The Colorado franchise has won for the first time in its history after defeating the Miami Heat in the Finals. Nikola Jokić, undisputed MVP.

They went into this fifth game of the Finals with one goal and they accomplished it. Denver Nuggets are the new NBA champions. The Colorado Nuggets defeated the Miami Heat 94-89 at their home stadium, the Ball Arena, in front of their fans and closed the series (4-1). Not only did they become champions, but the franchise also managed to win its first Ring and join the long list of winners led by the Boston Celtics and Los Angeles Lakers.

Michael Malone's men struggled in the first two quarters of the game. Miami Heat knew they needed the win to try to turn the series around and they came out to the Ball Arena with a vengeance. At halftime, the Nuggets were down by seven points (44-51).

The Colorado franchise returned to the court with a different look, eager to come back and not let their first matchball slip away to take the playoffs and win the Ring. And so it was. The Nuggets, led, of course, and Nikola Jokić managed to minimize their opponents, get ahead on the scoreboard at the beginning of the last quarter and end up winning the game.

The Serbian once again showed why he is the best center and, for many, the best player in the world. He finished the game with a double-double (28 points and 16 rebounds plus 4 assists), necessary for the Nuggets' comeback. Another whose contribution in this last game was important and who also recorded a double-double was Michael Porter Jr. (16 points and 13 rebounds). For his part, Jamal Murray came close to registering a triple-double (14 points, 8 rebounds and 8 assists).

"They are a great, great team. I have a lot of respect for them." These were Jokić's words towards his rival. Looking at the course of the game, it seemed that Miami Heat would put excitement to the Finals and send the playoffs to Game 6, but in the end it was not the case. The Florida franchise has missed its star player, Jimmy Butler, who has not been as accurate as he has been in the rest of the Playoffs. He finished the game with 21 points and 5 assists. The best player last night was Bam Adebayo, with a double-double (20 points and 12 rebounds). We also highlight Kyle Lowry (12 points and 9 rebounds), who had his best game of the Finals.

Nikola Jokić: key man behind Nuggets' success

His MVP was well deserved. The Serbian center has been fundamental for the Nuggets and their conquest of the Ring. In the Playoffs, Jokić has averaged 30.0 points, 13.5 rebounds and 9.5 assists in the 20 games he has played. Impressive numbers to go along with 10 triple-doubles and 18 double-doubles. During the regular season, he averaged 24.5 points, 11.8 rebounds and 9.8 assists per game.

This is an epochal player, the best center of the moment and probably the best player in the current basketball scene. His arrival to the Colorado franchise in 2015 marked the beginning of a new era with the Nuggets. In his first three seasons, Jokić failed to qualify the Nuggets for the Playoffs, something he did accomplish the following four seasons.

Year after year it has been improving. So much so that his style of play has been transforming. He landed in the NBA as 'the classic Balkan center', with a big wingspan - almost 7' tall - and unbeatable under the rim. As the seasons have progressed, he has become a great assistant and a great ball handler. As if he were a point guard. He also continues to record a three-point shooting percentage that is uncommon for a basketball player of his caliber.

Jamal Murray and Michael Malone, the team's other two pillars

Jokić's relevance to the franchise is important but not absolute. During the 2022-2023 season, he had a perfect complement: Jamal Murray. The Canadian point guard has been the lighthouse that lit the Nuggets towards victories when the Serbian center did not play or his contribution was less than expected. During the regular season, Murray played 69 games in which he averaged 20.0 points, 6.2 assists and 4.0 rebounds per game. It was in the Playoffs where the point guard was unleashed and improved his records: 26.1 points, 7.1 assists and 5.7 rebounds per game.

And much of the credit for this team goes to Michael Malone. It has taken the Nuggets head coach seven seasons to crown the franchise. It was unthinkable that he would make it, but he has.