Paul Pierce make bold prediction about Lakers if they meet Nuggets in 1st round of playoffs

Orel Dizon
3 Min Read

The Los Angeles Lakers have been on a tear recently and are looking like a team that is capable of upsetting a top seed in the playoffs. Paul Pierce even believes that the Lakers can defeat the West-leading Denver Nuggets in a seven-game series.

Appearing in a recent episode of “KG Certified,” the Boston Celtics icon agreed with former teammate Kevin Garnett that the competition in the Western Conference is so tight that it wouldn’t be surprising to see a high-seeded squad get upset in the first round. Pierce used the Lakers as an example to drive his point.

“I think Denver is the most likely out of the top three seeds to get popped in the first round,” Pierce said. “Denver is gonna be the No. 1 seed. They got too much of a big lead in the West, they gonna be the No. 1 seed. If the Denver Nuggets see the Lakers, if they see Golden State, they gonna get popped in the first round. Right now, I’m saying it right now.”

That is quite a bold take from the Hall of Famer, considering how well the Nuggets have been playing this season. They are currently pacing the West with a 46-21 record. The team in second place, the Sacramento Kings, is 5.5 games behind.

Denver has lost its past two contests, which has allowed the Kings to close the distance a bit. However, the Nuggets have generally performed well in the 2022-23 campaign, and leading MVP candidate Nikola Jokic has been his usual stellar self. So, it doesn’t seem like the team will relinquish its hold of the first seed, especially with a little more than a dozen games remaining in the season.

If that’s the case, Denver will face the No. 8 seed in the playoffs. There is a likelihood that the Lakers will end up with that seed. However, they surely have loftier goals in mind.

Before the trade deadline, L.A. making it to even the play-in tournament seemed like a pipe dream. But a roster shuffle has helped revitalize the team and allow it to win seven of its past nine contests.

As a result, the Lakers are now sitting at ninth place in the conference with a 33-34 standing. If the postseason started now, they would be fighting for a spot in the playoffs in the play-in tournament.

However, they are only 1.5 games behind the No. 6 seed, which would give them an outright berth in the playoffs. Landing a top-six finish in the West is certainly in the franchise’s best interest. But such a scenario would presumably stave off a Lakers-Nuggets matchup in the first round.

Share This Article
Orel is excited about the prospect of “Showtime Lakers” making a comeback, thanks to the presence of the King and the arrival of the Brow.