NBA (Basketball) (Basketball)


NBA website:


Latest News & Results


Nuggets finally back in action after 10-day layoff: “It almost felt like we weren’t in the playo

Jeff Green’s long NBA Finals wait is finally, mercifully, almost over.

Sure, it’s been a while since the 14-year veteran last made it this far in the playoffs — 2017-18 with Cleveland — but the past 10 days have also felt like an eternity.

The Nuggets polished off their Western Conference Finals sweep of the Los Angeles Lakers on May 22 and could have finalized a matchup with Miami the next night had the Heat finished off its own sweep of Boston.

Instead, the Celtics ran off three straight wins before falling in Game 7 on Monday night.

The result? Green watched a whole lot of Eastern Conference Finals basketball over the past week-plus.

“I told my wife when Boston won Game 6, it almost felt like – we’d been sitting so long, it almost felt like we weren’t in the playoffs anymore because the only thing we were doing was watching them,” Green said on the eve of Denver’s first Finals game. “But I watched two good teams battle and when they won, it was like, ‘now it’s time to refocus.’ The time off, I think it helped in many ways. It allowed us to regroup, touch up on some things, better ourselves. I enjoyed that series. They showed me some things on both ends.

“I’m looking forward to this matchup.”

Kentavious Caldwell-Pope said Wednesday that the Nuggets started to tilt their preparations toward Miami last week before mixing in some Boston work as the Celtics tried to mount an historic comeback.

“We’ve been sitting for a long time, we’re going to be a little jittery and anxious to play,” Caldwell-Pope added. “Just try to keep them calm. The first couple possessions are going to be a lot, even for myself. I’ll be feeling anxious, even right now.”

Want more Nuggets news? Sign up for the Nuggets Insider to get all our NBA analysis.
PHOTOS: A look at the Miami Heat one day before NBA Finals start

PHOTOS: A look at the Miami Heat one day before NBA Finals start

01/06/2023, USA, Basketball, NBA (Basketball), Article # 31229993
PHOTOS: A look at the Denver Nuggets one day before NBA Finals start

PHOTOS: A look at the Denver Nuggets one day before NBA Finals start

01/06/2023, USA, Basketball, NBA (Basketball), Article # 31229994
Denver Nuggets 101: A beginner’s guide to the NBA Finals

Denver Nuggets 101: A beginner’s guide to the NBA Finals

01/06/2023, USA, Basketball, NBA (Basketball), Article # 31229995

So you’re at the water cooler, trying to engage with excited co-workers about the hometown Denver Nuggets, playing in the NBA Finals this week for the first time in franchise history.

But you don’t know what to say.

Have no fear, basketball casuals, The Denver Post is here to help.

This handy glossary defines some common terms, names and talking points you may hear on TV or in conversations around the office.

Keep this list close and don’t hesitate to glance awkwardly at your phone as your boss dissects the Nuggets pick-and-roll defense.

Names and nicknames

Nikola Jokic: The two-time MVP is arguably the best player on the planet. And yet legions of fans — let alone national pundits — don’t know how to pronounce his name. It’s Ni-Cole-uh Yo-Kitch. Remember the soft “J”.

The Joker: Jokic’s nickname

Blue Arrow: Guard Jamal Murray’s nickname

Uncle Jeff: Reserve forward Jeff Green’s nickname

MPJ: Forward Michael Porter Jr.

KCP: Guard Kentavious Caldwell-Pope

AG: Forward Aaron Gordon

Michael Malone: The head coach. Don’t call him “Mike”

Bruce Brown: Easy enough

Christian Braun: Not as easy as you think. The rookie from Kansas pronounces his last name the same way Bruce does: “Brown”

Basketball terminology

Pick and roll: The most common play in basketball. A player sets a screen for a teammate handling the ball and then moves toward the basket to receive a pass.

Triple-double: AKA the Jokic special. This is when a player accumulates at least 10 points, 10 rebounds and 10 assists (or 10 steals/blocks, though that’s extremely unusual). And, no, 10 turnovers is not considered part of a triple-double.

