The Denver Nuggets hold a 3-1 lead over the Miami Heat in the 2023 NBA Finals. And there’s one big reason for that.
In the NBA 2023 Finals, the Denver Nuggets have taken control of the series against the Miami Heat, and one of the most obvious factors behind their success has been the remarkable contributions of their role players. While star power often takes centerstage, it’s the unsung heroes on the bench who can make all the difference.
So far in this series, it’s the Nuggets’ supporting cast that has made all the difference against the Heat.
The Denver Nuggets’ supporting cast has been an underrated dominating force
Aaron Gordon is averaging 16.5 points, 7.5 rebounds, and 3.5 assists per game. Bruce Brown is averaging 11.8 points, four rebounds, and out assists per game. Kentavious Caldwell-Pope is averaging 1.3 steals per game and is giving them excellent defense.
Michael Porter Jr. may not be scoring well and is struggling with his shot, connecting on only 29 percent from the field, but his size has given the Heat issues as he’s averaging seven boards per game.
Sometimes it’s the small things that can get you over the hump at this time of year. The Denver Nuggets’ supporting cast for Nikola Jokic and Jamal Murray has seemed to check every box when it comes to their role on the team, even scoring when necessary.
Most recently, in Game 4, Gordon dropped a game-high 27 points while Bruce Brown tagged on another 21 points. In Game 3, Christian Braun gave the Nuggets a surprising 15 points, and Gordon chipped in with 10 boards along with five assists.
Going back to Game 1, MPJ gave them 13 rebounds along with 14 points while Aaron Gordon helped with 16 points and six rebounds.
In the one game that the Nuggets lost, Game 2, the Heat did a good job of limiting Jokic as a playmaker. But that didn’t last long as he got back to getting his teammates involved in Game 3.
Overall, the advantage of having that level of consistency from your role players is an underrated recipe for success, especially on the NBA’s biggest of stages. Just look at how much the Heat has missed big performances from their supporting cast.
Everyone knows that in the NBA Finals, the stars have to show up. But it’s always an added plus (and gives a team a bit more of a margin for error) when the role players come up big too. And that’s exactly what has the Nuggets on the doorstep of their first NBA Championship in franchise history.