The Nuggets looked like a quick series would be eminent after an easy game one victory. The Heat, with great coaching adjustments and heart, eked out a game two victory to make this series a close affair, and if the Nuggets don’t make the right adjustments, they could be in trouble.
Game 3 of the 2023 NBA Finals moves back to South Beach for Game 3, after Miami’s hard-fought come-from-behind win in Game 2. Their comeback defeat of Denver marked its first home playoff loss this postseason while marking Miami’s fourth victory when trailing by eight or more entering the fourth quarter.
Game 1 saw Miami shooting 33.3 per cent (13-of-39) from behind the arc (13-of-49) and only total of two free throw attempts, but Game 2 saw them shoot 48.6 per cent (17-of-35) of triples (17-of-35) and make 18-of-20 free throw attempts. Jimmy Butler proved more efficient as a scorer after scoring 13 in Game 1. At the same time, Gabe Vincent’s 23 points, Bam Adebayo’s 21 (seven-of-19 shooting), Max Strus (14), and Duncan Robinson (10thall contributed significantly towards stunning the crowd at Ball Arena.
Denver finished Game 2 with an excellent shooting percentage (52 per cent), yet their defensive intensity fell short of winning an NBA Finals game. Denver posted their third-worst defensive rating during this playoff run (129.1), giving Miami too many open shots that they took full advantage of by exploiting Denver’s slip-ups on defense.
Nuggets’ coach Michael Malone noted postgame that Miami came in and outworked them. That has been a common refrain during Miami’s historic Finals run; Malone can criticize his players for getting outworked; but credit must also be given for Miami’s ability to remain resilient against adversity and grind opponents down over 48 minutes – the result should not go overlooked by either side of this contest
I expect a single-digit game which makes it a risky pick to bet the Nuggets, but they are the better team, and I expect Jokic supporting cast to play much better in game 3.
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