The Denver Nuggets are NBA champions after holding off the Heat in Game 5. They can thank these three heroes for coming through in the clutch.
The Denver Nuggets were able to win their first title in franchise history, beating the Miami Heat, 94-89 in Game 5. This was a very ugly game, horrible basketball at its best.
It was like watching an 8 a.m. Sunday run at your local gym. Both teams did not shoot well from the floor but a sloppy finish made for some heroics in the final minutes. These are the Nuggets who came through when they needed it most.
Game 5 heroes for the Denver Nuggets:
3. Jamal Murray
Murray didn’t shoot well from 3 in this game, nobody on the Nuggets did. Still, he was able to get 14 points, 8 assists, and 8 rebounds. In a game where no one could really get offense for either team, Murray was able to provide a glimmer of hope for Denver at times. From inside the 3-point arc, he ended up shooting 50 percent from the field on eight shots.
2. Bruce Brown
Bruce Brown was able to get a rebound and turn that into the go-ahead bucket with under a minute remaining. The Nuggets never looked back after that point and a Jimmy Butler turnover allowed Denver to take home the NBA championship. Yes, the shooting percentage for Brown was awful in this game but he was everywhere on defense, making every big play.
1. Nikola Jokic
It is time to recognize Nikola Jokic as an all-time great. Yes, the two MVPs already made him legendary but some people always could argue that analytics overrated the player. A championship where he was able to run through the league proves that Jokic is one of the best big men of all time. In this game, he had to turn to his scoring ability due to the fact that no one on the Nuggets could make a shot.
Jokic ended up with 28 points on 75 percent shooting from the floor, along with 16 rebounds in this game. This post-season he leads the entire league in points, rebounds and assists, the first time in NBA history one player has managed that.
The Denver Nuggets are NBA champions. More will be written about their journey this season on their way to NBA greatness. For now, it might be a little hard to capture right after the moment but in the coming days, it will be easier to say what this means for Jokic’s legacy going forward. He has established himself as an all-time great.
Check out The Step Back for more news, analysis, opinion and unique basketball coverage. Don’t forget to follow us on Twitter and Instagram and subscribe to our daily email newsletter, The Whiteboard.