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2023 NBA Finals: The Denver-Miami Connection

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When the regular season ended, everyone talked about the Los Angeles Lakers, Phoenix Suns, and the Golden State Warriors in the West. In the East, it was all about the Milwaukee Bucks, Philadelphia 76ers, and the Boston Celtics. Well, those teams are no longer around, which makes us wonder. Did we disrespect the Denver Nuggets and the Miami Heat by not praising them enough? Maybe we did.

Aside from not being talked about that much, the Heat and the Nuggets have something else in common. They are interconnected with each other through former and current players. Let’s see who they are.

Assistant Carter

One of Miami’s assistant coaches is Anthony Carter. Older fans will immediately recognize him as a former player who spent more than four years with the Nuggets. He can even say that he played with NBA greats like Carmelo Anthony and Chauncey Billups. More importantly, he was coached by George Karl, and the lessons he learned back then are surely being passed on to Miami’s current squad.

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Assistant Allen

Another former Nugget who is a part of Miami’s coaching staff today is Malik Allen. Allen played 51 games for Denver and was even a teammate of Carter during his time in Colorado. After his playing days, Allen became an assistant coach for two teams before joining the Heat. Both Carter and Allen entered the NBA without being drafted, which is why they fit well with Miami’s reputation of being a team full of undrafted players.

Jordan-Butler Connection

A third assistant from Miami’s coaching staff, Caron Butler, has ties with one of Denver’s players. Butler was a teammate of DeAndre Jordan during his time with the Los Angeles Clippers. Remember that viral dunk of Jordan slamming one over Brandon Knight? Butler can be seen reacting to that viral play. He was smiling in amusement and relief. Relief because he wasn’t on the other end of that dunk.

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Green-Love Connection

The last time Kevin Love went to the NBA Finals, he was with Jeff Green when they were members of the Cleveland Cavaliers. Both of them lost to the powerful Warriors back in 2018. Now they are back, but this time as enemies. Love plays for the Heat, while Green is now a Nugget. Love already won a ring back in 2016, and Green wants to win his own ring as well.

Oladipo-Gordon Connection

Heat guard Victor Oladipo is out with an injury, so we won’t be seeing him in action anytime soon. It is worth mentioning, though, that he was a teammate of Denver’s Aaron Gordon when they played for the Orlando Magic. It is sad to know that only one of them will be getting a ring this year. Who will it be?


Main Image Credit:
Embed from Getty Images

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