NBA playoffs

‘Great series’: Derek Fisher likes Lakers’ playoff chances vs Nuggets

Martin Mendoza

This is AI generated summarization, which may have errors. For context, always refer to the full article.

‘Great series’: Derek Fisher likes Lakers’ playoff chances vs Nuggets

LEGEND. Former Lakers star Derek Fisher during the Jr. NBA Philippines Coaches Clinic at the NBA Community Court in Mandaluyong City.


‘We can’t base it on last year’s result, I know that,’ says five-time NBA champion Derek Fisher as the Los Angeles Lakers and the defending champion Denver Nuggets renew their rivalry in the 2024 NBA playoffs

MANILA, Philippines – For the second year in a row, the Los Angeles Lakers and the Denver Nuggets will duke it out in a best-of-seven series when the first round of the 2024 NBA playoffs tips off on Saturday, April 20 (Sunday, April 21, Manila time).  

The two teams faced each other in the Western Conference Finals last season, where the Nuggets – who eventually won the NBA title – swept the Lakers in four games. 

As the Lakers look to exact revenge on the Nuggets, five-time NBA champion Derek Fisher, who was in the country on Wednesday, April 17 for the Jr. NBA Philippines Coaches Clinic at the NBA Community Court in Mandaluyong City, chimed in on his former team’s chances in this highly anticipated playoff rematch. 

“I think in the last month, month and a half, other than the couple of games that Anthony Davis missed due to the eye injury, I don’t know if anybody record-wise has been better than what the Lakers have been in the recent weeks,” the former Lakers point guard Fisher told Rappler during a media session on Wednesday. 

“Their chances against the Nuggets? We have to see. We can’t base it on last year’s result, I know that. I do believe the Lakers are a little bit different than they were last year,” added Fisher, who is known for his iconic game-winner with 0.4 seconds left in Game 5 of the Lakers’ second round series against the San Antonio Spurs in the 2004 NBA playoffs. 

With all eyes on Lakers superstars LeBron James and Davis, Fisher believes D’Angelo Russell is the game changer for the Purple and Gold as the sharpshooting guard is eager to bounce back from his lackluster showing against the Nuggets in last year’s playoffs, where he averaged only 6.25 points on a lowly 32% clip from the field.

“His timely three-point shooting, his confidence, his swagger, those are all things that the Lakers are going to need against the Nuggets,” said Fisher of Russell.

“Obviously, LeBron and AD make everything kind of go, but D’Angelo, to me, is the X-factor that gives the Lakers a chance to actually contend for a championship.”

“If he’s playing well, they’re hard to beat,” added the 18-year NBA veteran Fisher. 

The second-ranked Nuggets are entering this playoff series brimming with confidence as they have crushed the Lakers in all their three matches in the 2023-2024 regular season by an average of 10 points.

Meanwhile, the Lakers are also heading into this matchup on a high note as they have won three games in a row, including the 110-106 escape of the New Orleans Pelicans in the Play-In Tournament to secure the seventh seed. 

“Obviously, I’m biased. I want the Lakers to be successful, of course,” said Fisher, who won all his five NBA titles with the Lakers.

“But the best part about it is we’re going to get to see it. Regardless of what we think, they’ll start playing Sunday and I do expect it to be a great series.” –

Add a comment

Sort by

There are no comments yet. Add your comment to start the conversation.

Summarize this article with AI

How does this make you feel?

Download the Rappler App!