Sixth-man: The first player off the bench who doesn’t start the game. Think Bruce Brown.

Zone defense: A defensive scheme in which players defend a “zone” of the court rather than a specific player.

3-and-D: Players who primarily shoot 3-pointers and play tough defense. Caldwell-Pope is a classic example.

Point-center: Throughout much of basketball history, the point guard has run the show offensively. Not these Nuggets, where the team’s center (Jokic) is also essentially the point guard

Trey, triple, downtown, way downtown, behind-the-arc: All mean 3-pointer.

Finals-specific terms

Sombor Shuffle: The most devastating move since Kareem Abdul-Jabbar’s skyhook, named after Jokic’s hometown in Serbia. There are many variations, but the shuffle consists of one dribble, a jump off one leg, followed by a high-arcing jumper.

Rage timeouts: A Malone specialty. When the coach erupts off the sideline, stomping on the court as the players walk slowly toward the sideline. Smoke may or may not appear near his ears.

Chip: Championship. As in, “Jokic is going for his first chip.”

Heat culture: A subject of much media consternation. An ephemeral grittiness, hard-nosed play endemic to the Heat team. Attributed to coach Erik Spoelstra and team president Pat Riley.

Jimmy Buckets, Jimmy Freakin’ Butler, Jimmy (expletive) Butler: Heat forward Jimmy Butler

For the Denver hoop-heads

Munder: Noun, holding one’s opponent under 100 points. As in “we held theM Under 100”.

Yeah Mike: Viral Nuggets sensation, best illustrated in meme form. Porter, after hitting a 3 against the Los Angeles Clippers in the playoffs, said “something just told me to shoot it.” Nuggets Twitter quickly went to work, showing MPJ giving himself encouragement in various game situations.

Want more Nuggets news? Sign up for the Nuggets Insider to get all our NBA analysis.
Saving for a down payment? You could sit courtside at the NBA Finals instead

Saving for a down payment? You could sit courtside at the NBA Finals instead

01/06/2023, USA, Basketball, NBA (Basketball), Article # 31229996

A day before the first NBA Finals game in Denver, the price for the cheapest tickets to the NBA Finals at Ball Arena, sitting upstairs in the 300 level, start at about $550, down a bit from last week.

A review Wednesday of prices on Ticketmaster starts at $568 for a seat and climbs to just below $40,000 for the opening game, at 6:30 p.m. Thursday, against the Miami Heat, the Eastern Conference champion.

Want to sit courtside? A seat in the corner has an asking price of $39,000. A couple of first-row seats closer to center court were priced at about $29,000. But there were some courtside seats that cost as low as $10,000.

Upstairs seats in the 300 level of the arena for game one start above $500 and climb to above $1,000. Seats in the 200 and 100 levels start, for the most part, above $1,000 and work up. Wednesday on the Ticketmaster site a pair of 100-level tickets — verified resale — stood out at $995 each. One other 100-level ticket was offered at $999.

There are plenty of seats available, including standard admission tickets, if fans are willing to pay the price. A standard admission ticket for game one in section 104 row 13, along the baseline, was offered at $1,795. Mid-court first-level tickets, typically, start above $2,000 and climb. A standard ticket in section 124, row 10, was priced at $2,750.

Game 2 tickets are more expensive, with a baseline courtside seat priced at a whopping $45,000. The cheapest seats for Game 2, on Sunday, start at about $650, about $100 more than Game 1.

While Ticketmaster is the NBA’s official ticketing partner, Box Office Ticket Sales also offered finals tickets on Wednesday with 300-level tickets starting in the mid-$600s. The site, a “resale marketplace,” had 38 tickets for sale in section 122 starting at $1,805. All sales are final.

Entry-level prices are down a bit from last week. On May 23 the lowest-priced ticket to get into the arena was $750. Interested fans are advised to shop around on trusted resale sites to find their best option. The clock is ticking, however, and time to snag a championship ticket is quickly approaching for Game 1. Game 2 of the best-of-seven series is at 6 p.m. Sunday in Denver.

