Looking Back on Denver Nuggets’ NBA Playoff History

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The Denver Nuggets are headed to the postseason for the first time since 2013. After wrapping up the 2018-19 regular season with 54 wins, Denver secured the second seed in the Western Conference and will face the San Antonio Spurs in the first round of the playoffs.

The Nuggets have an eventful playoff history since joining the NBA for the 1976-77 season. Overall, Denver has made the playoffs in 25 of the 42 seasons the team has played in the NBA (counting the 2018-19 season). Furthermore, the Nuggets have had two separate streaks in which they made the playoffs in nine consecutive seasons. The first streak lasted from the 1981-82 season until the 1989-90 season, while the second streak went from the 2003-04 season to the 2012-13 campaign.

Denver has made the Western Conference Finals on three occasions, most recently during the 2008-09 playoffs (the first two extended playoff runs occurred during the 1977-78 and 1984-85 seasons).

This year’s Nuggets squad will be looking to advance past the first round of the playoffs for the first time since that trip to the Conference Finals. Denver has lost in the first round in each of the past four playoff appearances, a run Michael Malone’s squad will be looking to stop this season.

Overall, the Nuggets have won nine playoff series since joining the NBA, compiling an overall playoff record of 61-101.

Denver has had several memorable moments in the postseason since joining the NBA. The Nuggets became the first team in league history to upset a No. 1 seed when they defeated the Seattle Supersonics in five games during the first round of the 1994 playoffs.

In 1985, the Nuggets reached the Conference Finals on the back of their high-powered offense. Legendary coach Doug Moe guided the team that season, as Denver finished with a 52-30 record. The Nuggets averaged a league-best 120 points per game, aided by Alex English (27. 9 points per game) and Calvin Natt (23.3 ppg).

The 2009 playoff run included several memorable moments, starting with Denver’s 121-63 victory over the New Orleans Hornets in game two of the first round series. The 58-point triumph was the largest margin of victory in NBA playoff history, a mark that still stands to this day.

The Nuggets followed up their strong performance in the first round by defeating the Dallas Mavericks in the 2009 Western Conference semifinals, which cemented the team’s first trip to the Conference Finals since the 1984-85 season.

The Nuggets will look to create more memorable moments when they kick-off the 2019 playoffs against the Spurs on Saturday.