NBA | May 31, 2023
Welp, all of the people who say the NBA is scripted just took a major L. The league had a dream battle between the Los Angeles Lakers and Boston Celtics sitting right there but neither team is headed to the NBA Finals. Instead, the Denver Nuggets will be facing the Miami Heat. Not exactly the two biggest brands in the NBA.
While it might not be the best matchup for NBA news headlines, it’s a very interesting series from a pure basketball standpoint. Both teams have excellent head coaches but neither is littered with superstar talent. The Nuggets are led by arguably the best player in the NBA, Nikola Jokic. The Heat are led by arguably the NBA’s best playoff player, Jimmy Butler.
Jimmy Butler vs. Jamal Murray 🔥Bam Adebayo vs. Nikola Jokic 🔥 These NBA Finals matchups are going to be exciting to watch 🤩 pic.twitter.com/aDC3FpKubU — NBA on ESPN (@ESPNNBA) May 30, 2023
There was a stretch where it was thought that you needed a superteam in order to make it to the NBA Finals but the Heat and the Nuggets prove that depth and great coaching can get you really far.
Denver making the Finals isn’t a huge surprise. They came into the playoffs as the No. 1 seed in the Western Conference and lost a total of three games during their playoff run. We’ve seen this Nuggets team fail in the playoffs before but they were able to stay healthy this year. Their earning of the No. 1 seed clearly wasn’t a fluke.
The Heat have a very different story. They lost their play-in matchup and were close to not even making the playoffs. Nobody expected them to beat the Milwaukee Bucks in the first round but they handled them in just five games. Once they made it to the Eastern Conference Finals, ESPN gave them a 3% chance of beating the Boston Celtics. They got off to a quick 3-0 lead before letting Boston get back into the series. Fortunately, they were able to hold off the Celtics and continue their streak of improbable wins. They will now be facing their toughest test yet.
From the Play-In to the #NBAFinals.Job's not done. pic.twitter.com/K3deVwjlTz — Miami HEAT (@MiamiHEAT) May 30, 2023
On paper, this shouldn’t be much of a competition, so take note if you're planning on betting these games. The Nuggets should be able to win the series in five or fewer games. Jokic should have a field day going up against Bam Adebayo. There’s also the fact that Heat had to battle seven games against a tough Celtics team while the Nuggets have been resting up for a weak. Butler has dealt with some injuries these playoffs so those extra days off would’ve been helpful.
For people who care more about NBA breaking news and rumors than the on-court product, there could be some bad blood between Miami and Denver. Back in 2021, Jokic shoved former Heat Markieff Morris in the back, which caused him to miss several months of action.
Jokic just snapped 😳 pic.twitter.com/H0tRjJuHdS— The Sporting News (@sportingnews) November 9, 2021
Miami was out for blood following the incident with Butler trying to pick a fight with Jokic. And many of the Heat players even tried to go to the Nuggets’ locker room to confront them. It has been two years but perhaps there could still be some bad blood there.
Regardless, the Nuggets should beat the Heat easily. They have really good shooting and a solid defense. The Heat have been counted out all playoffs but it’s hard to see the magic continuing on against Denver. So, if you’re interested in NBA betting, you know what to do.[betusbutton title="BET ON NBA SPECIALS" link="https://www.betus.com.pa/sportsbook/nba/lines/nba-specials/finals/"]