Want more Nuggets news? Sign up for the Nuggets Insider to get all our NBA analysis.
Pac-12 freshman of the year Adem Bona changes mind, will return to UCLA next season

Pac-12 freshman of the year Adem Bona changes mind, will return to UCLA next season

01/06/2023, USA, Basketball, NBA (Basketball), Article # 31229591

Adem Bona, the Pac-12 freshman of the year and one of the nation's top centers, will return to the Bruins after withdrawing from the NBA draft in favor of another college season.
Pac-12 freshman of the year Adem Bona withdraws from NBA draft pool, returns to UCLA

Pac-12 freshman of the year Adem Bona withdraws from NBA draft pool, returns to UCLA

01/06/2023, USA, Basketball, NBA (Basketball), Article # 31229686

Adem Bona, the Pac-12 freshman of the year and one of the nation's top centers, will return to the Bruins after withdrawing from the NBA draft in favor of another college season.
Denver Nuggets vs. Miami Heat: Who has the edge, five things to watch and predictions

Denver Nuggets vs. Miami Heat: Who has the edge, five things to watch and predictions

01/06/2023, USA, Basketball, NBA (Basketball), Article # 31229590

As the Denver Nuggets enter their first NBA Finals in franchise history, a breakdown of their matchup against the Miami Heat:

Who has the edge?

Guards: Maybe Nikola Jokic has inadvertently stolen some of Jamal Murray’s shine, but Denver’s combo guard has been almost unstoppable throughout Denver’s historic playoff run. Far from a bubble phenomenon, Murray’s averaging 27.7 points per game in the playoffs, which is, gasp, more than he averaged when the Nuggets were sequestered in Orlando. The Lakers didn’t have an answer for him when he filleted their backcourt, and outside of Heat star Jimmy Butler, there are no obvious defensive matchups for Murray. Gabe Vincent and Max Strus are both scrappy guards, each capable and willing to shoot from outside. The Heat is a team made up of more than the sum of its parts, but Denver’s got a significant advantage in the backcourt. Edge: Nuggets.

Wings: Don’t underestimate Butler, the two-way wing who thrives in the face of doubt. The unquestioned leader of the Heat, Butler is a menace inside the arc, getting downhill and drawing fouls. He’s also the type of competitor who you’ll have to stomp out, twice, before you know you can turn your back. Aaron Gordon will draw the assignment, adding to a murderer’s row of wings he’s had to stymie. Imagine having to stop Kevin Durant and LeBron James, only to be rewarded with Butler. That’s what Gordon’s looking at. Caleb Martin erupted in the conference finals and had a plausible case as the series’ MVP. Expect Denver’s best perimeter defender, Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, to try and disrupt his rhythm from 3-point range. Michael Porter Jr.’s going to have a significant advantage over his matchup in terms of size and length. Porter’s 3-point shooting could also zap Miami’s zone. Expect a heavy emphasis on crashing the glass, from Porter and Gordon, given the zone’s vulnerabilities. Edge: Even.

Big men: Bam Adebayo has the right strength and athleticism to deal with Jokic, but does he have the stamina? Anthony Davis didn’t. Scoff all you want, but Jokic is in elite condition. Capable of clearing the defensive glass and kick-starting a break the other way, Jokic is at the heart of Denver’s transition offense. It’s one of the preeminent battlegrounds of the series. And if Adebayo is already giving up a few inches to Jokic down low, the Heat better be careful he doesn’t get into foul trouble. There’s a steep drop-off in talent beyond him in the depth chart. Will Miami single cover Jokic or throw double-teams at him? Like a junk ball pitcher, the Heat will toss the kitchen sink at Jokic, varying their looks throughout the series. It might not matter. Edge: Nuggets

Bench: The Nuggets are expecting Tyler Herro to return sometime in the middle of the series from a broken hand. He’s a sparkplug scorer who can catch fire off the bench. Beyond that, both Kyle Lowry and Kevin Love are battle-tested, each having played in the Finals before. Duncan Robinson’s 3-point proficiency can turn a game quickly. Denver’s best counter, for most of Miami’s depth, is Bruce Brown. He’ll no doubt see some time on Butler, or whichever Heat starter staggers with its second unit. Does Christian Braun get back in the rotation after sitting Game 4 vs. the Lakers? How much production can Denver expect out of Jeff Green? Nuggets coach Michael Malone said it’s the Finals, and everything is on the table. Might there be some surprise minutes looming on Denver’s bench? Edge: Even.

