The Denver Nuggets of the National Basketball Association (NBA) were founded in 1967 and played in the American Basketball Association (ABA) until the ABA merged with the NBA in 1976, becoming an NBA team for the 1976-1977 season. In the 46 years since, through the 2021-2022 season, Denver has been a consistent performer, missing the playoffs (PO) only 18 times, but never reaching the championship game. The Mile High City, as Denver is known, is located at an altitude of 1600 meters in the Rocky Mountains, and while its home, the Ballpark Arena, is an advantage in the regular season, it doesn’t translate to the shortened PO.
In addition, the secluded nature of Denver makes the league’s top stars reluctant to move, so you always have to build your team around your draft picks. This is also a weakness in the POs, where a single star can dominate a game.메이저놀이터
Moment of glory with daughter U.S. professional basketball (NBA) Denver Nuggets’ Nikola Jokic, center, receives the championship MVP trophy from NBA Commissioner Adam Silver as he is congratulated by his teammates after defeating the Miami Heat in Game 5 of the 2022-2023 NBA championship at Mile High City Arena in Denver, Colorado, U.S., on March 13. Denver=AP
But that’s old news. That’s because a player from the eastern European country of Serbia, who Denver selected with the 41st overall pick in the second round of the 2014 NBA Draft, has gone on to become one of the best basketball superstars in the world. His name is Nikola “The Joker” Jokic, 28. Jokic, who has already accomplished everything as an individual, has led Denver to the top of the standings eight years after his NBA debut.
The Nuggets defeated Miami 94-89 in a tightly contested Game 5 of the best-of-seven 2022-2023 NBA Championship at PepsiCo Arena in Denver, Colorado, on Wednesday. With the win, Denver improved to 4-1 in the best-of-seven series and lifted the championship trophy for the first time in 56 years since the franchise was founded in 1967 and 47 years in the NBA.
Jokic, who was forced to score due to his teammates’ poor shooting on the day, led the way with 28 points, 16 rebounds and four assists, including a 75% shooting percentage (12-of-16) that wreaked havoc on the Miami defense. After averaging 30.2 points, 14 rebounds and 7.2 assists in five games in the championship, Yokic was unanimously named the championship’s Most Valuable Player (MVP).
Jokic’s unique style of play as a “passing big man” who drives his team forward with creative, space-busting passes earned him back-to-back regular season MVP honors in 2020-2021 and 2021-22. He also averaged a triple-double in the regular season this year, averaging 24.5 points, 11.8 rebounds and 9.8 assists, but was edged out by Joel Embiid (Philadelphia) for a third consecutive regular season MVP award due to the public’s reluctance to give three consecutive MVPs to one player.
A photo of Nikola Jokic (right), a native of Sombor, a small city in Serbia, Eastern Europe, wearing a Denver Nuggets T-shirt when he was 5 years old, has become a viral sensation after Jokic led Denver to an NBA championship. Twitter capture
But Jokic turned that disappointment into something much more valuable, winning the championship MVP award. As the highest draft pick in NBA history to win the regular season MVP, Jokic also became the lowest draft pick in history to win the championship. The previous record was held by 1979 championship MVP Dennis Johnson of the Seattle SuperSonics at No. 29.
Meanwhile, the Heat, who earned the nickname “Romantic Basketball” for starting the PO as the No. 8 seed in the Eastern Conference and sweeping the top teams, becoming the first No. 8 seed to reach the championship game in 24 years since the New York Knicks in 1999, finished as the runner-up again in the 2019-2020 season. Twenty-four years ago, New York also failed to win the title, falling short to the San Antonio Spurs.
After taking the first three games of the Eastern Conference Finals against the Boston Celtics to force a best-of-seven series, the Heat showed signs of fatigue in the championship game, especially after Jimmy Butler, the focal point of the team’s gameplan, suffered a series of injuries and was worn down by the opposition’s tough defense. Butler made a last-ditch effort, scoring 13 straight points in the final minute of the fourth quarter of Game 5, but his game-winning three-pointer in the closing seconds missed, ending Miami’s miracle.