DENVER, CO—After 47 years, the Denver Nuggets are NBA Champions, defeating the Miami Heat 94-89, in Game 5 on Monday, June 12 in front of their raucous Mile High fans at Ball Arena. With the Superstar duo Nikola Jokic and Jamal Murray as well as the core of the Nuggets returning next season and beyond, it might be the beginning of a Denver Dynasty.
Jokic was named Finals MVP, averaging 30.2 points, 14.0 rebounds, 7.2 assists and 1.4 blocks over the five games. He’s the only player in NBA history to lead all players in points (600), rebounds (269) and assists (190) in a single postseason.
“We are not in it for ourselves, we are in it for the guy next to us,” Jokic said. “And that’s why this (means) even more.”
Denver’s clincher was a gruesome grind. The Nuggets missed 20 of their first 22 3-pointers. They missed 7 of their first 13 free throws. The Nuggets overcame the deficit to take a late seven-point lead in this seesaw battle.
Miami’s Jimmy Butler went off, scoring eight straight points to give the Heat a one-point lead with 2:45 left. In true Nuggets fashion, it wasn’t a pretty win but their tenacious defense and effort prevailed.
Jokic adds the Larry O’Brien trophy, a unanimous Finals MVP to go alongside his two regular season NBA MVP awards to his stellar career. He stands alone as the best basketball player in the world.
Many felt this was a throwback team – one which relied on a fantastic center and displayed grit and physicality. Compared to the modern NBA where the three-pointer has transformed the game. Watching the Denver Nuggets succeed proves those timeless qualities never fall out of style.
A humble, quiet player who rarely speaks above a whisper. Nikola Jokic can now relax and enjoy the fruits of his labor.