Coaching: Erik Spoelstra is the best coach in the NBA never to win Coach of the Year, and he might not even need that caveat. He might just be the best. Spoelstra’s teams are consistently competitive regardless of who’s on the roster. It was also difficult to dismiss his bravado while promising they’d find a way to seize Game 7 in Boston last round. Malone has the benefit of the series’ best player, home court advantage and a massive rest edge. His players lauded their practices leading into Game 1 in that he hammered their conditioning throughout the break. Malone has played out the disrespect card, and that should no longer be a talking point. The Nuggets deserve to be where they are and don’t need anymore motivational gimmicks. Now it’s about executing and making history. Edge: Heat.

Mike Singer, The Denver Post

Five things to watch

1. Experience matters: If the Heat holds one advantage over the Nuggets heading into their championship series, it’s simply the fact that Miami’s been here before. Not only is this the first NBA Finals trip for Denver, it’s the first for all but two Nuggets (Kentavious Caldwell-Pope and Jeff Green). All told, Miami has 72 games of Finals experience compared to 10 for the Nuggets. But that comes with a couple of caveats: 1. More than half of those games (42) belong to reserves Udonis Haslem (27) and Kevin Love (15), neither of whom played a minute of the conference finals; and 2. Another significant chunk (24) is from Miami’s six-game series against the Lakers in the Orlando bubble.

2. Miami’s Herro: Microwave scorer Tyler Herro has been wearing a bucket hat instead of a uniform for most of the Heat’s postseason run after fracturing his hand in the team’s first-round series vs. Milwaukee. The timeline originally provided by the Heat indicates that last year’s Sixth Man of the Year could return to the lineup at some point in this series. But just how effective can Herro be after missing all but one of the Heat’s 18 playoff games? If it’s anywhere close to what he produced over 67 games during the regular season (20.1 points, 5.4 rebounds, 4.2 assists), that would be a significant add to an already deep roster.

3. Rest vs. rust: After sweeping the Lakers in the Western Conference Finals, the Nuggets will have gone nine days between when they last played May 22 in L.A. and tip-off of Game 1 inside Ball Arena. Will that extended rest be an advantage against a Heat team that only closed out the Celtics three days earlier? Or will it produce a sluggish start with the Nuggets needing time to shake off the rust? There is a precedent for this earlier in the postseason: The Nuggets had a week of rest while first-round opponent Minnesota grinded through a pair of play-in games prior to the first round. The Game 1 result? A 109-80 thrashing of the T-Wolves that was over by the end of the third quarter.

4. Bombs away: In a nod to the times, the last two teams standing in these NBA Playoffs also happen to be the two best 3-point shooting squads in the postseason bracket. While the Heat comes in at No. 1 at 39.0% over 18 games, with an average of 13.1 3-pointers per game, the Nuggets are just a tick behind at No. 2 (38.6%, 12.1 3s/game). Could this series come down to who defends the 3-point line better? Both teams have been quite good in that regard, with the Nuggets giving up just 9.9 triples/game at a 34.2% clip this postseason, and the Heat 12.3 at 32.5%.

