Bruce Brown explains how seriously Nikola Jokic took Lakers in 2023 playoffs

Peter Dewey
3 Min Read

Former Denver Nuggets and current Indiana Pacers wing Bruce Brown shared how seriously superstar Nikola Jokic took the Los Angeles Lakers in the playoffs in the 2022-23 season.

“I think that series for us was more personal than any other series,” Brown said. “Don’t know why, but it was like we were at their neck.”

Brown dove into how Jokic specifically was different than any other time he’d played with him.

“We was talking that s—,” Brown said. “Everybody. I’ve never seen Nikola speak on the court. He wasn’t talking s—, but he was like into the game. He wasn’t playing no games like he had something to prove. And he the best player in the world.”

The Nuggets went on to sweep the Lakers in the Western Conference Finals, and they eventually won the NBA Finals in five games against the Miami Heat.

It’s possible that Jokic and the Nuggets were looking for revenge from the 2020 Western Conference Finals when they Lakers beat them in the league’s Orlando, Fla. bubble. Los Angeles needed just five games to win that series and ultimately went on to win the 2020 NBA Finals against the Heat.

While Brown wasn’t on that team, Jokic, Jamal Murray and Michael Porter Jr. – three of the team’s best players last season – were all a part of the squad that lost to the Lakers.

Jokic, who won the 2023 NBA Finals MVP award, dominated all postseason. He averaged 30.0 points, 13.5 rebounds and 9.5 assists per game while shooting 54.8 percent from the field and 46.1 percent from beyond the arc.

The 3-point percentage was Jokic’s best mark in the playoffs in his NBA career.

A two-time MVP, Jokic cemented himself as one of the game’s best players with the title run, especially since he knocked off stars like Kevin Durant, Devin Booker, LeBron James, Jimmy Butler and Anthony Davis on his way to a title.

Brown, who signed a contract in free agency this offseason with Indiana, won’t get a chance to defend the title with the Nuggets in the 2023-24 season.

However, it’s likely that Denver and Los Angeles have some heated matchups in the regular season – and potentially in the playoffs – in the 2023-24 campaign as both teams look to capture another NBA championship.

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Peter is a graduate of Quinnipiac University where he covered the MAAC and college basketball for three years. He has worked for NBC Sports, the Connecticut Sun and the Meriden Record-Journal covering basketball and other major sports. Follow him on Twitter @peterdewey2.