The Denver Nuggets have some time off before the NBA Finals begin. They are awaiting the winner of the Eastern Conference Finals between the Miami Heat and Boston Celtics. They completed an impressive Western Conference Finals sweep of the Los Angeles Lakers and they’ve been looking like the best team in the NBA Playoffs. One of the key reasons for the Nuggets dominance has been their defense. They’ve gotten stops when they needed too, and none bigger than the final seconds of Game 4 against the Lakers when a combination of Jamal Murray and Aaron Gordon stonewalled LeBron James on the potential game-tying shot. The Nuggets defense has come a long way since the start of the season according to Bruce Brown who expanded on that via Ryan Blackburn of Mile High Sports.
Bruce Brown says the biggest thing that improved between training camp and now was defense.
“It was kinda nonexistent” at times. pic.twitter.com/TySBZDlYgp
— Ryan Blackburn (@NBABlackburn) May 26, 2023
During the regular season, the Nuggets were eight in opponents points per game at 112.5. They were 15th in defensive rating at 114.2. In the playoffs, they’ve improved to fifth in opponents points per game at 108.7 and seventh in defensive rating at 111.7.
Bruce Brown has been one of the key catalysts of the Nuggets defense. He carved out a name for himself in the NBA on the defensive end during his stint with the Brooklyn Nets and he’s brought that tough-minded defensive attitude to the Nuggets. He’s been arguably the best offseason free agent pickup with the impact he’s had.
Throughout the NBA Playoffs, Brown has been averaging 12.2 points per game, 3.9 rebounds, 2.2 assists and 1.1 steals with shooting splits of 53.1 percent from the field, 28.9 percent from the three-point line and 89.5 percent from the free-throw line. If the Nuggets are to win the NBA Finals, you can be sure Brown will be a key factor.