The Denver Nuggets beat the Miami Heat 4-1 in the NBA finals on Monday night, bringing the NBA season to a close. It was an unexpected finals because the Heat were a play-in team, making them the first play-in team and only the second 8th seed in NBA history to make it to the NBA Finals.
In every series, the Heat were consistently seen as the underdogs who were overperforming. But Denver managed to beat them handily with the help of a two-time MVP and a remarkably united team. After a 47-year NBA Finals drought, Denver finally triumphed thanks to the exceptional performance of their star duo, Nikola Jokic and Jamal Murray.
Nikola Jokic, who earned the title of 2023 Finals MVP, showcased his brilliance by averaging 30.2 points, 14 rebounds, and 7.2 assists while shooting an impressive 58.3% from the field. Meanwhile, Jamal Murray contributed 21.4 points and 10 assists.
Shooting a dismal 18 percent from beyond the arc, with an astonishingly terrible 1 of 17 three-point shots to start the game, Denver struggled to find their rhythm. Additionally, their free throw shooting was subpar, with a meager 57 percent success rate. The team’s 15 turnovers, including four at the beginning of the game, created an atmosphere of fear, worry, and pressure. Furthermore, they came dangerously close to squandering a seven-point lead in the fourth quarter.
However, amidst all the adversity, the Nuggets displayed remarkable resilience and determination. Their performance was a testament to their grit and exemplified their status as the epitome of NBA basketball.
Head coach Michael Malone acknowledged the significance of their accomplishment, stating, “We have achieved something unprecedented for this franchise. Our locker room is filled with young, talented players who have demonstrated on the grandest stage in the world, through 16 playoff victories, what we are truly capable of.”
By achieving this feat, the Nuggets effectively silenced their critics and shattered various narratives surrounding their team. Doubts regarding Jokic’s ability to lead a championship team and concerns about Murray’s condition after his 2021 injury were proven wrong.