Before Game 1, Los Angeles Lakers coach Darvin Ham praised Nikola Jokic, a two-time MVP of the Denver Nuggets.
Ham described him as a fantastic child. "Just the work he puts into his game, the way he cares about his teammates, the way he tries to get his teammates going,
He's really, really fantastic; every connection I've had with him has been cheerful, amusing, and great. But it's clear he's committed to triumphing. He's a tough opponent.
In Game 1 of the Western Conference finals, when the Nuggets and Jokic defeated the Lakers 132-126 to take a 1-0 series lead,
According to basketball-reference.com, he finished with 34 points, 21 rebounds, 14 assists, and two blocks for just the fourth 30-point, 20-rebound triple-double in NBA postseason history.
Jokic led the Lakers by one rebound at the half with 19 points, 16 overall, seven assists, and two blocks. He had a triple-double halfway through the third quarter, contributing to Denver's 90-70 lead with 23 points, 17 rebounds, and 10 assists.