Nuggets NBA Playoffs: Bracket, How to Watch, Odds for Lakers Series | Westword
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Nuggets Playoffs: How to Watch and Odds for Lakers Matchup

The two teams have exchanged plenty of trash talk and have some of the biggest stars in the NBA.
The Denver Nuggets took home the franchise's first NBA championship last year.
The Denver Nuggets took home the franchise's first NBA championship last year. Denver Nuggets/Twitter

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The Denver Nuggets will face the Los Angeles Lakers in the first round of the NBA Playoffs starting April 20 as they try to become repeat champions.

“It’s going to be a hell of a challenge,” Nuggets head coach Michael Malone told media on April 17.

But the Nuggets aren’t scared of the challenge — or the Lakers.

In last year’s Western Conference Finals between the two teams, the Nuggets swept the Lakers, causing some to dub the Nuggets the Lakers’ “daddy” and with fans chanting “Who’s your daddy?” when the Nuggets bested the Lakers earlier this season.

The two teams have exchanged plenty of trash talk and have some of the biggest stars in the NBA. The Nuggets’ Nikola Jokic is likely to win his third Most Valuable Player award, and the Lakers have Lebron James, who is one of the greatest to ever play the game.

Here’s what you need to know going into the matchup:

Nuggets vs. Lakers Playoff Schedule

Game 1: Saturday, April 20, at 6:30 p.m.
Game 2: Monday, April 22, at 8:00 p.m.
Game 3: Thursday, April 25, at 8:00 p.m.
Game 4: Saturday, April 27, at 6:30 p.m.

If needed, the teams will then play at times yet to be determined on these dates:

Game 5: Monday, April 29
Game 6: Thursday, May 2
Game 7: Saturday, May 4

How to Watch Nuggets vs. Lakers

For the first time this season, most Nuggets fans can enjoy watching every game their team plays on TV. Altitude TV, which Nuggets owner Stan Kroenke operates, has been engaged in a dispute with Comcast and DISH.

That fight has prevented most people in Denver from being able to watch their teams unless they have DirecTV, which re-upped with Altitude in 2019 after a short-lived beef. When KSE brought in new leadership earlier this year, Josh Kroenke — Stan’s son and vice chairman of KSE — said getting Altitude TV back on screens was the top issue for the organization.

But that’s not a problem for the playoffs, which air on national television. Games 1 and 4 will be on ABC, so buy a $20 antenna and you’re set. Games 2 and 3 will be on TNT, which requires a cable package or streaming service; those games will also be aired on Altitude TV if you're one of the lucky few who has the channel.

If you’re not interested in watching at home, check out Westword’s sports bars list for watching the Nuggets. The team is holding official watch parties during away games at Stoney's Bar & Grill at 1111 Lincoln Street. Or tune your dials to 92.5 FM for Altitude Sports Radio, which will broadcast all the games.

Nuggets vs. Lakers Series Odds

Although the competition is sure to be fiery and the Nuggets aren’t acting like it will be an easy victory, with Jokic telling media the Lakers were the team’s toughest playoff matchup last year, bookmakers view the Nuggets as heavy favorites to win the series.

FanDuel has the Nuggets at -350 to win the series, and +280 for the Lakers.

DraftKings is slightly more bullish on the Lakers’ chances, with the money line at -310 for the Nuggets and +250 for the Lakers.

However, Bet365 sees the Lakers as an even longer shot to win, with the Nuggets at -390 and the Lakers at +310.

Though Jamal Murray, the sharpshooting right-hand man to Jokic, has dealt with injuries this season, he's always a good bet to shine in the playoffs. He averaged 21.2 points in the 59 games he played this season while hitting 145 three-pointers. FanDuel has Murray as the favorite to hit the most threes in the series with +145 odds.

That's likely to cash, but anyone who wants to swing big may want to take the Lakers' Austin Reaves at +1,900. If the L.A. team stands any chance, he'll have to catch fire at the three-point line.

Whatever the odds, it’s time to buckle in for Nuggets playoff basketball. If the team beats the Lakers, it will play either the Minnesota Timberwolves or the Phoenix Suns, both of whom the Nuggets beat in the playoffs on the road to the championship last year.
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