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Dub Nation HQ Rooting Guide: Denver Nuggets (1) vs. Los Angeles Lakers (7); plus open thread
Gosh I wonder which team Dub Nation favors
You can also read the complete Dub Nation HQ Rooting Guide for Other Teams.
LAL had Juan Toscano-Anderson and Damian Jones, but traded them in a big mid-season reset.
Edit: Aayler reminds me that I forgot the biggest ex-Warriors of them all, D’Angelo Russell!
For 2019-2020, DLo came over to GSW in the sign-and-trade Kevin Durant departure, which allowed the Warriors to keep a large salary slot which otherwise under cap rules would have been lost for nothing. The Warriors never really got to see what DLo would look like next to the Warriors Big Three, as Steph Curry broke his hand 5 games into the season and Klay missed the whole year, leaving only a demotivated Draymond Green.
In any case, DLo’s ball dominance and lack of defensive discipline led GSW to pull the plug on the DLo experiment and instead, in one of the great trades in GSW history, sent him to MIN for Andrew Wiggins and a pick which eventually became Jonathan Kuminga.
Things never clicked with DLo and KAT in MIN and he got sent to LAL in their annoyingly incredible trade that saved their 2022-23 season. DLo has been blamed for losing them the DEN series, but he did have a couple of excellent bursts in the LAL-GSW series that might have been the difference in a close series.
Parts of Dub Nation really wanted to acquire Jarred Vanderbilt (All-NBA Motor) and Rui Hachimura.
LeBron James. LeBron pioneered the age of players assembling as mercenary super squads at resource-rich franchises and then leaving when they’ve strip-mined everything for maximum short-term gain.
LeBron combines all-time genius level play and athleticism (explosiveness plus invulnerability) with petty crap. One sequence that sums it up: His 2018 Finals Game 1 regulation performance was one of the best games I’ve ever seen; he then follows that with a mental meltdown after J.R. Smith’s meltdown; then smashes a whiteboard in the locker room after and breaks his hand and ruins any chance of an upset; then shows up to the post-Finals press conference in a “oh you mean this?” hand cast so that people would ask him the story.
Anthony Davis. AD pioneered the age of players having multiple years left on their contract forcing themselves off the team via PR tricks, sudden injury issues and generally abandoning their team and contract.
AD forced a trade to the Lakers by sieging the Pelicans well before his contract expired to team up with LeBron, though NOP took an amusingly long time to call his bluff. He recently won no fans in Dub Nation when the heavy favorite Lakers got a ref-colored win in the Play-In and he followed it with giddy trash talk.
Austin Reaves worked his way up from the G-League, works hard on both ends, and has become possibly the worst sport-destroying foul-baiter on the planet. He must be stopped for the sake of impressionable children, the elderly, people looking in the direction of his games, marine habitats and basically all terrestrial lifeforms.
Most of Dub Nation wished ill on the Lakers franchise before LeBron and AD showed up to strip-mine the team.
Now that they’re together, it is a recipe for Dub Nation disgust.
That doesn’t even bring in the recent ref-fueled 2021 Play-In loss.
That doesn’t even bring in this year’s annoying 2nd round loss where LAL colossally got more ref calls and still complained about it, and which gave fodder for all the dimmest professional trolls (Nick Wright types).
Current DEN head coach Mike Malone was an assistant coach for the Warriors from 2011-2013 under Coach Mark Jackson. He did a great job, getting honors as the best-regarded and best-paid assistant coach in the league, and lots of praise from Stephen Curry and Draymond Green.
No one is a real villain.
Nikola Jokic. The dazzling playmaker who plays like a guy at the YMCA made a deal with the devil. He’s beat out Steph Curry for MVP in recent years. But there is massive mutual respect between Draymond Green and Jokic.
DeAndre Jordan. Now in his declining years, he was part of the Lob City Clippers, but was the least annoying prominent face. We studied that rivalry throughly before and found Dub Nation mostly didn’t care about DAJ. Past efforts by the front office to get DAJ resulted in stupid cap moves including losing Jeremy Lin. He also encouraged KD to leave the path of light to form the Jugger-Nets.
DEN has played GSW surprisingly tough in the Dynasty years. Last year, the injured Nuggets (no Jamal Murray, no Michael Porter Jr.) put up a fight but ended up going quietly.
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