The Nuggets have the key ingredient to make a championship run
Jan 12, 2022, 6:46 AM
(Photo by Douglas P. DeFelice/Getty Images)
Here’s an NBA trivia question: How many players played on all six Chicago Bulls championships in the 1990s.
The answer is two.
And if you’re an NBA fan, I’m guessing you know exactly who those two are. Yep, Michael Jordan and Scottie Pippen.
Pippen and Jordan were the only two players common to all six championship teams for the Bulls. There were other terrific players on those teams. Guys like Horace Grant, B.J Armstrong, Toni Kukoc, Steve Kerr and Dennis Rodman all wore red and black during the Bulls heyday. Other notables were Bill Cartwright, Will Purdue, Ron Harper, Bill Wennington and Luc Longley. But it was Pippen and Jordan. Jordan and Pippen.
The general consensus is that it takes two superstars to be an elite NBA team. Three would be nice, but two are almost mandatory. Jordan and Pippen. Stockton and Malone. Shaq and Kobe. The superstar combo seems to work just fine.
Well, the Denver Nuggets have that combination. Nikola Jokic and Jamal Murray are a pretty dynamic duo. Murray, when healthy, is one of the very best guards in the NBA. He is a star. And when you pair him with Jokic, who might be the very best player in the league, you have a lethal combination, a superstar pair should produce an elite, championship caliber team. Then you throw in Michael Porter, Jr, who certainly has the ability to become a superstar, and you really have something.
Now, all this is not news to anyone. We all know the roster and we all know how talented it is. The issue has been, because of injuries, a lack of time together, on the court, to mesh and become that championship team.
The bad news is that Murray and Porter are both out, meaning Jokic has to carry a huge load. And he is desperately trying to do all he can to keep the ship afloat until Murray and Porter can swim back and re-board.
So what does all this mean?
It means, injuries to star players or no injuries to star players, the Nuggets are not going away. The window for a championship is open and it is going to remain open for the foreseeable future.
Michael Porter, Jr. is under contract through the 2026-27 season. Murray is a Nugget through the 2024-25 season. Jokic’s status is a little less secure moving forward. He is signed through next season, but word is there are already discussions with the MVP about another max contract.
The point is these guys are not going away. The window for a championship is not closed and not closing any time soon.
I believe an NBA championship, or at least a serious run at one, is on the way for the Denver Nuggets. They have that mandatory superstar combination.
Let’s just stay patient (me included) and have a blast when it does!