proven time and again that they may be the underdogs but they shouldn’t be considered out of the equation. Let’s see what this interesting game 1 of the Finals looks like.

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Los Angeles Lakers injury update and lineup predictions

We all expected this to be a Lakers-Clippers game and the Lakers might be looking at the Nuggets as one easy to dominate. But, they should hope the Nuggets don’t bring the same fire they had when they beat the title favorites. They have managed to finish each round within 5 games but the Nuggets are surely not the ones to let that happen very easily.

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Sep 6, 2020; Lake Buena Vista, Florida, USA; Los Angeles Lakers forward LeBron James (23) celebrates with guard Alex Caruso (4) after their win over the Houston Rockets in 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 | Courtesy Reuters

The Lakers are currently striving on both sides of the court at the moment. LeBron James is having a stellar season averaging 25.3 points and 10.2 rebounds. His chemistry with Anthony Davis is one to admire. Ever since their third man, Rajon Rondo has returned, their game has leveled up even more. Alex Caruso has also been making huge plays every day and his perimeter defense will be extremely useful against the Nuggets. Dion Waiters (groin) is still a game-time decision for game 1. As per ESPN, the Lakers will be following their big man lineup including Davis, JaVale McGee, and Dwight Howard.

Therefore, the predicted lineup would be JaVale Mcgee, Danny Green, LeBron James, Anthony Davis, and Dwight Howard.

Denver Nuggets injury update and lineup predictions

The Nuggets are on a roll right now. Nikola Jokic has been the star in all of the matches against the Clippers. Although Jamal Murray was also critical in ousting the Clippers with a helping hand from their established third man, Michael Porter Jr.

Sep 15, 2020; Lake Buena Vista, Florida, USA; Denver Nuggets center Nikola Jokic (15) celebrates during the second half in game seven of the second round of the 2020 NBA Playoffs against the Los Angeles Clippers at ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports | Courtesy Reuters

The biggest advantage the Nuggets have is that they are able to take it up a notch at the most crucial minutes of the game, exactly when it’s needed. One may think the nuggets would be exhausted from their 7 games against the Clippers but it’s even possible that they have momentum on their side. Vlatko Cancar (foot) and Will Barton (knee) will continue to remain out for the season.

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With this, the predicted lineup would be Gary Harris, Jamal Murray, Jerami Grant, Paul Millsap, and Nikola Jokic.

Game predictions

What we’ve seen so far, the Lakers generally lose the first game and it’s quite possible it’s because they try to get a feel of their opponent before they wake up in the remaining games. The Nuggets won’t risk anything and will be going all out every game. Expect this to be a close call but the Nuggets walking out as victorious.

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Yashima Bhatia

1122 articles

Yashima Bhatia is an NBA writer for EssentiallySports who specialises in providing nuanced predictions and updates for matches. She has a Bachelor's degree in journalism and mass communication. Yashima's love for playing the game came up at a young age, when the excitement of the games coupled with the intensity of the Playoffs had her hooked.

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