Draymond Green crowns Denver Nuggets as 2023 NBA champions after taking 3-1 lead over Miami Heat

3 Min Read

Draymond Green isn’t waiting for the Denver Nuggets to get the last victory they need against the Miami Heat to win the NBA Finals. Instead, he’s already declared the Nuggets as the 2023 NBA champions.

Denver holds a 3-1 lead in the best-of-seven series and can wrap it up by winning Game 5 at home on Monday. The Nuggets have won nine of their past 10 games and only lost one playoff game at Ball Arena during their run, so they certainly seem to be in a great position to finish the job.

But if anyone should be careful about declaring the NBA Finals over at this stage, it’s Green, whose Golden State Warriors famously blew a 3-1 lead to the Cleveland Cavaliers, with him largely to blame.

In the 2016 Finals, the Warriors were on the verge of back-to-back championships with Game 5 at home. However, Green had to serve a one-game suspension, which gave the Cavaliers a sliver of hope.

Cleveland, led by LeBron James and Kyrie Irving, took full advantage, winning the next three games to become the only team in NBA history to rally from such a deficit in the Finals and take the series.

Heat forward Kevin Love was a part of that Cavaliers team, and he believes Miami remains capable of becoming the second team out of 37 to face that 3-1 hole and overcome it. In fact, he and Kyle Lowry, both former NBA champions, had a “fierce but constructive” conversation following Game 4 in an effort to turn things around in Game 5.

And they’re not the only believers inside the Heat locker room. Udonis Haslem strongly stated that he does not believe that the Nuggets hold an edge in the perceived talent gap between the teams.

However, recent results would indicate otherwise. After Denver lost Game 2 at home, the Nuggets came to Miami and won two in a row by double digits. The Heat have scored fewer than 96 points three times in the series, and an offensive output like that seems incapable of taking down Nikola Jokic, Jamal Murray and the rest of the Nuggets.

But despite Green’s declaration, such a comeback or collapse can happen, and the Heat will try their best to prove him wrong.

Share This Article
Mike is a veteran journalist who has covered the NBA for almost three decades. His introduction to the business included the legendary Heat-Knicks rivalry from the 1990s.