The Denver Nuggets are one of six leagues that never reached the NBA finals without representing the Western Conference in their 44-year history. The Nuggets only played in one final, the final of the 1976 ABA Championship, after which they went on to the NBA.
However, it is hoped that the current group, with center Nikola Jokic and leader Jamal Murray, can break through. Who are they going to follow the best team in the Nuggets?
5. 2018-19 Nuggets
Last season, for the fourth time in the history of the franchise system, Team Nugget scored a tie (54) and possibly an overtime match 10 years before reaching the finals of the first conference. Jokik, Murray and the well-balanced Denver team put their energy into seven games to beat the San Antonio spurs, and then went on to score another seven games, ending up under the heartbreaking Portland Path players (the third game was an unforgettable and exhausting four jump effort).
Jokich and Nuggets could redeem themselves with another long post-season run if the 2019-20 NBA season resumes, or next season, according to head coach Mike Malone and coach figures.
4. 1984-85 Nuggets
The Nuggets of 85 embodies the Denver era, which was characterized by a high pace and a large number of points scored during the decade in which the opponents won a freighter against them. Two years before winning the title, Alex, a four-time All-Star Englishman, averaged nearly 28 points per game, while the Fat Liver star defender has really boosted his game this season, going from 4.6 helps in one night to 7.5 points.
In the 1985 play-offs, Denver, a 52-game regular season winner, defeated George Gervin and the San Antonio Spurs in the first round of the top five, then closed the young Utah Jazz team with a men’s sweep before facing the Lakers in the final conference. Denver has lost five matches to eventual champions.
3. 1977-78 Nuggets
A few years after the merger of the ABA-NBA with the Nugget League, David Thompson and the big men Bobby Jones and David Thompson were still at the helm of the Swangman. After winning 48 games and one division, the Nuggets won the post-season for the first time in their NBA history and took down Milwaukee Bax in seven games.
Denver then had to deal with the background dynamics of a pair of Seattle SuperSonics’ Dennis Johnson and Gus Williams. It was a tough series of six games and the Sonics, who will win the title next year, took the lead.
2. 2008-09 Nuggets
The 2008-09 campaign in Denver was marked by star player Carmelo Anthony in nugget uniform, after which he applied for a deal two years later. To the cheers of veterans Chauncey Billaps, Kenyon Martin and a newly purchased pickup truck, Allen Iverson, Anthony and Nugget ended the regular season with the second best record in the West.
In the first round of five games, the Nuggets met Anthony’s boyfriend Chris Paul and the New Orleans Hornet, and in the second round of five games, they defeated Vice President Dirk Novitsky Dallas Mavericks.
The Nuggets 2009 reached the finals of the conference for the first time in 24 years, but unfortunately had to play against Kobe Bryant, Pau Gasol, Lamar Odom and the best team of the Western conference. Bryant was in the elite that year, and in the post-season he fought a duel with Anthony’s friend and foe before Los Angeles won six games and then the Kobe title alone without Shaquille O’Neill.
1. 1975-76 Nuggets
In their last campaign in the AVA before the merger, Thompson, Issel, Jones, Ralph Simpson and Nugget reached the top of the league and their only final, albeit in a different league, but only lost six games to Julius Erwing and the New Jersey Nets. With an average of 37.7 points, 14.2 rebounds and 5.3 assists in this last match, the ABA and Denver Shutter have the best chance to qualify for the title.
Luckily, the end of the ABA was not the end of the Nugget, who were the best team in the league in 1975-76 with 60 victories in 84 games. Thompson, Issel and Jones returned under Hall of Fame head coach Larry Brown and won 50 games the next season before losing the first round to Master Blazer in 1977.
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