How Will Denver’s High Altitude Affect the Los Angeles Lakers in Game 2?

How Will Denver’s High Altitude Affect the Los Angeles Lakers in Game 2?


Game 1 of the NBA Western Conference Finals was amazing. 

After being down by 27 points, the Los Angeles Lakers stormed back to cut the Denver Nuggets' lead to 3 points with about two minutes left. 

LeBron James missed a 3-pointer with 45 seconds left in the game, however, and Nikola Jokic made both of his free throws on the Nuggets’ next possession to seal Denver's 132-126 victory.

But you know the old saying that a series doesn't begin until someone steals a game on the road? The Lakers will have their next chance in Game 2 on Thursday.

Unfortunately for Los Angeles, that means the Lakers will have spent four days in Denver’s vaunted high altitude.

More than two days at high altitudes can cause the effects of altitude sickness such as fatigue and shortness of breath when exercising, according to the Pro Basketball Docs at Sports Injury Central.

Anthony Davis and Austin Reaves both played 42 minutes in Game 1 for Los Angeles while LeBron logged 40. Those heavy minutes combined with the altitude could spell trouble for the Lakers in Game 2.

After all, the Nuggets are undefeated (7-0) at home in the 2023 NBA Playoffs.

Since 2017, Denver is 5-2 overall in the second home game of a playoff series. The Nuggets are also 4-1 against the spread in those situations, and the average total is 221 points.

Denver is currently a 5.5-point home favorite for Game 2 on FanDuel Sportsbook's NBA odds and a -225 moneyline favorite.

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