Even though the result is the same this is different from last year.
The Nuggets won five of their last seven last year but ultimately couldn’t keep pace with the Blazers. This year, as we know, they won 6-straight before dropping the play-in game with Minnesota.
It felt different this year, though. It honestly felt like they were going to do it, as improbable as the run was, it felt ordained. The Nuggets showed a resilience and a toughness that has been absent for a long time. Possibly all time.
In the 50 years the Nuggets have plied their trade in Denver, they’ve been to two Conference Finals.
They lost both to the Lakers who both times went on to win NBA Championships.
Beyond that, there’s just not much good to say about the Nuggets’ playoff history. They lose in the first round. More specifically they lose in the first round a lot to inferior teams. It’s been our legacy as Nuggets fans. It’s been mine since 1979. The year Magic Johnson and Larry Bird entered the league is the year I started watching the Nuggets. They were ok, they won 30 games, finished 8th in the West (only six teams went to the playoffs, top two seeds had first round bye, like the NFL).
I feel qualified to comment on how different this Nuggets roster feels. The Core is for real. Jokic, Murray and Harris should be lighting up the Can for the next decade.
This team is the team we’ve been looking for.