#TrendingNews Blog Business Entertainment Environment Health Lifestyle News Analysis Opinion Science Sports Technology World News
NBA Finals Recap Game One

The 2023 NBA Finals are in full swing as the Miami Heat were in Denver to take on the Nuggets in game one as this exciting series kicks off. The Heat were fresh off a thrilling game seven victory against the Boston Celtics, which many fans now consider one of the best seven-game series ever. The Heat went up three games to zero on the Celtics but Boston would not go quietly into that goodnight, as they clawed all the way back winning three straight games and tied the series at three a piece. Boston’s magic however finally ran out in game seven as they saw their best player, Jayson Tatum sprain his ankle 30 seconds into the game and the Heat would go on to win the Eastern Conference Finals. The Denver Nuggets' path to the NBA Finals was much done in a much less dramatic fashion as they swept the Los Angeles Lakers in just four games.

            The Denver Nuggets won the Western Conference Finals on May 22 while the Miami Heat won the Eastern Conference Finals on May 29 with the NBA Finals beginning on June 1. Denver having just that much more time to rest and reset compared to Miami is something that is not talked about enough by the national media. Having nine full days to mentally and physically prepare for the NBA Finals is a treat many teams wish they could afford; sweeping a team in the WCF or ECF (conference finals) gives the winner such an advantage heading into the finals.

        “Since the 1997-98 season, teams coming off a four-game playoff sweep are 3-3 against teams that also swept, 1-4 against teams that dispatched their previous opponent in five games, 8-3 against teams that previously went six games and 7-2 against teams that went the distance in the previous series.” History Says Well-Rested Spurs Have NBA Finals Edge on Heat, Pacers. Rest is a major factor in the NBA and while some may argue that there is a thing as “too much rest” this is rarely the case. These are professional athletes who can and will be prepared for games no matter the instance and they’d rather be rested up whether it be two days rest or two weeks rest versus going in one little to no rest at all from the game before.

            Game one itself was what Nuggets fans and true basketball enthusiasts expected as it saw Denver cruise to a somewhat easy victory by a score of 104-93. The score may seem close, but the second the whistle blew, Denver was in full control. Two-time league MVP and Denver great Nikola Jokic had an outstanding performance posting a triple-double (27 points, 10 rebounds, 14 assists) as the Heat had no answers for him. Jokic had 27 points on just 12 field goal attempts which was remarkably efficient as he was simply the best player on the floor. Denver also saw some nice performances from Aaron Gordon (16 points), Jamal Murray (26 points), and Michael Porter Jr. (14 points). Michael Porter Jr and Aaron Gordon are the Nuggets x-factors in this series because Miami and everyone watching knows Jokic and Murray will have at least 20 points a game but if Porter and Gordon can continue producing upwards of 15+ points per game Denver will dominate the Heat. Heat 93-104 Nuggets (Jun 1, 2023) Game Recap - ESPN

            Miami had a rough game one outing besides a few individual player performances, but as a team, they were outmatched in game one. Bam Adebayo had a nice night notching a double-double with 26 points and 13 rebounds but had trouble defending Nikola Jokic throughout all four quarters. Gabe Vincent and Haywood Highsmith also put up some solid numbers with Vincent dropping 19 points (5-10 from behind the three-point line) and Highsmith 18 points. Besides that though, Miami’s stars had rough outings; Jimmy Butler, Miami’s best player had only 13 points in 38 minutes and this really killed the Heat’s momentum all game long.

           Max Strus and Caleb Martin, both of whom played major roles in defeating the Boston Celtics had horrific outings in game one. Strus went an abysmal 0-10 from the field putting up zero points and Martin who had at least 15 points in every game last series had a disasterclass scoring only three points and going 1-7 from the field. One game however does not make or break a series but going forward the Heat will have to improve. They need more out of Jimmy Butler, a lot more.

          Ten times these playoffs Jimmy Butler has gone for 25 or more points and Miami will need that against Denver if they want to have a shot at winning a title. Butler needs to start his scoring early as that was the key to their success in the prior rounds. Miami also has to find ways to get their role plays going. Max Strus and Caleb Martin cannot combine for three points again and expect to win games, these two need to be sharp, and again similar to Butler, they must start scoring early and often. Jimmy Butler's NBA Finals mindset is written on his shirt ahead of Game 1 | Fox News.

Game two is on Sunday, June 4, 2023, and Denver is favored to win by 8.5 points however I think the Heat keep game two closer but end up ultimately falling short and find themselves in a 0-2 hole heading back to Miami for games three and four. Jimmy Butler is the key to Miami’s success and Michael Porter Jr./ Aaron Gordon having above-average games are critical for Denver.




 Editor: Joan Andrew Ramadan

Share This Post On


Leave a comment

You need to login to leave a comment. Log-in