How the Heal stole Game 2!

@Twitter: GGirlSports.

The Miami Heat headed into Game 2 of the NBA Finals down 1-0 Sunday Night. Not only were they down one game, but the Nuggets were also undefeated at home in the playoffs. Luckily, Miami was able to secure a Game 2 win, and defeated the Denver Nuggets 111-108. The NBA championship odds have drastically changed, and according to Draft Kings, the winner of Game 3 wins the series 80 % of the time. If you are looking for the best betting odds and stats, here is information to know:

NBA Championship Odds:

Denver Nuggets: -275
Miami Heat: +225

Game 2 Summary and Betting Results:

Miami Heat 111 @ Denver Nuggets (108)

Betting Odds: Denver -8, Over/Under 217.
Betting Results: Miami Money Line, Miami +8, OVER (219).

Game 5 Summary:

 Erik Spoelstra is arguably one of the best coaches in NBA history for a reason, and we know the resilience of this Heat team. Following the Heat’s Game 1 loss against the Nuggets, Spoelstra was able to review the film and adjust. In Game 2 of the NBA Finals, the Heat had a different starting lineup, limited Denver’s shooting, shot extremely well, and figured out a way to make defensive stops. In addition, they let Nikola Jokić score 41 points, however, they did an incredible job limiting his supporting cast. With the series tied 1-1, Miami will have a chance to take a series lead at home Wednesday night.

Star Jimmy Butler had an off game, and the Heat shot terribly in Game 1. The Heat shot nearly 50 percent from the three and the field in Game 2 and got production from their guards. They forced Nikola Jokić to run the offense, and limited Aaron Gordon, Jamal Murray, and Michael Porter Jr. to 35 points combined. After shooting 0-10 in Game 1, Max Strus finished 4-7 from the three and 14 points in Game 2. Gabe Vincent continued his hot shooting, finishing with 23 points on 8-12 attempts, and was +22 on the court. In addition, Duncan Robinson had a strong showing in the fourth quarter, and finished with 10 points. Once considered a shooter, Robinson was slashing to the basket, making plays, and shots from the perimeter. Jimmy Butler struggled from the field, however, his 8 points in the fourth quarter helped Miami seal the win.

The adjustments in Game 2 were vital for the Heat to stay alive. Erik Spoelstra swapped Caleb Martin for Kevin Love to match the size differential, and Jimmy Butler guarded Jamal Murray, who did not have his best game. In addition, the Heat hit their shots, and all their starters were positive on the court.

Fun fact, the Nuggets don’t have a win in the NBA playoffs when Nikola Jokić scores 40 or more points. The Denver Nuggets were once up by 15 Points and seemed to be heading for a 2-0 lead by the start of the third quarter. At one point Nikola Jokić was doing everything for Denver, except facilitating. After watching the film, Jokić first instinct is playmaking, and often saw him hesitating to shoot on some possessions. Nikola Jokić finished 16-28 from the field, and it was nearly impossible to stop him scoring wise.

The Nuggets couldn’t get anything to fall outside of Jokić, and it was an embarrassing game for Michael Porter Jr. and company. Although Jamal Murray finished with 18 points, he ultimately missed the game tying three at the end of regulation. The crucial fouls on Denver, along with turnovers and missed shots were x-factors to why this team lost. Although the Nuggets didn’t play well as a team, some wondered why Denver Head coach Michael Malone didn’t take a time out in the last possession of the Game.

The Nuggets hardly seemed like the team who showed up in Game 1. If they want to win Game 3, Nikola Jokić must facilitate like the first game, and rely on his other teammates. There’s plenty of talent in Jamal Murray, Michael Porter Jr., Aaron Gordon, in addition to their role players to keep up with Miami. Although Denver has the size over Miami, the Heat didn’t hesitate to shoot, especially with Aaron Gordon guarding Jimmy Butler. In Game 1, Denver was by far the more physical, dominant team. Miami showed more physicality and resilience in Game 2. The question is, can Denver make small adjustments in Game 3?

Player Prop Outcomes:

The Miami Heat starting 5 played incredible, which four of them finished positive on the court, and with points in double digits.

Max Strus OVER 9.5 Points (14

Max Strus took a dig at his former team, the Boston Celtics before the start of the NBA finals. However, he shot 0-10 from the field, and 0-9 from the three-point range in Game 1. We’ve seen Strus cook up in the Play-in-tournament, and inconsistent game play after that. Strus played a series high 29 minutes and game 2 and was able to hit 40 percent of his shots. Although he is starting for the Heat, Strus is only averaging 28.6 minutes in the postseason.

