BUENA VISTA LAKE, FLORIDA – Almost everyone had to enter the finals of the Western Conference in LA and LA.
Then came together the resilient Denver Nuggets, which ruined the party.
For Jamal Murray and Nikola Jokic Nuggets for the first time since 2009. Advance to the conference finals. Starting Friday, Game 1, they will meet with LeBron James and the Los Angeles Lakers.
But this was not the usual way. In the first round of the series against Utah, the Nuggets were 3: 1 behind with three wins in a row. They then dropped 3: 1 to the second round of the Los Angeles Clippers earlier won again in game 7.
They also made history and became the first NBA team to compete twice in the same season for a 3: 1 series deficit.
As expected, Denver is inadequate Lakers. Murray & Co is used to it.
“It simply came to our notice then. It’s fun to silence everyone, “Murray said. “We love it.”
The last time the Nuggets reached the final of the conference was when they also met the Lakers, who lost six games. That platoon was coached by George Karl and boasted Chauncey Billups and Carmelo Anthony. The Lakers are led by the late Kobe Bryant and will continue to win the NBA title against Orlando.
This time, Denver has a game point guard Murray and center who thinks he’s a Jokiko player.
Together, they helped the Nuggets win the elimination match 6-0 this season. The pressure does not disturb them.
“It’s just fun, a journey,” Jokic said. “It simply came to our notice then. We don’t have many superstars. “
In fact, they have two flowering stars, Murray and Jokic. In a 7-game victory against the Clippers, Murray scored 40 points, while Jokic finished with 16 points, 13 assists and 22 rebounds.
The Nuggets play with an abundance of confidence, no matter what the deficit. In games 5, 6, and 7, they dropped to double digits, but came back to win each time.
“We don’t accept that someone is better than us,” said Jokica, whose squad defeated San Antonio in Game 7 last season before losing to Portland in seven games. “They really need to beat us and they need to play much better than we do. … When we start playing for each other and you see the ball running, the defense and everyone has everyone’s back, it’s really fun. “
Denver has certainly muffled the noise around the Clippers, who hoped the additions of Kawhi Leonardo and Paul George would lead them to the first final of their conference – and beyond. But the LA stars fell.
“It hurts. It hurts. But we go further,” George said. “The first year together, first running together, of course we wanted to win it. But we were very optimistic that we’re together and building something.”
After a busy Tuesday – victory and the birthday of 49th coach Michael Malone – the Nuggets will be ready to return to business.
“We know what we got,” Murray said. “We are a team of the top four in the league and we strive to be No. 1. We have a platoon that we believe in each other and we know we can go out there and win it. ”
CHOICE OF EDITORS
Subscribe PLEASE REQUEST MORE to access The Philippine Daily Inquirer and other 70+ publications, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download from 4 a.m., and share articles on social media. Call 896 6000.
For feedback, complaints or questions, Contact us.