Hustlers and characters of all kinds of 'gold rush' flocked in the nineteenth century to the high and very hard lands of Colorado in search of incredible riches and the dream of a better life. A memory of that time is the city of Denver, founded in 1858 and that on Monday found 'El Dorado' in the NBA with the first ring of the Nuggets in its history.

After almost half a century in the league and with very few joys in their history once they left behind the ABA, the Nuggets, by the hand of an incomparable genius like Nikola Jokic, finally conquered the title by beating the Miami Heat 4-1 in the finals (94-89 in the fifth game).

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NBA 2022 - 2023.

Jokic, Murray make Miami history as Denver advances 2-1 in Finals

  • Editor: AFP Miami

Jokic, Murray make Miami history as Denver advances 2-1 in Finals


Denver Nuggets sweep Lakers and reach NBA Finals for first time in NBA history

  • Writing: EL MUNDO

Denver Nuggets sweep Lakers and reach NBA Finals for first time in NBA history

First in the Western Conference in the regular season, the Nuggets put their 'golden' grain of sand in a city where basketball lived in the background before the triumphs of the Denver Broncos in the NFL, with three Super Bowls; and the NHL's Colorado Avalanche, with three Stanley Cups (the last one last year).

The 'city of a mile high' (1,608 meters, specifically), in whose county live about 710,000 people, will remember from today and forever the already legendary team led by Jokic and Jamal Murray on the court and headed by a Mike Malone from the bench that has built a compact block, tremendously solid in all facets of the game and with a devastating attack.

To reach this first ring, the Nuggets had to break down many barriers they had stumbled against in the past.

For example, Denver had never played a Finals in its history since on four occasions it had reached the final of the West and in all of them it had finished on the canvas.

Far from the most luxurious franchises in the West such as the Los Angeles Lakers or the Golden State Warriors, the Nuggets appeared this year in the playoffs willing to change the script and, finally, were by far the most consistent and reliable team in a playoffs with countless surprises.

In the first round they got rid of the Minnesota Timberwolves (4-1), in the conference semifinals they stopped the fearsome Phoenix Suns of Kevin Durant and Devin Booker (4-2) and in the conference final, without caring about the ghosts of the past, they swept the Lakers with a huge 4-0.

Patience to glory

The success of these Nuggets, who in the Finals won their two home games in Miami, is based on a project cooked over low heat, with a lot of patience and tranquility from the offices and the court.

Malone has coached Denver for eight years and Jokic and Murray, the pillars of the team, have shared adventures on the court for seven seasons.

The Nuggets have been playing the playoffs five straight seasons but they did not lose their nerves with important setbacks such as the West final that they lost in the 'bubble' in 2020 or the year that Murray missed completely in 2021-2022 due to a serious knee injury.

However, not only did they not transfer Murray but they were building with care a template without cracks thanks to the muscle of Aaron Gordon on the inside, the outside shot of Michael Porter Jr., the effort and seniority of Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, the spark and energy of Bruce Brown ...

With all this and without belittling his teammates, it is very difficult not to attribute to Jokic a crucial part of the success of the Nuggets.

Double MVP (2021 and 2022) and now MVP of the Finals, the Serbian genius made a place among the great NBA legends of all time by touching in the playoffs a triple-double average with 30 points, 13.5 rebounds and 9.5 assists per game (including a fantastic 54.8% in field goals and 46.1% in three-pointers).

By the way of those capital statistics, Jokic had time to beat with 10 the record of triple-doubles in a playoff and to become the first player in the history of the NBA who was at the same time leader of points, rebounds and assists in a playoffs.

Everything in Denver now sounds historic and never before realized, like miners in the depths suddenly saddling upon exquisite gemstones.

In that gigantic success also appears Stan Kroenke, the owner of these Nuggets and with this NBA ring closed an incredible triplet since he also owns the Los Angeles Rams who won the Super Bowl in 2022 and the Colorado Avalanche who triumphed in the Stanley Cup last year.

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