Nuggets’ rookie Christian Braun could win his first NBA championship as the Nuggets will take on the Heat in the NBA Finals. IT would be his second straight year with a title – last year he won the NCAA championship with Kansas. Before that Braun led Blue Valley Northwest High School to a third straight Class 6A state title.
The 22-year-old guard has a winning history and Denver’s head coach Michael Malone pointed that out when asked about the player ahead of the NBA Finals.
“All year long the one thing I’ve talked about with Christian is that he’s a winner,” the coach said. “And the guy’s won at every level and here he is in the NBA Finals. So it’s kind of staying true to form for Christian Braun.
“And then as a rookie, game two at Golden State he plays and he plays well because Jamal didn’t play in that game. And I think that’s when we all realized that for a young player playing against a defending world champions on the road he wasn’t afraid and that really stuck out to me. Like most young kids, they get in a situation or environment that they’re going to be a little over their head and he wasn’t.
“And all season long Christian been a pro in regards to staying ready. Am I in the rotation? Am I not in the rotation? I’m not going to allow that to take away from my work ethic and my dedication to my craft.
“And then the last two months of the year whatever it was he was a rotational player for the number one team in the West. And he’s done his job in the playoffs. He’s gone out there and defended, rebound, ran the floor, moved it and he’s never afraid of the moment which you have to appreciate for such a young kid.”
Braun averaged 4.7 points and 2.4 rebounds in 15.5 minutes per game during the regular season. He is averaging 2.3 points and 2.1 rebounds in 11.8 minutes per game in the playoffs.