Denver Nuggets credit their playoff dominance to teamwork, as they’re a win away from franchise history
Teamwork. The secret formula for winning this NBA Championship is working as a team, not necessarily to shine, but to do whatever it takes to provide what’s in the squad’s best interest. This has been Denver‘s mentality ever since the start of the season, and it only seems clearer and clearer as they get closer to their final objective.
However, this doesn’t mean they don’t have a commander on court, as Nikola Jokic has been seen taking over both sides of the floor and leading his men when they need him the most. “Coach Jokic did a great job tonight,” Nuggets coach Michael Malone joked after Game 3 against the Lakers.
As the Serbian was told about his new role in the team, he said: “I don’t want to be a coach. I think that’s the worst job on the planet, for sure.”
After a season of dominance, the Nuggets have staked a claim to the West.@Herring_NBA on Denver’s commanding 3–0 lead over the Lakers in the Western Conference finals and its pursuit of an NBA finals berth https://t.co/WzfgApvYTs
— Sports Illustrated (@SInow) May 21, 2023
Even though the Colorado squad are only a victory away from reaching their first NBA Final in franchise history, they’ve told the press many times that they are focused in winning their next five matches, and know that the next will be even harder than their last trip to Los Angeles.
“We know next game is going to be another test,” Jamal Murray assured. “They’re going to come out more aggressive. (Anthony Davis) is going to be more aggressive. LeBron is going to be more aggressive, so the crowd is going to be more into it.”
Part of their secret formula is mostly based on this inferiority complex, that sees their coach asking the press why the main narrative of their stories aren’t ever about Denver’s great performance, and always about the other team losing to them.
“We’re the underdogs,” Nuggets’s Kentavious Caldwell-Pope declared. “We don’t get enough credit for what we do.”
Their star center, on the other hand, guarantees he’s always known about their potential, as he saw no suprise in leading the Western Conference as the No. 1 seed during most of the campaign. “I mean, I never doubted my team,” Jokic said.
“We have some really good players that can step up in the right moment, and that’s what we did.”
Lakers coach Darvin Ham won’t surrender, as he sees losing the series 3-0 as an opportunity
After a lengthy film session with the Los Angeles squad to address their mistakes against Denver in Game 3, coach Darvin Ham still believes his squad is capable of turning the series around, even though recovering from a 3-0 has never been done before.
“We’ve got an opportunity, man,” Ham expressed. “Everybody is counting us out. It’s crazy. It’s no different than what we’ve been through all year. It’s the uphill battle, and trying to solidify ourselves and re-establish what this culture is all about with the Laker organization. I think we’ve done that, and we’ve got an opportunity to take another step in the right direction come tomorrow.”
As the Lakers recently lost their first home contest in the Crypto.com in almost two months, the team has proved this season that they play best when the odds are not in their favor.
“It ain’t over until it’s four games, and that’s the best part about it,” Lonnie Walker claimed. “Kings don’t look down when they’ve got crowns on their head. You don’t want that to fall. We’re not over with. We’re a whole bunch of kings over here. We’re ready to eat. We’re starving.”
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