One of the numerous problems the Los Angeles Lakers have had so far in the Western Conference Finals against the Denver Nuggets so far is neutralizing Nikola Jokic.
The two-time MVP has had two triple-doubles in the first two games of the series, and they have simply had no answer for him.
Although reserve forward Rui Hachimura has had some effective moments guarding the two-time MVP, overall L.A. hasn’t had much success in that department.
But it could be getting some help pretty soon. Backup center Mo Bamba, who has been sidelined recently with a left ankle injury, could be available to return as soon as Game 4 or Game 5.
Lakers C Mo Bamba (left ankle) is expected to be cleared for a return as soon as Game 4 or 5 of these Western Conference Finals, sources tell ESPN. Bamba, who’ll have missed nine straight games including tonight, could offer an option for some limited minutes on Nikola Jokic.
— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) May 20, 2023
Bamba arrived in one of the Lakers’ pre-deadline trades in February, and although he quickly found a spot in their rotation, he suffered a sprained ankle in early March. Ever since he returned from that injury, he has barely played, and it remains to be seen if head coach Darvin Ham would even go to him in this series.