What should Nuggets fans be rooting for in the 2024 NBA Finals?

Dallas Mavericks v Boston Celtics
Dallas Mavericks v Boston Celtics / Brian Fluharty/GettyImages

The NBA Finals will tip off on Thursday night and the Nuggets are ominously absent. The Eastern Conference champion Boston Celtics will play host to the Western Conference champs, the Dallas Mavericks. The Nuggets, of course, were eliminated in round 2 by the Timberwolves who got pummeled in five games by the Mavs in the West Finals.

The Nuggets aren’t exactly rivals with either team, but there are several rooting angles for fans to get behind in this Finals series. It should be a great matchup, featuring plenty of star power, elite role players, and two of the hottest young coaches in the league.

Luka Doncic a young rival of Nikola Jokic?

Doncic is coming for the top spot and is on the verge of laying claim to best player alive status. Jokic clearly has the belt, but if his younger Eastern European counterpart wins the title this year things could get murky. Luka, at just 25, has been knocking on the MVP doorsteps for years, and winning a Finals at such a young age would immediately vault him into the conversation - seemingly ahead of schedule.

A Mavericks win means another West contender

The Nuggets have known there are other Western Conference teams creeping toward their mantle in the Timberwolves, Thunder, and others. But they likely thought the Mavs were at least a tier below. There was also some thought that Doncic may eventually want to leave Dallas. But if the Mavs win the title that all changes.

That would likely ensure Doncic stays in Dallas, and the team would likely be contenders to win the West for years to come. The Western Conference is only getting tougher and a Mavs win would likely only enhance that.

A Celtics win would cement them as the best team of the decade

The Nuggets relatively cruised to the 2023 title and cemented themselves as one of the best teams of the decade, but a Celtics win this season would be even more impressive. They rolled through the regular season at 64-18 and have steamrolled the East, going 12-2 en route to the Finals. They’ve done it all with a historically dominant point differential and net rating. If Boston finishes the job - especially in a short series - it’ll be hard to argue they’re the greatest team we’ve seen in a while.