NBA analyst says Lakers can become his title favorites by beating Nuggets: ‘But they won’t’

Jesse Cinquini
3 Min Read
Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Fox Sports analyst Chris Broussard said that if the Los Angeles Lakers were to eliminate the Denver Nuggets in the first round of the 2024 NBA Playoffs, he would consider the Lakers as the favorites to win the title.

However, he doesn’t expect that to happen.

Game 1 of the first-round series between the No. 2 and No. 7 seeds in the Western Conference will take place on Saturday night in Denver.

The Nuggets were about as successful as any team in the conference during the regular season. Denver finished the campaign with a 57-25 record, which was tied with the Oklahoma City Thunder for the best mark in the West.

Concerning Los Angeles, it won 10 fewer games than the Nuggets did in the 2023-24 regular season but still ended up with a record 12 games above the .500 mark at 47-35.

The Lakers had to beat the New Orleans Pelicans in the play-in tournament to secure a matchup against the defending champions in the opening round of the playoffs.

LeBron James was one rebound and one assist shy of a triple-double in the Lakers’ four-point win over the Pelicans, as he tallied 23 points, nine rebounds, nine assists, three steals and a pair of blocks.

The series between the Lakers and Nuggets will mark the second year in a row with the squads facing off against each other in the playoffs. In the 2023 NBA Playoffs, Nikola Jokic and the Nuggets got the better of James and the Lakers.

Denver swept the Lakers in the 2023 Western Conference Finals, but the series was arguably more tightly contested than that outcome indicates. After all, three of the four games were decided by single digits. The Nuggets won the deciding Game 4 by only two points.

Time will tell if James and the Lakers are able to get revenge on the Nuggets for knocking them out of the playoffs a year ago. The team seemingly has a puncher’s chance at shocking the world and sending the Nuggets home, considering the Lakers have James and Anthony Davis on their squad.

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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.