The Denver Nuggets began as one of the charter franchises of the now defunct American Basketball Association (ABA), and even made it to the championship in 1976 before they joined the NBA later that year. While the Nuggets have made the NBA playoffs 22 times in their history, they have never been able to capture the championship crown.
The Nuggets have made three trips to the NBA conference finals in 1978, 1985 and 2009. After helping the team get there in 1985, Hall of Fame coach Dan Issel announced his retirement, leaving the organization on a high note.
The Nuggets began to step up as a postseason contender during the mid-2000s when they hired renowned coach George Karl during the 2004-05 season. Under his tutelage and with Carmelo Anthony's star power, the squad made the playoffs every year and instantly became a force to be reckoned with in the Western Conference.
The team later made it to the conference finals during the 2008-09 season and made quick work of the Dallas Mavericks and New Orleans Hornets in the first two rounds. However, after splitting the first two games of the series with the Los Angeles Lakers, The Nuggets were sent home and forced to regroup.
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