The Denver Nuggets are on the verge of making history in the NBA. They have taken a 3-1 lead over the Miami Heat in the NBA finals and are just one win away from winning their first championship ever. How did they get here and what do they need to do to finish the job? Here are some key points to know about the Nuggets and their remarkable run.
The rise of Nikola Jokić
The Nuggets are led by their superstar center Nikola Jokić, who has been playing at an MVP level throughout the playoffs. Jokić is a unique player who can score, rebound, pass and defend at a high level. He is also a clutch performer who has delivered in big moments for his team.
Jokić has been especially dominant in the NBA finals, averaging 28.8 points, 18.3 rebounds and 9.5 assists per game. He has also recorded two triple-doubles, including a historic performance in Game 3 when he had 32 points, 21 rebounds and 10 assists. He became the first player in NBA history to have such a stat line in a finals game.
Jokić is the engine of the Nuggets’ offense, as he can create shots for himself and his teammates with his skill and vision. He is also a versatile scorer who can score inside, outside and from the free throw line. He is a matchup nightmare for any defender and has been giving the Heat fits with his size and strength.
Jokić is also a leader who sets the tone for his team with his passion and competitiveness. He is not afraid to challenge his teammates and hold them accountable. He is also humble and unselfish, always giving credit to his teammates and coaches.
Jokić is undoubtedly the best player in this series and the main reason why the Nuggets are one win away from glory.
The supporting cast
While Jokić is the star of the show, he is not alone. The Nuggets have a talented and deep supporting cast that has stepped up in different ways throughout the playoffs.
The second-best player on the team is Jamal Murray, who is Jokić’s partner in crime. Murray is a dynamic guard who can score from anywhere on the court. He is also a clutch shooter who has hit many big shots for the Nuggets.
Murray has been averaging 23 points, 5 rebounds and 5 assists per game in the finals. He has also been playing with a lot of energy and confidence, as he has been attacking the rim and drawing fouls. He has also been playing solid defense on Miami’s guards.
Murray has a great chemistry with Jokić, as they form one of the best pick-and-roll duos in the league. They can read each other’s movements and find each other for easy baskets. They also trust each other and feed off each other’s success.
Another key player for the Nuggets is Michael Porter Jr., who is a young forward with a lot of potential. Porter Jr. has been averaging 15 points and 7 rebounds per game in the finals. He has also been shooting well from beyond the arc, making 11 out of 22 three-pointers.
Porter Jr. is a gifted scorer who can score in transition, off cuts and from the perimeter. He is also a good rebounder who can crash the boards and start fast breaks. He is still learning how to play defense and make smart decisions, but he has shown flashes of brilliance.
The Nuggets also have a solid bench that provides depth and versatility. Players like Monte Morris, Will Barton, Aaron Gordon, JaVale McGee and Facundo Campazzo have all contributed in different ways throughout the playoffs.
Morris is a reliable backup point guard who can run the offense and make plays. Barton is a veteran wing who can score and defend multiple positions. Gordon is an athletic forward who can finish at the rim and guard Miami’s best players. McGee is a rim protector who can block shots and catch lobs. Campazzo is a rookie guard from Argentina who can pass, shoot and annoy opponents with his hustle.
The Nuggets have a balanced and cohesive team that can play different styles and adapt to different situations. They have a lot of weapons and options that make them hard to stop.
The challenges ahead
The Nuggets are in a great position to win their first NBA title, but they are not there yet. They still have to face a tough and resilient Miami Heat team that will not give up easily.
The Heat are the defending champions who have a lot of experience and pride. They have a proven leader in Jimmy Butler, who is a two-way star who can score, facilitate and defend. They also have a talented and versatile supporting cast that includes Bam Adebayo, Tyler Herro, Duncan Robinson, Kyle Lowry and PJ Tucker.
The Heat are a well-coached team that plays with a lot of discipline and intensity. They are known for their culture of hard work and accountability. They are also a team that thrives in adversity and never quits.
The Heat have shown signs of life in this series, as they won Game 2 in a close contest and fought back from a big deficit in Game 4. They have also made some adjustments, such as starting Lowry at point guard and Tucker at power forward, to match up better with the Nuggets.
The Heat are not going to go down without a fight, and they will try to extend the series as long as possible. They will try to slow down Jokić and Murray, force turnovers, make three-pointers and play with more physicality and urgency.
The Nuggets cannot afford to be complacent or overconfident. They have to stay focused and hungry. They have to play with the same intensity and execution that got them this far. They have to close out the series as soon as possible and not give the Heat any hope or momentum.
The Nuggets have one more step to become the NBA champions. They have to finish what they started and make history.
The Denver Nuggets are on the brink of achieving something special in the NBA. They have a 3-1 lead over the Miami Heat in the NBA finals and are just one win away from winning their first championship ever.
They have been led by their superstar center Nikola Jokić, who has been playing at an MVP level throughout the playoffs. He has been supported by a talented and deep supporting cast that has stepped up in different ways throughout the playoffs.
They still have to face a tough and resilient Miami Heat team that will not give up easily. They have to stay focused and hungry. They have to play with the same intensity and execution that got them this far.
They have one more step to become the NBA champions. They have to finish what they started and make history.