The Denver Nuggets are NBA champions for the first time ever after beating the Miami Heat in five games which concluded with a 94-89 win Monday night. While the celebration has only just begun for the Nuggets, some players are already forecasting what's to come for this team.
While speaking with ESPN's Scott Van Pelt, Nuggets guard Jamal Murray declared that this Denver championship is just the beginning for this team.
"This is the first of many," Murray said. "We knew we could do this -- having everybody locked in, knowing that if we do the necessary things on the court nobody can stop us. We proved that. We lost four games the whole postseason, I think that just speaks to how locked in we were. I think we can do it again. We just run it back."
I know what you're thinking, any time an athlete declares future success for their team it never ends well. The most notable instance was when LeBron James did the "not one, not two, not three, not four," monologue at his introductory press conference when he joined the Heat in 2010. While the Heat won twice during James' tenure, lamenting that you're going to win "not five, not six, not seven" championships before you do anything is going to get some criticism. At least for Murray, he's making that statement after just securing his first NBA title, and unlike previous athletes who have boasted about winning it all multiple times, Murray's words aren't too off base.
The Nuggets are in a position that many teams around the league are likely envious of from a roster standpoint. Murray is signed through the summer of 2025, and newly-minted Finals MVP Nikola Jokic's supermax deal goes through 2028. Aaron Gordon won't be a free agent until 2026, and Michael Porter Jr.'s contract doesn't expire until 2027. That's four of Denver's five starters all signed through at least the next two years. This core has already proven that it can win a championship, and that's with Porter Jr. not having a stellar series in the Finals, and a few off games from Murray. The depth may change as the years go by, but that core four is as good as any in the league.
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Having that group of guys intact when the new CBA kicks in, which has rules in place that hinder teams from spending a significant amount without hefty financial penalties, is going to put the Nuggets a few steps ahead of every other team in the league. If you take a quick glance at other teams that can challenge Denver, you'll see that they all have roster construction issues that need to be resolved before dethroning the Nuggets.
The Suns have depth issues behind Devin Booker and Kevin Durant, and the Bucks have to figure out what deal to offer Khris Middleton who has been hampered by injuries. The Sixers have to decide if they want to spend it all on James Harden, and the Celtics may be one year away from Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown breaking up if an extension isn't agreed upon for the latter. The Lakers need an upgrade at point guard, and so do the Clippers.
When you go down the list and weigh the Nuggets next to all of these other rosters you'll see that this team is built to win more than just this year's championship. They have very few weaknesses, and with so many key players under team control for the foreseeable future, it makes sense for Murray to say this is just the first of many for Denver because, in actuality, it might be.
Nuggets NBA championship gear released
The Nuggets have won their first NBA title ever. You can now buy Nuggets championship shirts, hats, jerseys, hoodies, and much more to celebrate the historic win. Get Nuggets NBA championship gear here now.
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