Former Warriors coach would cancel Game 4 of Lakers-Nuggets series if he were NBA commissioner

Jesse Cinquini
3 Min Read
Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

Mark Jackson — who served as the head coach of the Golden State Warriors for several seasons — claimed that if he were the commissioner of the NBA, he would call off Game 4 of the Los Angeles Lakers-Denver Nuggets playoff series, which will transpire on Saturday night.

“If I was commissioner for a day, there wouldn’t be a Game 4,” Jackson said of the looming matchup between the Lakers and Nuggets. “I’d just cancel it. I’d just cancel it. If I was commissioner for a day, I’ve seen enough. Throw in the — we should treat this like boxing. Just throw in the towel. Somebody in the stands should be able to have the power to throw in the towel and say, ‘It’s over’ because they are not fighting. They are not committed to living to see another day. Their energy, their effort, their enthusiasm has all lacked.”

After losing in four games to Nikola Jokic and the Nuggets in the 2023 Western Conference Finals, the Lakers are in grave danger of getting swept by Denver in the playoffs for the second year in a row.

Los Angeles is now staring at a 0-3 series deficit following its seven-point loss in Thursday’s Game 3 at Arena.

The Lakers didn’t receive much scoring production from anyone outside of LeBron James, Anthony Davis and Austin Reaves in their home loss. All three players scored 22 points or more for Los Angeles, but they were the lone players on the team to finish with double digits in scoring.

D’Angelo Russell — who was playing some of his best basketball in a Lakers uniform during the tail end of the 2023-24 regular season — had maybe his worst offensive performance of the season on Thursday. He failed to score a single point for the storied franchise, as he missed all seven of his shot attempts from the field, six of which were 3-point attempts.

Russell wasn’t his usual productive self from a playmaking standpoint, either, considering he dished out only two assists compared to one turnover in just over 24 minutes of playing time.

He will attempt to rectify his underwhelming offensive showing in Game 3 on Saturday, but history says that the Lakers have already lost this series regardless of Game 4’s outcome. After all, no team in NBA playoff history has clawed all the way back from an 0-3 series deficit to advance.

While the Lakers’ season is on life support and seemingly destined to come to an end in the near future, Los Angeles has not been eliminated from the playoffs just yet, and a win at home would force a Game 5.

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Jesse is a sports journalist with extensive experience covering the NBA. He has worked as a staff writer covering the Lakers’ dreaded rivals, the Boston Celtics, for SB Nation. He has also covered the New York Knicks for The Knicks Wall.