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The Denver Nuggets are an American professional basketball team based in Denver. The Nuggets compete in the National Basketball Association (NBA) as aThe Denver Nuggets are an American professional basketball team based in Denver. The Nuggets compete in the National Basketball Association (NBA) as a member of the league's Western Conference Northwest Division. The team was founded as the Denver Larks in 1967 as a charter franchise of the American Basketball Association (ABA), but changed their name to Rockets before the first season. The Rockets then changed their name again to the Nuggets in 1974. After the name change, the Nuggets played for the final ABA Championship title in 1976, losing to the New York Nets. The team has had some periods of success, qualifying for the ABA Playoffs for all seasons from 1967 to the 1976 ABA playoffs where they lost in the finals. The team joined the NBA in 1976 after the ABA–NBA merger and qualified for the NBA playoffs in nine consecutive seasons in the 1980s and ten consecutive seasons from 2004 to 2013. However, they have not made an appearance in the NBA Finals since their last year in the ABA; as such, they are also the only one of the four surviving former ABA teams to have never reached the NBA Finals. The Nuggets play their home games at Ball Arena, which they share with the Colorado Avalanche of the National Hockey League (NHL) and the Colorado Mammoth of the National Lacrosse League (NLL).
The New York Knickerbockers, shortened and more commonly referred to as the New York Knicks, are an American professional basketball team based in theThe New York Knickerbockers, shortened and more commonly referred to as the New York Knicks, are an American professional basketball team based in the New York City borough of Manhattan. The Knicks compete in the National Basketball Association (NBA) as a member of the Atlantic Division of the Eastern Conference. The team plays its home games at Madison Square Garden, an arena they share with the New York Rangers of the National Hockey League (NHL). They are one of two NBA teams located in New York City; the other team is the Brooklyn Nets. Alongside the Boston Celtics, the Knicks are one of two original NBA teams still located in its original city. The team, established by Ned Irish in 1946, was one of the founding members of the Basketball Association of America (BAA), which became the NBA after merging with the rival National Basketball League (NBL) in 1949. The Knicks were successful during their early years and were constant playoff contenders under the franchise's first head coach Joe Lapchick. Beginning in 1950, the Knicks made three consecutive appearances in the NBA Finals, all of which were losing efforts. Lapchick resigned in 1956 and the team subsequently began to falter. It was not until the late 1960s when Red Holzman became the head coach that the Knicks began to regain their former dominance. Holzman successfully guided the Knicks to two NBA championships, in 1970 and 1973. The Knicks of the 1980s had mixed success that included six playoff appearances; however, they failed to participate in the NBA Finals. The playoff-level Knicks of the 1990s were led by future Hall of Fame center Patrick Ewing; this era was marked by passionate rivalries with the Chicago Bulls, Indiana Pacers, and Miami Heat. During this time, they were known for playing tough defense under head coaches Pat Riley and Jeff Van Gundy, making NBA Finals appearances in 1994 and 1999. However, they were unable to win an NBA championship during this era. Since 2000, the Knicks have struggled to regain their former successes, but won their first division title in 19 years in 2012–13, led by a core of forwards Carmelo Anthony and Amar'e Stoudemire. They were eventually eliminated in the Eastern Conference semifinals by the Indiana Pacers, and had failed to make the playoffs for eight years until 2020–21 when they were led by All-NBA forward Julius Randle.