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The improbable postseason run for the Miami Heat continues. The Heat now enter their seventh NBA Finals in franchise history and they’re eagerly seeking their fourth championship.
Their quest for number four has one more obstacle in the form of the Denver Nuggets. Let’s go over some of the ways Miami can bring home the Gold.
Keys To The Series:
One trend Miami needs to continue is winning game one on the road. Denver has a total of zero losses on their home court in the playoffs. If Miami could go in there and steal game one, they would immediately put pressure on the Nuggets.
The Denver Nuggets have seemingly shortened their rotation to seven players. Miami should try to attack the Nuggets players hard in one-on-one situations. Getting the Denver players in foul trouble will force them to extend their bench to some players who haven’t played much.
Miami has hit 54 more three point shots than Denver during these playoffs and they’ll need to outshoot their opponents in this series. The Heat will need Caleb Martin, Gabe Vincent, Duncan Robinson and Max Strus to bring their A game from downtown. The three point shots will be the equalizer versus a Denver team that scores 116.4 points per game in the playoffs.
The combination of players who will be guarding Nikola Jokic have to stay away from fouling him. Whether it’s Bam Adebayo, Kevin Love or (quite possibly) Cody Zeller, they can’t give Jokic easy points by putting him on the line.
Miami can’t afford to let Denver’s role players to get hot. They have to find a way to subdue the likes of Aaron Gordon, Bruce Brown, Kentavious Caldwell-Pope and Michael Porter Jr.. Miami has to make sure none of these guys have any type of memorable performance and keep the pressure on Jokic and Jamal Murray to keep scoring.
The game is always played on the floor with the players, but head coach Eric Spoelstra could be the deciding factor in this series. His game plan, particularly the part about stopping Denver (and Jokic) could determine how this series turns out.