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Magic Johnson Expresses Excitement for 1st Round ‘Rivalries,’ Names Key for Lakers to Beat Nuggets

Abhishek Dhariwal

Magic Johnson Expresses Excitement for 1st Round ‘Rivalries,’ Names Key for Lakers to Beat Nuggets

If the Lakers-Nuggets first-round Conference Finals rematch from last year was the one that had all of your attention, then a glimpse at some of the other matchups taking place around the league will not disappoint either. Especially if Los Angeles Lakers legend Magic Johnson is the one bringing these upcoming battles to your attention. 

Ecstatic for the playoff fever to take over, the Lakers legend expressed his excitement, along with giving his expert advice on what it would take for Los Angeles to finally take down the Denver Nuggets on X(formerly Twitter). Magic went on to highlight some of the more exciting first-round matchups of the 2023-24 NBA playoffs this year.

“​​The first round of the playoffs is filled with natural rivalries…the Sixers and Knicks, the Lakers and Denver, the Pacers and Bucks. This is going to be SO much fun to watch!”


While there are a few other first-round battles that’ll surely keep fans on the edge of their seats, Johnson might’ve given his pick for the favorites he was looking forward to watching. Out of the three mentioned, staying atop the Lakers-Nuggets series will be his top priority.

As for the Pacers-Bucks series; earlier this season, fans got to see some animosity between the two teams due to the game ball. Resulting in a lot of drama and some newly-found beef between these two teams, that series in the East looks quite promising.

Another series to keep an eye on is the New York Knicks going up against the Philadelphia 76ers. A rather old rivalry that started to die out after the 80s; these new squads sure pack an exciting factor of reviving some of that bad playoff blood decades ago. Plus, the Knicks were finally able to dominate the season series against the 76ers after seven long years, winning three out of the four matchups.

Shortly after sharing the first-round playoff series, he’ll be keeping his eyes on, Magic Johnson’s loyalty to his former team came in another tweet shortly after.

“For the Lakers to have any chance to beat the Nuggets this time around, the guards have to bring their A-game. Last year, the Nuggets’ guard trio of Bruce Brown, KCP, and Jamal Murray were dominant! The Lakers’ key to win will be DLO, Reaves, Vincent, and Dinwiddie outperforming Murray, KCP, and Braun.”

Magic may be on point with his analysis/scouting report for the Lakers-Nuggets series but LA seems to be one guard short of their matchup against the three Denver guards. D’Angelo Russell and Austin Reaves have been having great years when it comes to their point production on the floor.

It is the lack of another ‘consistent’ guard that might end up tipping the scales of balance in Denver’s favor. But at the same time, a healthy LeBron James recently boasted his confidence in a different outcome for their first-round series this year.

A battle to reminisce or another sweep on the way? Tune into ABC Network at 8:30 PM ET tomorrow to see the Nuggets host the Lakers for Game 1.

About the author

Abhishek Dhariwal

Abhishek Dhariwal


A fan of the sport since the late 2000s, Abhishek has been covering the game of basketball for the past five years now. Having done his masters in Journalism and Mass Communication, Abhishek prides himself in being referred to as a sports journalist at The SportsRush. A fan of the San Antonio Spurs since the Tim Duncan era, Abhishek has an extensive knowledge of the sport and has covered more than 1500 articles. Having a firsthand experience of the sport, Abhishek has represented his city and state at a district and national level. And it is the same level of expertise he aims to bring while covering extensive topics both on and off the court of your favorite basketball stars.

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