The NBA’s Denver Nuggets, led by ‘Joker’ Nicola Jokic, defeated the Miami Heat and stood tall for the first time in 56 years of existence.
Denver defeated Miami 94-89 in Game 5 of the 2022-23 NBA Championship (7 matches, 4 wins) held at Ball Arena in Denver, Colorado, USA on the 13th (Korean time).
With this, Denver defeated Miami with a series record of 4 wins and 1 loss and became the NBA champion. Denver, who finished this season’s regular league as the No. 1 in the West, defeated Minnesota Timberwolves (4-1), Phoenix Suns (4-2), and LA Lakers (4-4) in the playoffs (PO) to advance to the championship game.
In the championship match, they faced Miami, who came up with an ‘8th seed storm’ in the Eastern Conference. Denver suffered a blow in the second game at home, but later won three consecutive wins, including two away games, and lifted the championship trophy at home that day.
Founded as a team in the American Basketball Association (ABA) in 1967 and competing in the NBA since 1976, Denver advanced to the championship game for the first time this season and achieved its first championship in club history.
Denver, along with the Los Angeles Clippers, was one of two NBA teams founded before 1980 that did not win a championship.
Denver, which is based in Colorado, a highland at the foot of the Rocky Mountains, has produced star players such as David Thompson, Alex English, and December Mutombo. Carmelo Anthony (2003-2011) and Alan Iverson (2006-2008) also worked in Denver.
But it was a long way from winning. Most of the season stayed in the lower ranks. Denver, which had a strong image of a weak player in later years, became a completely different team when a player from Serbia came in in the 2015-16 season. It was the limited express center Yokichi.
When Jokic first entered the NBA, few people paid attention to him. His height of 211cm was average for a center, and his athletic ability didn’t seem too great. So he was narrowly picked by Denver in the 2nd round, 41st overall pick, in the 2014 NBA Draft.
However, Jokic started to stand out as soon as he stepped onto the NBA stage. From his debut season, he quickly became the starting pitcher, and although he did not have monstrous athleticism, he overturned the NBA with his amazing field goal accuracy and godlike passing ability.
In the 2017-18 season, his third year as a professional, he exceeded 10 rebounds per game for the first time, and the next season, in the 2018-19 season, he broke the average score of 20 points (20.1 points) for the first time. Despite being a center, he had as many assists as any starting point guard.
Jokichi, who won the regular season MVP for two consecutive seasons in the 2020-21 season (26.4 points, 10.8 rebounds, 8.3 assists) and 2021-22 season (27.1 points, 13.8 rebounds, 7.9 assists), missed the regular season MVP for the third consecutive season this season, but won the first championship in his life. He worked hard and had the best season ever.
Jokic, who played in 69 games in the regular season this year and averaged 24.5 points, 11.8 rebounds and 9.8 assists for a ‘seasonal triple-double’, played an outstanding role in the championship match. He averaged 30.2 points, 14 rebounds and 7.2 assists per game over five championship games.
In particular, in the 3rd match against 1 win and 1 loss, he posted 32 points, 21 rebounds and 10 assists, becoming the first player in history to break through 30 points, 20 rebounds and 10 assists in the championship game. In Game 5 that day, Jokic dominated the court with 28 points and 16 rebounds, the most of both teams.
In the MVP vote held after the championship match, Jokic unanimously won the first Finals MVP in his life. Even at the moment when his teammates were shedding tears and enjoying the joy of winning, Yokichi calmly encouraged the opposing team player, drawing attention.먹튀검증
In an interview after being selected as the MVP, Yokichi said, “My work is done. Now he can go home.”
Coach Michael Malone, who made his debut as a manager in 2013 by taking the baton of the Sacramento Kings and led Denver in 2015, also won the championship for the first time.
On the other hand, Miami, which was aiming for the miracle of winning the 8th seed for the first time in history, postponed its challenge for the 4th championship in its career to the next opportunity. After winning the champion in the 2011-12 season and 2012-13 season in a row when LeBron James (Lakers) played, Miami has advanced to the championship game three times, but only finished runner-up.