The State of the State

May 23, 2023

A look at what’s happening on the Colorado sports scene: The Nuggets are in uncharted waters

Pinch yourselves, Nuggets fans. You aren’t dreaming. Your “never have won, never will win,” #NuggLyfe, 47-year-old middle-aged curse is over.

The Denver Nuggets are going to the 2023 NBA Finals. And this isn’t some plucky underdog story. The Nuggets are favored to win the city’s first NBA crown.

Currently, Denver is -250 win hoist the Larry O’Brien Trophy. Miami is second at +275. According to Vegas, the Nuggets are about to make history.

But there’s a good reason. The Nuggets are the most-dominant team in the playoffs, having swept the Lakers in the Western Conference Finals to run their overall postseason record to 12-3.

It’s hard to find a weakness in Denver’s game. That makes them a tough out.

They can score inside, with Nikola Jokic and Aaron Gordon both being dominant at times in the low post. And they can hit from the outside, with Jamal Murray, Michael Porter Jr. and Kentavious Caldwell-Pope drilling big jump shot after big jump shot.

Jokic is the best player in the world. The Nuggets big man averaged a triple-double against the Lakers, scoring 27.8 points, grabbing 14.5 rebounds and dishing out 11.8 assists per game. That’s just ridiculous. Every night, he’s setting a new record or joining another “not since Wilt” category.

Murray has been almost as good. After missing the last two postseasons with a knee injury, Denver’s point guard is making up for lost time. He’s averaging 27.7 points, 6.1 assists and 5.5 rebounds per game during the playoffs. Those are staggering numbers, as well.

They’ve been the best combination in the postseason. And they have one of the best supporting casts. The Nuggets have multiple players who can put up 20-plus points on any given night, making them tough to defend.

Speaking of which, Denver is good on that end of the floor, as well. The Nuggets are giving up 108.1 points per game in the postseason, tops among all of the teams remaining in the playoffs.

Now it will be an upset if Denver isn’t hosting a championship parade in June.