The title says it better than anything else could. You can’t make this stuff up. It’s at the point where one can’t but wonder of the NBA is scripted so stuff like this happens. For those readers who have spent significant time living under a rock, the Miami Heat are the defending champions of the NBA. The Denver Nuggets are, well, a basketball team in Denver. Wait, they got Iguodala, right? Miami has LeBron James.
Denver has Javale McGee. All things considered, the two teams are opposite on both ends of the NBA spectrum. On-The-Court as in players, coaching, and play style. Off-The-Court as in attitude, fan base, and outlook. The way myself, and every other NBA fan sees it, the Miami Heat are nothing short of a super team. The Big 3, plus one of the better benches in the league? C’mon. They have brilliant coaching in Erik Spoelstra, the best player in the game, and the most hype surrounding a team we’ve seen in years. (Sorry Lakers.) Now, take a look at the Denver Nuggets.
The Nuggets are such an endearing team for the same reason Miami is such a hate-able one. Miami is built on a simple principle: “When the going gets tough, the star gets going.” When things got rough for LeBron in Cleveland, he left in a less than classy manner. When things got rough for Bosh in Toronto, he left the franchise without a single star on the team. When things got less than ideal for Ray Allen, he chose his own pride over Celtic pride, and jumped on board the bandwagon for half the money Boston offered him. Take a bunch of great players, put them on a team, and then make them into bad guys. Behold, the Miami Heat. If the attitude wasn’t enough, the black uniforms and flaming basketball logo is really just uncanny in capturing what Miami is in the minds of many. Now try Denver. I like to think of these guys as the perpetual underdogs of the league. Compile all the misfit players in the league. Behold, the Denver Nuggets. Center Javale McGee was too dumb for the Wizards and forward Andre Iguodala was too spontaneous for the 76er’s.
How could we forget about underrated guard Danilo Gallinari or undersized guard Ty Lawson? Add possibly mentally unstable rebound machine Kenneth Faried. This Nuggets team is so unbelievably diverse and lovable they seem like something out of a movie. Even the fans are antonyms of each other. I’m not going to talk trash, but Miami fans are not known for their…astuteness. Mix that in with an extreme number of them only being bandwagoners and their tendency to leave Games in the fourth quarter (like another Miami affiliated party we know…) and they do not do much for the Heat’s image. How about the Nuggets fans? The Pepsi Center, in freezing cold Denver Colorado has got more noise than the American Airlines Arena in Miami about 90% of the time. Last time I checked, there isn’t a Nuggets bandwagon. No one not from Denver generally pretends to rep the Mile High City. After Carmelo Anthony left the Nuggets in 2010, the Nuggets were left with nine players. They responded by blowing out their competition, followed by a “Who needs ‘Melo?” chant from the Denver faithful. The Heat’s alternate jerseys are jet black. The Nuggets’ alternates have a rainbow on them for goodness sake! While LeBron and co. tried to make defense their calling card last season, the Nuggets had the best offense in the league. Don‘t expect that to change with the likes of Andre Iguodala wandering the floor. If there is one thing the Nuggets love, it is a fast-paced offense.
The entire team is built for that. Sometimes, the best defense if a good offense. This time, the best offense was the Denver Nuggets. See what I did there? There are literally no two teams more different than the Heat and Nuggets. While Steven A. Smith works on his LeBron James shrine, Danilo Gallinari is going to be a double-double machine. Not a single person will notice though. If I could jump on board the Nuggets bandwagon without self-loathing for bandwagonning, I would do so in a heartbeat. They represent all that Miami Heat aren’t. It is because of this, I see a well loved and successful Nuggets team this season. In a best case scenario, a trip to the Western Conference Finals may be in order. Worst case scenario, Denver finishes sixth in the west, and gets ousted in the first round. Either way, Denver is going to be one heck of a ball club this year, all while displaying many a fan’s favorite quality in a basketball team; not being the Miami Heat.