The Denver Nuggets have been against the ropes for some days now. They fell to a 3-1 hole vs. the Utah Jazz and history wasn’t on their side, as not many teams in the history of the league have been able to overcome such an overwhelming deficit.
Jamal Murray’s heroics, Nikola Jokic’s improved shape, and some unexpected contributions from their bench have helped the Nuggets win back-to-back games to force a Game 7. Now, odds are 50-50 and no one can predict what’s going to happen.
Then again, if history’s a factor, we can almost be sure that the Jazz will be able to win after dropping the past two games, as just 11 teams have been able to come back from a 3-1 whole and advance.
Still, the Denver Nuggets have plenty of things to be optimistic for, as 4 out of those 11 teams even went on to win the NBA Championship after coming back. So, let’s check out the teams who accomplished the feat and when it happened:
*1968 Eastern Division Finals: Celtics over 76ers
1970 Western Division Finals: Lakers over Suns
1979 Eastern Conference Finals: Bullets over Spurs
*1981 Eastern Conference Finals: Celtics over 76ers
*1995 Western Conference Finals: Rockets over Suns
1997 Eastern Conference Finals: Heat over Knicks
2003 Eastern Conference Finals: Pistons over Magic
2006 Western Conference Finals: Suns over Lakers
2015 Western Conference Finals: Rockets over Clippers
2016 Western Conference Finals: Warriors over Thunder
*2016 NBA Finals: Cavaliers over Warriors
*Team won NBA Finals
Needless to say, the Nuggets still have a long path ahead of them, even assuming they beat the Jazz. They’d still have to get past Kawhi Leonard and the Los Angeles Clippers and then beat the Lakers, Thunder, or Rockets in the Western Conference Finals.
But hey, it’s one step at the time. For the time being, they must focus on handing the Jazz their third straight loss to write their name in history books.