NBA Perfect Ten: Finals Edition
The NBA Finals shifts to South Beach for the next two games after the two teams split the first two games in Denver. Should we reconsider our pick? Let’s take a look as we dive into the NBA Finals.
#8 Miami vs. #1 Denver: The Nuggets got off to a strong start in game one with a comfortable 104-93 win in the opener. The game wasn’t that close as the Nuggets controlled tempo throughout and kept the Heat’s now nearly infamous ‘Undrafted Four’ of Caleb Martin, Gabe Vincent, Max Strus, and Duncan Robinson to a combined 25 points. Nikola Jokic had yet another triple-double with 27 points, 14 assists, and 10 rebounds while Jamal Murray added 26 points.
In game two on Sunday night, the ‘Undrafted Four’ bounced back with 50 combined points as the Heat stormed back from an 8-point deficit heading into the fourth quarter to win 111-108. Jokic had 41 points and 11 rebounds but had just four assists as the Heat forced him to be more of a scorer than a facilitator. It is now on to Miami for two games starting on Wednesday night.
The Nuggets arrive in Miami with a record of 4-3 in the playoffs on the road. Miami, meanwhile, is 6-2 at home in the playoffs although they’ve lost their last two in Miami. While originally thinking that the Nuggets will win this series in five games, I’m going to lean towards the Nuggets in six games now. Miami should be able to steal one game in Miami but will not force this game past six. Denver has exposed the ‘Undrafted Four’ thus far, particularly Caleb Martin. After scoring over 20 points per game in the Boston series, Martin has scored 3 points in the first two games of this series. The Nuggets have the likes of Caldwell-Pope, Brown, and Braun that have been able to get out on Martin and force him into difficult and contested shots in this series.
Prediction: Denver in Five games. Amended Prediction: Denver in Six games.
Conference/NBA Title Odds: Denver (-275)
In parenthesis, conference odds and finals odds. All odds Courtesy of Draftkings.com.
By Mark Ruelle