5. Mile High advantage: As befitting its status as just the second No. 8 seed to reach the NBA Finals since 1999, the Heat has been road warriors throughout its run to the NBA Finals, going 6-4 away from South Beach, including three wins at Boston in the Eastern Conference Finals. There’s just one small problem with that: Miami has lost six straight at Ball Arena, with those losses coming by an average margin of 12.6 points. Throw in the games at Kaseya Center, and Miami is just 2-10 against Denver since the start of the 2017-18 season — a period that just so happens to coincide with the rise of the Nuggets as perennial playoff contenders. Throw in Denver’s perfect record (6-0) at Ball Arena during these playoffs, and the odds are clearly stacked against the Heat.

Matt Schubert, The Denver Post

Staff predictions

Mike Singer, Nuggets beat writer: The Nuggets have come too far to underestimate a No. 8 seed that’s standing in the way of their first title. While Michael Malone is correct that this series will be the hardest test they’ve ever had, Miami, on short rest, just doesn’t match up well against Denver. Nuggets in 6

Mark Kiszla, sports columnist: The Heat is feisty, Erik Spoelstra is a coaching genius and Jimmy Buckets can win a Finals game on any given night by himself. But the Nuggets’ run to their first championship in franchise history is too powerful a story for ESPN naysayers or Miami to deny. Nuggets in six.

Sean Keeler, sports columnist: Jimmy Butler is magic. He’s also 5-7 over his last 12 games vs. Denver, head-to-head, and 1-3 as a member of the Heat. Bam Adebayo is 2-10 over his last 12 tussles with the Western champs. You get the drill. Nuggets in six.

Bennett Durando, sports reporter: I was ready to cast my Celtics in seven pick Monday night, haunted by memories of a 2004 St. Louis baseball team that encountered a destiny-bound Boston squad fresh off a 3-0 comeback. But hey, we don’t have to touch that topic now. The South Beach waters clearly harness dark magic, but I see no way Miami matches up. Nuggets in five.

Ryan McFadden, sports reporter: Miami’s performance in Game 7 of the Eastern Conference Finals showed the Heat has something left in the tank after an exhausting series against the Celtics. But that will not be enough to stop the Nuggets, who are hungry and rested. Plus, no team has yet to solve Nikola Jokic in the postseason. Nuggets in five.

Matt Schubert, sports editor: Fear Jimmy Buckets’ relentless confidence. Tremble at Coach Spo’s big basketball brain. Quake at the undeniable force that is Heat Culture. Then just give the basketball to the best player on the planet (aka The Joker) and watch him slice it all into little bits. Nuggets in five.

NBA Finals schedule

Game Location Date Time TV
Game 1 Miami at Denver Thursday, June 1 6:30 p.m.  ABC
Game 2 Miami at Denver Sunday, June 4 6:30 p.m. ABC
Game 3 Denver at Miami Wednesday, June 7 6:30 p.m. ABC
Game 4 Denver at Miami Friday, June 9 6:30 p.m. ABC
*Game 5 Miami at Denver Monday, June 12 6:30 p.m. ABC
*Game 6 Denver at Miami Thursday, June 15 6:30 p.m. ABC
*Game 7 Miami at Denver Sunday, June 18 6:30 p.m. ABC

* If necessary 

Want more Nuggets news? Sign up for the Nuggets Insider to get all our NBA analysis.
Knicks, Scott Perry parting ways after six seasons: reports

Knicks, Scott Perry parting ways after six seasons: reports

31/05/2023, USA, Basketball, NBA (Basketball), Article # 31228279

The Knicks and general manager Scott Perry are parting ways, according to reports.

Perry had been GM for the team for six seasons and reportedly will explore other options, as his contract is expiring.

Perry was hired by ex-Knicks executive Steve Mills in 2017. Mills was later replaced by Leon Rose in 2020 and the current executive retained Perry as general manager.

Perry was part of a front office that helped build a team that achieved its first postseason series win in a decade and just the second postseason series win since 2000. He helped sign RJ Barrett to a $120 million extension last summer, which ended a 23-year streak of the Knicks failing to sign a rookie to a second deal.

Perry was also a part of the Knicks signing Mitchell Robinson, Julius Randle and Jalen Brunson, who turned out to be one of the NBA’s most impactful free agent signings last summer.