Extra Pass: Jokic, Nuggets to test Lakers

Published January 9, 2023, 6:00 PMJon Carlos Rodriguez

The Denver Nuggets will look to end the Los Angeles Lakers’ five-game winning streak at 10:00AM on NBA League Pass.

What’s up with the Denver Nuggets?

You blinked and the Denver Nuggets are now tied with the Memphis Grizzlies for the top spot in the Western Conference with a 26-13 win-loss record.

The Nuggets are currently enjoying a two-game winning streak, having just beaten a very tough Cleveland Cavaliers team. In that last game, Nikola Jokic finished with yet another triple-double, his 10th of the season. Jokic has been balling out of his mind again, dropping 28 points, grabbing 15 rebounds, and dishing out 10 assists.

Both Jamal Murray and Michael Porter Jr. faced minor injury scares yet again this season, but they’ve both recovered and are now looking to be fully capable of helping extend the Nuggets’ postseason run.

The Nuggets are looking dangerous just like last season, mainly because Jokic is playing dangerously like an MVP just like last season. Also because his teammates are now doing the damage as well.

What’s up with the Los Angeles Lakers?

The Lakers are finally–at least for this short stretch of games so far–looking awesome. 

Their record is still not great at 19-21, but they’ve won five straight games, including two crucial ones against the Sacramento Kings and the Miami Heat. 

LeBron James has been on a scoring tear lately and is slowly climbing atop the all-time scoring mountain. It’s only a matter of time before he reaches the peak. 

In an unexpected twist, Dennis Schroder has been indirectly helping him get there. Schroder has not just taken over the Lakers’ starting point guard role, he’s unwilling to relinquish it. 

He scored in double figures in his last six games, and it’s no coincidence that the Lakers have won five of those games. He’s scored 21-plus points in his last three games, including a 27-point game versus the Kings, where he also drained the game-winning free throws.

The King is getting his, but the Lakers’ role players are also getting theirs.

Storyline to watch out for

Two generational talents that the league will never figure out: LeBron James and Nikola Jokic. These two operate in different gears and altitudes, yet the numbers look eerily similar:

The King’s per game averages: 29.1 points, 8.2 rebounds, and 6.7 assists

Joker’s per game averages: 25.3 points, 10.8 rebounds, and 9.5 assists

Both are playing at a still unmatched MVP level that both their teams desperately need. This is the storyline to watch out for, but the highlights to watch out for when these two play against each other are the insane passes that only the both of them can throw.


The Lakers will be riding on their momentum; the Nuggets will be their biggest test yet. LA’s weapons not named LeBron will need to be special to extend the winning streak to six, something they have yet to do this season.

Still without Anthony Davis, the Lakers’ bigs will have their hands full against Jokic. The Lakers’ win streak (unfortunately for Laker Nation) is in jeopardy.