Bucks title should be music to Nuggets fans ears
The Milwaukee Bucks winning their first championship in 50 years has proven that small market teams can win. This should be music to Denver Nuggets fans ears.
Every year it’s the same narrative, that this player and that player is going to New York or Los Angeles or Miami. Sometimes it’s true, but not always.
Anymore role players just want to team up and form “super teams.” Anywhere LeBron James goes, players tend to just follow him, and it didn’t matter where he played. This year, that team (the Los Angeles Lakers) ended up losing to the Phoenix Suns in six games after being the favorite to win the whole thing.
Even this season the Brooklyn Nets formed a super team with Kyrie Irving, Kevin Durant and James Harden. The team looked great, but they then fell to the eventual world champion Bucks in seven games.
After winning Game 6 on Tuesday night, Giannis Antetokounmpo said, “It’s easy to go somewhere and go win a championship with somebody else; it’s easy. I don’t want to put anybody on the spot, but I could go to a super team and just do my part and win a championship, but this is the hard way to do it, and we did it.”
The former league MVP could’ve easily joined another super team, but he chose not to because he knew the right thing was to stay and win it in Milwaukee.
Nikola Jokic had this famous quote before having an MVP season:
“When I came to Denver, I said that I would love to be Denver’s Tim Duncan, because he played his whole career in San Antonio. God willing, I would love to play my whole career in Denver.”
Jokic knows that he can be part of a team that brings a championship to Denver, and he showed that by signing his max contract extension to say with the Nuggets.
There is one more question though: How did the Bucks build a team that could win a championship?
Milwaukee drafted Antetokounmpo with the 15th pick back in 2013 and developed him to become a superstar. The Bucks also traded for Khris Middleton just after his rookie season back in 2013. Middleton was developed and has become a two-time All-Star and valuable piece opposite of Antetokounmpo.
After Milwaukee was eliminated in the conference finals two years ago, and then the conference semifinals last season, the front office knew they were missing one more key piece to their roster that could get them over the edge. The Bucks then acquired guard Jrue Holiday from the New Orleans Pelicans in a three-team trade.
The Nuggets had shown a lot of interest in Holiday, and had been connected to him for the last couple of seasons, but were unable to get a deal done to acquire him.
Holiday brought an experience to Milwaukee and understood what his role was at the point guard position. The team bought in that if they were going to win a championship, they were going to have to run the offense through Antetokounmpo.
This is exactly what the Nuggets figured out, except they lost a big-time piece to their offense in Jamal Murray after he tore his ACL, cutting his season short.
When Murray is back and healthy this upcoming season, the Nuggets should pick up right where they left off before he went down. Denver also has arguably the deepest bench in the NBA, and they can hurt teams when they’re running the floor in Denver.
The Nuggets have their “big three” needed to win a championship in Jokic, Murray, and Michael Porter Jr. Entering his third full season, Porter is still developing, just like Middleton had been. In fact, the budding star out of Missouri has turned into one of the best offensive players in the league.
The Milwaukee formula will work for Denver because as these three players continue to progress and develop together the rest of the pieces will fall into place. Denver might need to add a veteran point guard and another defensive big man, but other than that this team is built to win next season.
The Nuggets have the right coach and the right centerpieces to win a championship as soon as 2022.