DENVER — To win a championship in the big three professional sports, you really need to have the "big four."
This was proven by the Broncos in the late 90s, by the Avs last season and by the Nuggets this year.
To win the Super Bowl, on offense you need a great quarterback, running back, tight end and receiver. The Broncos had John Elway, Terrell Davis, Shannon Sharpe and Rod Smith. But then you have to have a great offensive line and defense to bring it all together.
The 2021-22 Colorado Avalanche had Cale Makar, Nate Mackinnon, Mikko Rantanen and Gabe Landeskog. That "big four" accounted for 37 goals and 100 points in the playoffs. But then you need the other players around them like Val Nichuskin with 9 playoff goals, Artturi Lehkonen with 8, Nazem Kadri with 7, and Devon Toews with 5. All those players came in by a trade or free agency – a masterful job by then-Avs GM Joe Sakic putting a championship roster together.
And now, we can say the same the same about Nuggets General Manager Calvin Booth.
The Nuggets have the "big four:" Nikola Jokic, Jamal Murray, Aaron Gordon and Michael Porter Jr. They have averaged 86 points a game in the playoffs.
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But Booth signed Bruce Brown as a free agent and traded Will Barton and Monte Morris to the Washington Wizards for Kentavious Caldwell Pope, moves that have proven to be genius. Brown and K.C.P. have proven to be the missing pieces to a run to the NBA Finals.
K.C.P. is a former champion with the Los Angeles Lakers in 2020 and has brought a spark, veteran leadership, finals experience to the starting lineup and to the locker room, and great defense as well.
Brown off the bench is a bulldog on defense and a sparkplug on offense, averaging 12 points a game and picking up the slack when one of the "big four" needs a break or maybe is having an off night.
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It’s amazing when you compare the 1998-1999 Broncos to the 2021-2022 Avs to now the 2022-2023 Nuggets, all with the same blue-print and the same roster concept: big four star players with good players all around them. The Broncos and Avs won it all. Now the Nuggets are favored to do the same thing.
We’ll see if the Nuggets can join the Broncos and Avs with the title of world champion.