There are two ways to view the Denver Nuggets loss to the Miami Heat in Game 2 of the NBA Finals, a series that’s now knotted up at one game apiece.

The way Jeff Green sees it:

“It’s the f*ckin Finals, man.”

And the way that Nikola Jokić sees it:

“Sometimes you win and sometimes you lose – especially in the playoffs, where every game is different and every game matters.”

In essence, Green was echoing the sentiments of his fiery head coach, Michael Malone, who cited effort as the primary reason the Nuggets lost Game 2. Along with Malone and Green, most every Nugget threw in “discipline” and “communication as culprits responsible for the 111-108 result from Ball Arena.

Jokic, on the other hand, took a more pragmatic approach. The Heat are there for a reason, just like the Nuggets, and are too good to be brushed away like a forgone conclusion. No matter what the rosters look like, the last two teams standing typically exchange blows in some form or fashion. In the NBA, the best team ultimately prevails, but most typically, punches are landed by both.

In the history of the NBA Finals, in all 77 series since 1947, there have only been nine sweeps. Tack on one more that won’t be.

Among the teams that failed to sweep were all of Michael Jordan’s Bulls title teams (including the 1996-97 team that won 72 games), any of the “Kobe ‘n’ Shaq” Lakers teams, the 2016-17 Warriors (who won 73 games but lost in the Finals to Cleveland) or any of the Showtime Lakers of the ‘80s and ‘90s. All of those teams, along with many more, lost at least one game en route to a championship.

Thus, despite how good Denver looked in Game 1, or how much better than Miami they look on paper, history was not on their side when talk of a sweep began to fill the airwaves, headlines and social platforms. Then again, a loss most definitely doesn’t mean the Nuggets won’t win.

Up until Sunday night, the Nuggets had not lost on their home court. Then again, they’d never given up 36 points on 69 percent shooting in the fourth quarter of a playoff game, either. For as good as Denver was defensively in Game 1, a thumping that held Miami to just 93 points, they were equally bad at too many points during Sunday’s loss.

“It’s defense and discipline,” said Jamal Murray.

“The discipline is the key for us,” said Jokic.

“This is the NBA Finals and we’re talking about effort?” Michael Malone opined. “Miami came in here and outworked us.”

And then, you know, Jeff Green said it best, mincing no words and utilizing the most versatile and useful word in the English language.

Just a reminder – and for every lifelong Nuggets fan who’s endured the pains that come along with that very existence – this is the f*cking Finals.

Did anyone really think this would be as easy as planning a nifty parade route immediately following Game 4?

And before you say it or think it, don’t. Yes, the officiating played a role – a very slight role – in Sunday night’s outcome. But, consider that the Heat only shot two free throws in Game 1. To begin, no matter the team or their style of play, that’s a rarity to say the least. To think the law of averages – especially in the NBA – wouldn’t come into play would be irresponsible. Everyone knew it, including the Denver Nuggets. Malone was quick to point out that the Nuggets fouled multiple jumpshooters taking shots beyond the arc – a killer for a team that loses by two.

Neither Malone nor Green were bashful about taking the blame, shocked that their team trudged through what should have been one a golden opportunity for the Nuggets. For now, they are still the better team, that just so happened to not “play better.”

Then again, as Jokic said wisely, “sometimes you win and sometimes you lose.” The Heat, a miraculous No. 8 seed with an uncanny resilience, are used to that existence. What Miami might lack in depth or size, they make up for in grit and heart. How they got this far does matter, and the Nuggets must take note.

Which theory – the one suggested by Malone Green, or Jokic’s version – is correct will soon play out.

After all, it’s the f*cking Finals, man.