2023 NBA Finals: Heats vs. Nuggets: Can the Heat win it all?

Twitter: @GGirlSports. 

 It’s June 1, and the NBA Finals are here. The 8th Seed Miami Heat (44-28, 17-24 Away) will face off against the 1 Seed Denver Nuggets (53-29,34-7 Home) in Game 1 of the NBA Finals. Miami is coming off an incredible Game 7 win against the Boston Celtics, despite blowing a 3-0 lead. The Denver Nuggets are well rested, after defeated the Los Angeles Lakers 4-0.  Miami is the 2nd 8th Seed to make the Finals in NBA History behind head coach Erik Spoelstra.  These two teams will play tonight at 8:30 PM EST, at Ball Arena, located in Denver, Colorado. In addition, the matchup will air on ABC/ESPN+. If you are looking for the best betting odds and stats, here is information to know:

NBA Championship Odds

Miami Heat: +320.

Denver Nuggets: -425.

Regular Season Matchup

Nuggets 2-0 vs. the Heat this season.

 The Denver Nuggets and The Miami Heat only faced off two times in the NBA regular season. In fact, these teams haven’t matched up since February, which was before the NBA All-Star Game. Although the Nuggets won the regular season matchup 2-0, it’s worth noting both of those games were decided by five points or less. Let’s break down the regular season series, the betting odds and results.

Miami Heat 119 @ Denver Nuggets 124. (Game 1).

Betting Odds: Denver (-4), Over/Under 223.5.
Betting Results: Denver Money Line, Denver -4, OVER: 243.

Game Summary

 There wasn’t much separation between these two teams until the 4th Quarter, and it was a dog fight until the end. Although Jamal Murray only attempted 9 shots, he found his stride in the last 5 minutes of this game. For most of this game, the Nuggets didn’t rely on one superstar to carry this team. Star Center Nikola Jokić finished with a double-double, and +/- +14 for the game, and all five of their starters had points in double-digits. Although Jamal Murray finished +/- -9 on the court, he scored half his points in the last quarter, and shot 4-9, and 1-3 from the three.

Given Miami outscored Denver 33-25 in the third quarter, Jamal Murray took over once the Nuggets were down. Murray showed why he is a fantastic ball player in clutch situations. In the last few minutes of the game, he was able to get to the line, hit his threes, and drive to the rim. Overall, the Nuggets bench added 50 Points. It’s important to note Kentavious Caldwell-Pope led the Nuggets in points and shot 100 percent.

Denver shot an incredible 60 Percent from the Three, and nearly 60 Percent from the field. Although they struggled with their free throws compared to the Heat, both teams equally rebounded the basketball, and were almost even in every category.

Despite Miami’s slow start, and their inability to rebound, the Heat came alive in the 2nd quarter. Although most of their players struggled shooting, Tyler Herro led the way with 26 Points, 10 Rebounds, 5 assists, and 1 block. In addition, Miami had 13 steals as a team, and forced Denver to turn the ball over. Both Jimmy Butler and Bam Adebayo had 4 steals a piece, however, the Heat failed to get major defensive stops down the stretch. As a team, Miami shot 40 Percent from the three, and 45 percent from the field. In addition, their bench added 44 Points. If Tyler Herro can come back from his hand injury, he will be a vital part of this Heat Offense.

Denver Nuggets 112 @ Miami Heat 108 (Game 2).

Betting Odds: Even ML, Over/Under 217.
Betting Results: Denver Money Line, Push on the spread -4, OVER: 220.

Game Summary

 Nikola Jokić ability to score in the paint was a huge reason why the Denver Nuggets took Game 2. Although Miami has excellent defense, Jokić finished +5 on the court, with 27 Points, 12 Rebounds, and 8 assists. In addition, Nikola Jokić shot 12-14 from the field and hit 100 percent of his shots at the line. Although the Nuggets were without stars Jamal Murray and Aaron Gordon, Bruce Brown, Vlatko Cancar, and Michael Porter Jr. all had points in double-digits.

In addition, Denver had 34 points off the bench, and erupted for 38 points in the 2nd quarter. Denver shot an incredible 57.9 Percent from the field. And 39 Percent from the three. They outrebounded Miami, especially defensively, and beat them in the paint. Nikola Jokić is a player that makes everyone around him better. If he’s double-teamed and can’t score, he always finds the open man.

Miami was without guard Tyler Herro, who put up 27 points in Game 1. To put it lightly, the Heat struggled to shoot this game. Jimmy Butler led the way with 27 Points, 1 Steal, 9 assists, and 10 rebounds. Max Strus, Gabe Vincent, and Bam Adebayo put up points in double figures, however, they all struggled shooting to some degree. Miami finished the game shooting 34 Percent from the Three, and 43 Percent from the Field. It’s important to note that Max Strus and Jimmy Butler both attempted 18-20 field goals.

Post Season Statistics:

Miami Heat

The Miami Heat average the following throughout the playoffs:
Points per Game: 111.7 PPG
Opponent Points Per Game: 107.4 PPG
Assists Per Game: 23.7 APG.
Rebounds Per Game: 41 RPG
Steals Per Game: 7.4 SPG
Blocks per Game: 3.4 BPG
Free throw Percentage: 80.4 %
Three-Point Percentage: 39 %
Field Goal Percentage: 47.2 %
Point Differential: +4.2

Denver Nuggets

The Denver Nuggets average the following throughout the playoffs:
Points per Game:116.4 PPG
Opponent Points Per Game: 108.1 PPG
Assists Per Game: 25.8 APG
Rebounds Per Game: 44.2 RPG
Steals Per Game: 7.1 SPG
Blocks per Game: 3.9 BPG
Free throw Percentage: 81.5 %
Three-Point Percentage: 38.6 %
Field Goal Percentage: 49 %
Point Differential: +8.3

Miami Heat

 The Miami Heat are a great basketball team, loaded with talent around All-Star Jimmy Butler. Players such as Caleb Martin, Max Strus, Gabe Vincent, and Bam Adebayo have had big games. Led by Head Coach Erik Spoelstra, the Heat are the 2nd 8th Seed to make it to the Finals in NBA History.  Their journey to the 2023 NBA Finals has been anything but easy. The Miami Heat defeated the 1 Seed Milwaukee Bucks in the first round, and went on to beat the New York Knicks, and the 2nd Seed Boston Celtics. With Jimmy Butler nursing an ankle injury, and Tyler Herro out with a hand fracture, do the Heat have the pieces to beat the Nuggets?

Denver Nuggets

 The Denver Nuggets are a 1 seed for a reason. Led by MVP Candidate Nikola Jokić and Jamal Murray, Denver has some serious talent around them. The Nuggets defeated the Minnesota Timberwolves in the first round, followed by series wins against the Phoenix Suns and the Los Angeles Lakers. Can Michael Porter Jr. and Aaron Gordon continue to step up? Can Denver improve their defense, especially against the pick and roll? If Nikola Jokić struggles, can he trust his teammates to make the plays? As of right now, the Denver Nuggets’ odds of beating the Miami Heat are -425. It’s important to note, the Boston Celtics had -500 odds to win the Eastern Conference Finals series against Miami. This is going to be a closer series than some think. Stay tuned for more articles pertaining to the NBA Finals

Prediction: Nuggets in 6.

Stay tuned for more odds, stats, and predictions for the NBA Finals.

For More NBA Betting Info & Game Predictions, Follow us at @BallislifeBets.

Sara Jane is a full-time content creator, focusing on both college basketball, the NBA, NFL, and writer of Ballislife.com. Don’t forget to follow her on Twitter/YouTube/Twitch/Instagram: @GGirlSports.

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