How Denver’s dominance in the West creates a ‘Catch-22’ | Ball Don’t Lie

Yahoo Sports senior NBA reporter Jake Fischer and senior NBA writer Dan Devine discuss Denver’s run to its first NBA Finals - and how the ease of which the Nuggets advanced to the championship round hurts fans’ chances to realize how great the team really is. Hear the full conversation on “No Cap Room”, and subscribe to Ball Don’t Lie on Apple, Spotify, Stitcher or wherever you get your podcasts.

Video Transcript


- Everyone complaining about why Denver-Miami is going to be a boring Finals matchup, and the ratings are going to be bad, and they're not big enough markets, to me, I think it's pretty ironic that the Nuggets waxing the Lakers so swiftly and being so obviously the Titanic favorite, and being, like, clearly the best team in the Western Conference from start to finish this year, like it kind of had an inverse effect of the Nuggets hype train.

Being that like if it was a dramatic game 7 where Jokic is doing this and doing that every single night for two weeks with the back against the wall, and blah, blah, blah, like maybe like the compelling nature of their march to the title would have had more time for people to get on the bandwagon. But like, they've been so good and so dominant. Like, it's been happening in a blink of an eye. All of a sudden, they're in the Finals, and they haven't had a chance for all these people to jump on board.

Like, see what I'm saying? I feel like it's kind of like a catch-22 where people are saying like, oh, no one knows anything about them. Like, they're not nearly as exciting as the Lakers because they just beat the Lakers so quickly. Like, the casuals didn't have time to learn that the Nuggets are this good.

- Well, the good news about that is that we've got a couple of weeks to reheat the stories that you and I have been writing all season about the Nuggets, and to make sure that everybody's aware of what led them to this point. I think it's funny to say like they just haven't had enough time for everybody to get to know them because they waxed the Wolves. They beat, like, rookie or number one star rookie kind of guy, Anthony Edwards, and Karl-Anthony Towns. They waxed them.

They took apart the Suns with Devin Booker and Kevin Durant, and they annihilated the Lakers with LeBron James and Anthony Davis. They've beaten an All NBA team to get to this point, and we're like, ah, but we just like there's just not really much to hang your hat on. Not about the two-time MVP who was like a chubby kid that drank three liters of Coke a day, and was introduced to the league.

- And that's not a joke.

- It's not a joke. It's a legit--

- That is what happened.

- Yeah.

- He was a fat little kid who drank way too much soda. That is--

- And was introduced to the NBA through a Taco Bell commercial. What can America latch on to more readily than a fat kid who drinks too much soda and eats too much Taco Bell? And this is the guy who's now in the Finals. Like, the Jamal Murray story of he got to-- was about to sort of reach a new level, and laid low by an injury, has the grueling comeback, the training montage because they get back to it, and then aces the final the Western Conference Finals, 32 points a game on 50/40/90 shooting. Like, there's something to latch on to there.

Michael Porter Jr., back injuries, multiple surgeries, goes from number one prospect to like can't get back on the floor, and is he ever going to be able to be doing it. And now, his coach didn't trust him because he couldn't play defense, now he's doing it and willing to sacrifice for the good of the team. All these things. Like, there's plenty of stories, and I look forward to us telling them and other people in our positions telling them, rather than complaining that there's not enough to talk about. There's plenty to talk about, you just got to do it well.