It took 47 years for the Denver Nuggets to win an NBA Championship. The Nuggets won their first ever NBA title by taking care of the Miami Heat in five games.
There was no stopping Nikola Jokić and the Nuggets from bringing a halt to the Miami Heat’s Cinderella ride as the Eastern Conference’s No. 8 seed.
The Nuggets completed their 16-4 run through the NBA Playoffs by showing their defense off in a 94-89 home victory to clinch the title in five games.
Denver found a way to win despite a lackluster first half that featured 1-for-15 shooting from 3-point range and 10 turnovers. Nikola Jokić was named Finals MVP in a landslide 11-0 vote.
There has always been doubt about Denver when it comes to playoffs. It was there again even though the Nuggets won more games during the regular season than anyone. Still, they struggled to a 7-10 finish to the regular season.
Sixteen wins later and there are no longer any doubts. In fact, people are now talking about this team being the next dynasty in the NBA. This is a very young team and all the starters are under contract for years to come.
Recent history tells us that next season may not go as well for Denver. The league, for the fifth successive season, has a new champion. It’s the Nuggets, first-time champs, after the Golden State Warriors (2022), Milwaukee Bucks (2021), Los Angeles Lakers (2020) and the Toronto Raptors (2019). We haven’t seen five different champs in the NBA across a five-season span since the late 1970’s.
Prior to the playoffs, I wrote in these pages that the playoffs would be a coming out party for Jokic’. It truly was as the Joker served up a playoff-record 10 triple-doubles en route to a Finals MVP. The numbers are staggering. All Jokić did, at the age of 28, was become the first player in league history to lead all players in total points (600), rebounds (269) and assists (190) in a single postseason.
The Joker could have been had by all the other teams in the league. He was the 41st pick in the 2014 NBA Draft.
Jokic’ is now a household name nationally in the NBA.
Photo: Nikola Jokić