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Is there any precedent for the Nuggets’ NBA Finals run?

Here's how the Nuggets stack up against previous great NBA teams.

DENVER — The Denver Nuggets are on their way to the franchise’s first ever NBA Finals appearance, but despite their unique superstar player Nikola Jokic, they share much in common with past great NBA teams.

They are also the product of a unique era in the league when no team has repeated as champions since 2018 and the “super team” era may be over.

In a Wednesday edition of the Locked On Nuggets podcast, host Matt Moore was joined by Locked On NBA Insider Howard Beck to discuss the rise of Jokic and the Nuggets and what it tells us about the NBA.

“We are at a point here in the NBA where we have moved out of the super team era for the moment … it’s ensembles now,” Beck noted.

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They also discussed what past NBA teams compare to these Nuggets, including the Miami Heat team they may face next round. Both Jokic and Jimmy Butler are the spiritual leaders of their team and have an infectious selflessness that helps make teammates better.

“They are very different players, very different personalities, but they are the hubs of their teams and they are both kind of reluctant scorers,” Beck said. “They would prefer to be the hub, the playmaker and the facilitator.”

Like past teams with selfless, play-making big men like Bill Walton’s Trail Blazers, Arvydas Sabonis’ Trail Blazers, and Tim Duncan’s Spurs, these Nuggets play collectively and are hard to measure as a result.

“With the way that the Nuggets play, the ensemble, and the idea that you can take all these talents, but if everyone’s willing to sacrifice and play together, it can be greater than the sum of its parts,” Moore said.

Atop it all sits Jokic, whose skill for a longtime out-weighed his actual accomplishments. Now, Jokic is unequivocally one of the best talents in the NBA, with two MVP trophies and a Finals appearance to show for it.

“Now, you don’t have to qualify it and you don’t have to soft-pedal,” Jokic said.

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