NBA playoffs, Denver for the first time in the Finals. Coat to the Lakers, Lebron's doubts: "I have to think about the future"
For the first time in its history Denver qualifies for the NBA Finals, where they will compete for the ring against one between Miami and Boston (Heat ahead 3-0). Nothing to do for the Los Angeles Lakers, forced to surrender to the excessive power of the Nuggets who, with a 113-111 in game 4, closed the final series of the Western Conference with a devastating "coat". It may also be for this reason that, at the end of the match, James expressed his doubts about the future: "I have to reflect, we'll see what happens".
Lebron, record first half
Aware of being on the last resort after losing the first three games, the Lakers started strong, holding the lead until the long interval. The score even says 73-58 with Lebron James absolute protagonist: the "Chosen One" signs 31 points, touching yet another career record: he had never scored so much in the first half of a playoff. Even Schroder, Davis and Hachimura seem to be in the evening of grace, dragging the Californians to +13 before the long break.
Jokic signs the turnaround
In the second half, however, the music changes. And the conductor could only be Nikola Jokic. The 28-year-old Serbian takes the Nuggets by the hand leading the comeback that becomes concrete with the overtaking signed by Caldwell-Pope (81-82). It continues point by point throughout the last quarter, the challenge in the James-Jokic challenge is exciting and sees the leader from Denver triumph when, 52'' from the siren, he signs the decisive draw: 113-111. In the last possession of the Lakers, King James is stopped by Gordon, a defensive play that sentences the "Caporetto" for the yellow and purple and the pass for the Finals (starting on June 1st) for the Nuggets. The cover man is obviously Jokic, author of the eighth triple-double in this post-season (30 points, 14 rebounds and 13 assists): breaking Wilt Chamberlain's record of seven which stood since 1967.
James: ''Future? I have to think'
James scored 40 points, but they weren't enough to stop Denver's shock wave. The understandable disappointment at the end of Lebron's match turns into anxiety for all the Gialoviola fans, worried by their favorite's doubts whether to continue or not: ''Future? We'll see what happens, I have to think. I do not know. I have a lot to think about to tell the truth''. The way the season had started, reaching the Conference Finals wasn't so obvious for the Lakers. But James sees the glass as half empty: ''I can't say it's been a positive season, at this stage of my career I don't want to play for anything other than winning titles. I don't just enjoy making a Conference Final. I've played it many times. And it's not fun for me not being able to make a championship final''. Words that are the prelude to a possible withdrawal? At 38, it cannot be excluded, even if the not too hidden dream of the "Chosen One" is to play at least one season with his son Bronny (currently a freshman with Usc), an event however not possible before autumn 2024.