It’s finally here, the moment the Denver Nuggets have been waiting for.

After a long, arduous season that began back in September when the Nuggets first held Media Day at Ball Arena, it was poetic to go back to Ball for NBA Finals Media Day yesterday. The Nuggets, after becoming the top seed in the Western Conference and walking through their first three playoff matchups, will face the Miami Heat with a chance to win the first championship in Nuggets history. All that stands in their way to glory is four more victories.

Here’s why I believe the Nuggets will get the job done:

Star power

For the first time in the franchise’s history, the Nuggets have unequivocally had the best player in every series they’ve played so far. Nikola Jokić, the two-time MVP superstar center, is averaging 29.9 points, 13.2 rebounds, and 10.3 assists per game in the playoffs. Those are real numbers, not made up or generated from a video game. Jokić is dominating in these playoffs no matter what opponents have thrown his way, whether it was a three-time defensive player of the year in Rudy Gobert, or elite off-the-dribble scoring in Devin Booker and Kevin Durant, or maybe the best defensive player currently in Anthony Davis. Jokić and the Nuggets didn’t waste any time with any of those matchups, and the few areas of Jokić’s game that were questions have mostly been quelled.

In addition to Jokić, Jamal Murray is back to playoff form. He’s averaging 27.7 points and 6.1 assists per game on nearly 50-40-90 shooting, offering a potent counterpunch to all of the moves Jokić throws at opponents. In regular seasons and in some previous postseason games, Murray’s inconsistency has been a factor. In these playoffs, Murray’s been mostly stable, scoring at least 24 points in 11 of the 15 games and five or more assists in 14 of the 15. His ability to maneuver around Jokić as a scorer, playmaker, screener, and spacer has allowed the Nuggets to consistently thrive.

When Jokić and Murray are on the court, the Nuggets have a +13.8 Net Rating in the playoffs, including an absurd 126.2 offensive rating. No team has been able to stop Denver’s dynamic duo to this point.

The Heat will certainly try and make life as difficult as they can. Bam Adebayo and Jimmy Butler are strong individual defenders, but it takes more that two players to slow down the Nuggets two-man game. The Heat will have to mix up coverages, junk up the game with some zone, and throw a multitude of defenders at Denver’s stars. I don’t think it will make much of a difference though. This is the best two-man game in the sport.

Size Matters

One of the reasons why the Heat are going to have trouble slowing down the Nuggets offense is due to their lack of playable size. Bam Adebayo, their biggest player in the starting lineup, is 6’9″ and 255 pounds. As centers go, Bam isn’t physically imposing from a height and wingspan perspective. He’s strong, but Jokić is stronger, and Bam will have his hands full dealing with Jokić in the middle of the floor.

Among the other five players to play the most possessions for the Heat in the playoffs, the tallest player is Jimmy Butler at 6’7″ while Caleb Martin, the starting power forward when Miami goes small, stands at just 6’5″. Michael Porter Jr. (6’10”) and Aaron Gordon (6’8″) are big targets that feast on cuts, offensive rebounds, and even drives when matched up with smaller players. Against the Phoenix Suns, a team that was pretty similar in size, the Nuggets as a team maintained a 31.5% offensive rebounding rate. Throughout the entire playoffs, the Nuggets lead the NBA in paint points per game.

The Heat may decide to change their starting lineup to introduce more size into the group, but that’s already a win for Denver if it happens. Whether it’s Kevin Love, or Haywood Highsmith, or Cody Zeller, the Heat will be going away from their identity and what’s given them the most success in the playoffs so far. Love is maybe the one player that could help them tangibly, but replacing somebody like Max Strus with Love gives Murray and Jokić another target to hunt in pick and rolls, post ups, and isolations. That’s not a great recipe for the Heat either.

Versatility on both ends

The Nuggets, for the first time in the Jokić and Michael Malone era, have a variety of options at their disposal for every situation. During these playoffs, the Nuggets have relied upon Porter and Gordon plenty. They’ve also turned to Kentavious Caldwell-Pope for scoring and defense when they’ve needed it. Bruce Brown has consistently stepped up as Denver’s sixth man. Even Jeff Green and Christian Braun have had their moments within a game or a series.

Whatever problem the Nuggets have faced in these playoffs, they’ve been able to solve it. Karl-Anthony Towns at power forward was initially a question mark, but Gordon and Green made KAT’s life hell for awhile before he started to figure things out. Devin Booker was going absolutely insane for Phoenix, but KCP, Brown, and Braun began pressuring him full court in Game 5, and Booker eventually slowed down from injury and physical burden. Jokić wasn’t supposed to be able to guard Anthony Davis, but he got better and better guarding Davis as the series went along, and the former best big man in the league had nothing in the tank by the end of Game 4.

If the Heat decide to go with a bigger starting lineup, the Nuggets know how to go about spreading out that group and attacking the gaps in the defense. If the Heat decide to play zone, the Nuggets have some of the smartest players in the NBA and maybe the most brilliant composer of all-time to dissect said zone. If the Heat decide to double Jokić, he’s more than willing to cede control and trust his teammates. If Jimmy Butler’s going off, the Nuggets have a stable of perimeter defenders ready to give him different looks throughout a series.

No matter what problems various teams have posed to Denver, they’ve identified answers whenever necessary. Denver’s level of execution this year has been beautiful, and there’s no reason to believe that Denver can’t find the right combination of answers to win another series here. The Heat have earned Denver’s respect, but the Nuggets shouldn’t fear them. The Nuggets should be excited to compete and prove themselves to be the best in the world at this current point in time.

Prediction: Nuggets in 5