NBA

James not looking to past results ahead of Lakers-Nuggets rematch

By Sports Desk April 19, 2024

LeBron James believes the media are putting "too much emphasis" on the Los Angeles Lakers' recent history with the Denver Nuggets.

The Lakers, after their win over the New Orleans Pelicans, will take on the Nuggets in the first round of the playoffs.

Los Angeles lost to Denver in the 2023 Western Conference Finals, as the Nuggets went on to win the NBA championship.

The Lakers, meanwhile, defeated the Nuggets en route to winning the championship in 2020.

James, though, is not looking back at past results as an indicator of how this series might play out.

"I think you're putting a little bit too much emphasis on it," James said. 

"This is our first-round matchup. I mean, we're looking forward to the postseason. But I haven't been, like, looking forward to the rematch.

"The game is played how it's being played, and this is the matchup. So we're looking forward to that challenge.

"It shouldn't be personal at all. I think you allow yourself to get away from the game plan when you make it too personal.

"We have a game plan. You go out there and execute it and you live with the results. I'm kind of the last person you should [ask that], I just stay even-keeled.

"I've been in the postseason way too long in my career to know that you don't get too high off of Game 1 or get too high over whoever the matchup is. You got to just stay even-keeled."

Lakers coach Darvin Ham did say his team can take lessons from last year's defeat, in particular when focusing on cutting out small errors.

And James echoed the sentiment.

"We just got to be better all around," he said. "Obviously, it's a great team that we're playing against. A team that won the championship, so they've been in a lot of big games and know what they want to get to late in games.

"So we just have to be very disciplined and have our mind into throughout the course of 48 minutes or however long it takes.

"It's going to be challenging but that's what the postseason is all about. It should be."

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