There’s no doubt Strus can space the floor, spot up, and use off ball screens.   He’s one of the snipers on this Miami Team. Also, if Strus can maximize his shots in the 20-30 minutes, I see him easily putting up 10 plus points a night. However, due to his inconsistencies, I will stay away from Strus points going forward, especially with Tyler Herro due back.

Series Stats: 7 PPG/4.5 AST/3.5 REB/21.1 3 PT %/ 20 FG %.
Playoff Stats: 10 PPG/1.4 AST/3.3 REB/33.6 3 PT %/ 42 FG %.

Jimmy Butler: Under 26.5 Points (21)

Jimmy Butler hasn’t seemed himself since Game 7 of the Eastern Conference Finals against the Boston Celtics. Although he added 21 points in Game 1, he had a sluggish start. Butler is a player that plays with physicality, attacks the rim, the mid-range, and the three-point. Denver has done good job defensively on Butler, and it’s showed in the first two games.

Miami is a very well coached team, surrounded by talent. I think Butler 26.5 points is high on a nightly basis, considering he’s been dishing to ball to his teammates. As we get closer to the end of the finals, we may see Jimmy put in some extra work, even with that ankle injury. Butler attacked on the inside of the basket just as much as he hit his midrange and outside shots. So far, Butler’s playing exceptional from a defensive and playmaker perspective. I expect Jimmy to step up the next few games.

Series Stats: 17 PPG/8 AST/3.5 REB/21.1 3 PT %/ 20 FG %.
Playoff Stats: 27.3 PPG/5.4 AST/5.5 REB/42.9 3 PT %/ 39.4 FG %.

Duncan Robinson: Over Points (10)

Duncan Robinson was a big part of Miami’s last championship run and is one of their most lethal sharpshooters. Last night, Robinson was slashing to the basket, making plays, and knocking down shots, all in the final quarter. Although Robinson doesn’t average nearly the minutes he used to play, he’s averaged decent numbers, especially in the series against Boston. Although Robinson shot 1-6 in Game 1, he bounced back in Game 2. If Duncan Robinson can average 20 plus minutes a game, I think 10 points or over.

Series Stats: 6.5 PPG/1 AST/0.5 REB/37.5 3 PT %/45 FG %.
Playoff Stats: 9.1 PPG/1.5 AST/2.8 REB/44 3 PT %/ 46.8 FG %.

Nikola Jokić OVER 27.5 Points

Nikola Jokić was the talk of the town in Game 1 of the NBA Finals. He dished out 14 assists in a historic debut and had a solid 27 Points in the first game. In Game 2, Nikola Jokić finished with 41 points and only 5 assists. Miami played incredible defense on Denver, and let the offense run through Jokić. Whether Bam Adebayo or Cody Zeller was guarding Jokić, he dominated offensively the entire night. Jokić can hit from the three, however his game last night was consistent with mid-floaters. At times, he couldn’t miss, and was the only offensive on the Nuggets. With the series tied 1-1, I expect Nikola Jokić to have big games, especially if Jimmy Butler continues to guard Jamal Murray.

Series Stats: 34 PPG/9 AST/10.5 REB/42.9 3 PT %/60 FG %.
Playoff Stats: 30.4 PPG/10.1 AST/12.9 REB/46.9 3 PT %/ 54.5 FG %.

Bruce Brown OVER 0.5 threes made.

This was one of my favorite props for the first two games, and I doubt it will stay at 0.5 for the third game. Bruce Brown is averaging 26 minutes in the playoffs and has hit at least one three-pointer in 8 of his last 10 games. Although Brown isn’t the top scoring option in Denver, he is a key piece of the bench. If Denver can facilitate and spread the ball around more, I expect Bruce Brown to have a vital role off the bench. In addition, Brown shot 1-3 from the three-point, and 4-9 from the field in Game 2 of the NBA Finals.

NBA Finals Odds Game 3

Denver Nuggets @ Miami Heat

Denver: -150, -3
Miami: +135, +3
Over/Under: 214.5

Stay tuned for more NBA odds, stats, and predictions for tonight's game.

For More 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 Don’t forget to follow her on Twitter/YouTube/Kick/Twitch/Instagram: @GGirlSports.


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