Our Heat season companion part 22 covers the Heat’s loss in Game 1 of the 2023 NBA Finals against the Denver Nuggets. The Nuggets won 104-93 and lead the Finals 1-0. The Heat will look to bounce back in Game 2. Let’s discuss what happened in this game.
Heat Season Companion Part 22: Nikola Jokic and Jamal Murray Combined for 53 Points
Defensively, Jokic and Murray were the two biggest problems for the Heat, as expected. The two of them combined for a total of 53 points in the Nuggets’ Game 1 win. Nikola Jokic scored 27 points on 8-12 shooting and made 10 out of his 12 free throws. Jamal Murray had 26 points on 11-22 shooting, including 2-7 shooting from three-point range. The Heat will have to slow down Murray and Jokic more effectively to win Game 2.
The Heat Were Down 17 at Halftime
Additionally, the Miami Heat will have to get off to a much better start in Game 2. The Nuggets had a 17-point lead at halftime and never looked back. The Heat did outscore the Nuggets 30-20 in the fourth quarter, but this did not really matter. One thing that the Heat will have to improve on is their overall aggressiveness. The Nuggets do not have much shot-blocking and the Heat need to be relentless in attacking the basket.
Heat Season Companion Part 22: The Heat Must Be More Aggressive
In total, the Heat only took two free-throws in the entirety of Game 1. This has to change for the Heat to win Game 2 and tie the series. Many of the Heat’s players scored quite efficiently, including Haywood Highsmith, who had 18 points in Game 1. This demonstrates that it is possible to attack the Nuggets’ defense effectively. The Heat must be more aggressive in Game 2 and get easier shots at the basket or draw fouls.
Game 2 of the NBA Finals Is On Sunday
The Nuggets and the Heat face off again in Denver on Sunday for Game 2 of the 2023 NBA Finals. Game 2 is a must-win for the Heat, given how the Nuggets have shown an ability to win playoff games on the road. Hopefully, the Heat win Game 2 and return to Miami with the series tied 1-1. I would bet that Jimmy Butler scores more than 20 points in Game 2.
Check back next week for more Miami Heat content.