Stephen A Smith tipped the Lakers to ‘cruise to the title’ following their easy Game 1 win over the Nuggets. Anthony Davis distinguished himself with big numbers.
The Lakers pulled away from the Nuggets in the 2nd and 3rd quarters of Game 1 yesterday. Nikola Jokic, Jamal Murray and Paul Millsap got into foul trouble in the first half, which slowed the Nuggets on offense.
The Lakers on the other hand kept dealing in body blows. LeBron James did not even have to take many field goal attempts as his supporting cast were on point.
Stephen A Smith on Dwight Howard bullying Nikola Jokic
The Lakers were betting favorites ahead of the series. But this is nothing new for the Denver Nuggets, who haven’t been favorites since Game 4 of their first round series.
The first quarter of the game was a good to-and-fro between the sides as Jokic scored 11 points on 9 shots. Jamal Murray gave the Nuggets a 2 point advantage with a ‘buzzer-beating’ 3 at the end of the quarter.
The major talking point of the game was how Dwight Howard literally bullied Nikola Jokic all through the game, forcing him into foul trouble and dominating him all through.
And that is what literally blew away the Nuggets as Jokic wasn’t able to assert himself on to the game, owing to his fouls and the fact that Howard was playing some brilliant basketball.
The @Lakers are looking strong tonight. They’re defending. Role players are hitting perimeter shots. @KingJames is pushing folks around. And @DwightHoward is damn-near bullying Jokic. They should cruise to the title.
— Stephen A Smith (@stephenasmith) September 19, 2020
The Lakers put the Nuggets into foul trouble quite early in the 2nd period, however. Jokic was called for 2 soft offensive fouls, making him a prime target in the pick-and-roll. The Nuggets unfolded from that point on, conceding 25 free throw attempts in the period.
Due to their inability to play physical on defense and some 50/50 calls going against them, the Nuggets were consigned to defeat by the end of the 3rd quarter.