Nuggets' comically comfortable pregame attire emblematic of series with Lakers

Apr 27, 2024; Los Angeles, California, USA; Denver Nuggets forward Michael Porter Jr. (1) dunks
Apr 27, 2024; Los Angeles, California, USA; Denver Nuggets forward Michael Porter Jr. (1) dunks / Jason Parkhurst-USA TODAY Sports

Despite the Nuggets' loss to the Lakers in game 4 of their first-round playoff series, things are pretty well in hand. LA broke through for the win after 11 straight losses to Denver and they avoid a second straight 0-4 sweep at their hands. Even though the Lakers have held a lead for much of the game action, and they’ve achieved a double-digit lead in every game, the outcome has never really felt in doubt.

The Nuggets have shown a level of comfort that is impressive and that you don’t see with other teams around the league. They’ve slowly eased into every game, started to turn it on, and do just enough to pull it out at the end (except for game 4). 

The Nuggets are calm, cool, and collected

Their overall calmness and almost malaise with which they approach the game is breathtaking to watch and it instills full confidence that they will ultimately triumph. 

This all made it quite comical to see some of the Denver players take the floor for warmups in slides. It was certainly an eye-catching change of pace, compared to the normal apparel. And to see multiple players garbed in the sandals meant something must have been up.

Sure enough, the team bus carrying their sneakers was delayed and yet to arrive at the arena. So rather than wait, some players chose to throw on the slides and go out and get some shots up. It made for an interesting sight to behold, but it also felt sort of symbolic for this whole series.

That’s how comfortable the Nuggets have looked. It started with Jokic coming to a game dressed as Gru, the villain from Despicable Me earlier in the series and now we see Nuggets players happily shooting around on the Lakers’ court in sandals.

It's good to have a little fun

Perhaps some would argue that flaunting this type of carefree and aloof attitude could be a bad sign, or a lack of focus - perhaps even a potential motivator for the Lakers. But I view it from a different lens. This is a confident group that’s not worried about any narratives or storylines. They just want to go out there and take care of business on the court.

Besides, this is the playoffs, what more motivation could a team need? I hope we’ll see more light-hearted moments from the Nuggets as this playoff run continues.