Denver Nuggets End Miami Heat’s Cinderella Run To Win Franchise’s First Championship, Finals MVP Nikola Jokic Drops Big Numbers

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Time to party in Mile High! The Denver Nuggets are atop the NBA: winning the 2022-23 championship.

And with a dominant postseason performance, everyone asks: is this the beginning of Nikola Jokic and the Nuggets’ reign?

Denver Nuggets Dominant 2022-23 Season

Nuggets coach Michael Malone, the team alpha in Jokic, ascending guard Jamal Murray, and a cast of adept role players brought the Nuggets to the franchise’s first appearance in the Finals and got the job with a 94-89 win over the Miami Heat on Monday.

“We want more!” Malone shouted while accepting the Larry O’Brien trophy.

The Nuggets went 16-4 this postseason.

Denver’s historic run started with an opening-round win against the Minnesota Timberwolves; defeating the Phoenix Suns in six in the Western Conference Semifinals; sweeping LeBron James and the Lakers in the conference finals; then capping it with a five-game Finals win over the Miami Heat.

(Photo by Joe Murphy/NBAE via Getty Images)

Outside of dropping Game 2 against the Heat at home, the 2022-23 Denver Nuggets played not just as the better team in the Finals but as the best team in the NBA, period.

With the wild home crowd behind them, waiting for the team’s first championship in their 47-year history, the Nuggets overcame a slow first half (51-44) and early foul trouble to take advantage of a lackluster shooting performance from Miami.

Undermanned and lacking an answer to stop Nikola Jokic, Erik Spoelstra and the Miami Heat suffered a slow demise.

Jokic averaged 30.0 points, 13.5 rebounds and 9.5 assists this Finals series.

Bruce Brown #11 and Aaron Gordon #50 of the Denver Nuggets celebrate after a 94-89 victory against the Miami Heat (Photo by Matthew Stockman/Getty Images)

Undermanned Heat Team Underwhelms (Again)

Heat star Jimmy Butler was a shell of himself all series; Miami’s role players flipped between hot and cold, and a lack of height to size up against the Nuggets doomed the Eastern Conference champ since Game 1’s tip-off.

Butler showed a resurgence in the fourth quarter of Monday’s game, leading a double-digit run to go toe-to-toe with Denver late. He led Miami with 21 points.

The Heat shot 2-for-14 in the first half of the fourth quarter — a telltale of the Heat’s dreadful night of shooting.

Miami struggled to get a championship performance from their arsenal of underwhelming role players. Max Strus, Duncan Robinson, Gabe Vincent and Caleb Martin combined for a measly 33 points.

Bricked three-point shot after three-point shot sunk Miami’s chances of walking away with a road win to stave off elimination.

For the second time in three years, an underdog Heat team struggled to stay afloat with their deficient roster. The Heat activated Tyler Herro but did not utilize him for a second in Game 5.

(Photo by Nathaniel S. Butler/NBAE via Getty Images)

One guy that stepped up all series for Miami was center Bam Adebayo, who recorded 20 points Monday night.

Nikola Jokic: Finals MVP > Regular Season MVP

After missing a well-deserved regular-season MVP award, Nikola Jokic walked away with the NBA Finals MVP honor. The Joker settled for a championship after the royal snub.

The Nuggets win their first NBA title, adding it to their ABA title from ’76.

(Photo by Matthew Stockman/Getty Images)

“MVP” chants rained from the animated fans at Ball Arena.

“I’m just glad I got my MVP vote correct this time,” ESPN-NBA analyst Mark Jackson said.

Jokic tallied a double-double: logging 28 points, 16 rebounds and four assists.

As for the dynasty talks, it’s hard to imagine another team matching up against the Nuggets’ size, shooting and depth. Take the best teams in the Western Conference and they’ll usually only have one of the Nuggets’ three pillars to victory.

Jamal Murray #27 of the Denver Nuggets reacts during the fourth quarter against the Miami Heat in Game Five of the 2023 NBA Finals (Photo by Matthew Stockman/Getty Images)

With Denver’s win, only five NBA teams have yet to win a championship: the Phoenix Suns, Orlando Magic, Brooklyn Nets, Utah Jazz and New Orleans Pelicans.

The drought is over. Bring on the Ja Morant suspension news …

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Written by Alejandro Avila

Alejandro Avila lives in Southern California and previously covered news for the LA Football Network. Jeopardy expert and grumpy sports fan that has watched every movie.


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  1. “What’s really cool about this whole insane situation is the playoffs are in full swing. The Nuggets and Sixers are on a collision course. Ball don’t lie. Let it play out. Let the talking heads talk. The real MVP race is still going. I feel bad for the Suns. They’re going to get trounced.

    Didn’t MVP used to be announced during conference finals? And Michael Jordan could take out all his frustrations on Karl Malone and Charles Barkley during the finals?

    If Denver beats Philly and Jokic is announced Finals MVP, I will actually for the first time in my life listen to Kendrick Perkins speak. He’ll probably call in sick, but I’ll tune in to see what he has to say 😂😂😂” Me, May 3rd…Burack’s column…

    I missed on Philly, but the rest is Nostradamus like…😂😂😂

  2. I have been a Nuggets fan since the David Thompson/Dan Issel ABA days. They brought me back to the NBA after about a ten year loss of interest. With the hate spewing racist drama queen bitch LeShistain ready to fade away, I can finally watch again.
    Great job, Nuggets!!

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