The 2023 NBA Playoffs are approaching the Conference Finals and we already have our first team through. The Denver Nuggets advanced to the Western Conference Finals for the first time since 2020, when they lost to the Los Angeles Lakers in the bubble. Denver also lost to L.A. in the 2009 West Finals. We go over the full schedule as the Nuggets await the winner of the series between the Lakers and Golden State Warriors.
The Nuggets defeated the Phoenix Suns in the second round in six games. Phoenix was mostly missing PG Chris Paul and C Deandre Ayton for Game 6, but still put up a fight with Kevin Durant and Devin Booker. In the end, Nikola Jokic and Jamal Murray were just too much to overcome for the Suns. Denver rolled with mostly a tight rotation with the starting five and Bruce Brown off the bench. Jeff Green also got some minutes with the second unit.
Since the inception of the NBA, the Nuggets have never made the NBA Finals. If Denver can defeat the Lakers or Dubs, it will be the franchise’s first trip to the finals ever. Prior to 2009, the Nuggets had made two trips to the conference finals in 1985 and 1978. One of those losses was to the Lakers; the Nuggets have lost three of four times to L.A. in the conference finals. You could say Denver is rooting for the reigning champs to make a comeback.
2023 Western Conference Finals schedule
Game 1: Lakers @ Nuggets, Tuesday, May 16, 8:30 p.m. ET ESPN
Game 2: Lakers @ Nuggets, Thursday, May 18, 8:30 p.m. ET ESPN
Game 3: Nuggets @ Lakers, Saturday, May 20, 8:30 p.m. ET ABC
Game 4: Nuggets @ Lakers, Monday, May 22, 8:30 p.m. ET ESPN
Game 5: Lakers @ Nuggets, Wednesday, May 24, 8:30 p.m. ET ESPN
Game 6: Nuggets @ Lakers, Friday, May 26, 8:30 p.m. ET ESPN
Game 7: Lakers @ Nuggets, Sunday, May 28, 8:30 p.m. ET ESPN
*Games 5-7 if necessary