2023 Nuggets champion says Timberwolves were tougher opponent than Lakers in playoffs

Jason Simpson
3 Min Read

The Denver Nuggets barely broke a sweat en route to their 2023 NBA title, losing just four games in total during their playoff run.

Bruce Brown, who played a key role for the Nuggets along the way, recently said that the Minnesota Timberwolves — not the Phoenix Suns, Los Angeles Lakers or Miami Heat — gave Denver its toughest playoff series.

He specifically addressed the Lakers series, saying the Nuggets never felt like they were going to lose any game.

“I would say our toughest series was…Minnesota,” Brown said.

He later spoke about the Lakers.

“It never felt like we were gonna lose any game,” he said of the Lakers series. “Even when they went on they little run, like Austin Reaves was hitting 3s, it never felt like, ‘Oh, we about to lose.'”

The Lakers were certainly pesky at times in their series against the Nuggets, but they weren’t able to steal a game. They ended up getting swept despite keeping many of the games close, including a two-point loss in the matchup that sent the Nuggets to the NBA Finals.

Minnesota, on the other hand, was able to win a game against Denver. Down 3-0, the Timberwolves stole Game 4 to avoid being swept then nearly won Game 5, which would have made the series very interesting at 3-2. But instead, the Nuggets took care of business to eliminate the Wolves in that fifth game.

Brown’s time with the Nuggets is over, as he signed with the Indiana Pacers this offseason. He spent just one season with Denver but obviously made the most of it. The 26-year-old averaged 12.0 points, 4.0 rebounds and 1.9 assists per game during the 2023 postseason and will now forever be an NBA champion.

L.A.’s trip to the 2023 Western Conference Finals was special, but the team seemingly ran into a Nuggets squad that was never going to be stopped. The Lakers will have another chance at reaching the promised land this coming season, as they’re set to return many key pieces and have added some new faces this offseason.

The Lakers may not have left a very strong impression on Brown, but L.A. certainly did well to make a playoff run after essentially assembling a contending roster during the middle of the 2022-23 season. With any luck, the 2023-24 campaign will have a different ending.

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Jason is excited about the LeBron James era of Lakers basketball and hopes that the end result will be multiple championships.