As the NBA Finals approach, all eyes are on the top-seeded Denver Nuggets and the Miami Heat, a team that emerged victorious from the AT&T Play-In Tournament. This intriguing contrast, reflected in the regular season standings, fades into the background as the race for the Larry O’Brien Trophy becomes a matter of shot-making, defensive strategy, and the nerve to seize the championship.
The Nuggets, with a 53-29 season record and a 12-3 playoff run, have had to contend with basketball titans like Kevin Durant, Devin Booker, LeBron James, and Anthony Davis. Their journey through the Western Conference has tested their mettle and prepared them for the Finals.
On the other hand, Miami Heat, despite a lower season record of 44-38, have displayed an undeterred spirit, coming back from trailing the Chicago Bulls late in the fourth quarter during the Play-In. Their triumph over the Milwaukee Bucks, New York Knicks, and Boston Celtics has left the league stunned and the team brimming with confidence.
2023 NBA Finals Game 1
Looking back at the season series, the Nuggets hold an edge with 2-0, where their victories came by a combined nine points. However, the Heat’s performance in this year’s playoffs cannot be undermined. They’ve won Game 1 on the road in all three series so far, and their bench has outscored its opponents by 213 points in the postseason. They will need to overcome their track record in Denver, where they haven’t won since 2016, and the Nuggets’ impressive 8-0 home record in the playoffs.
The Denver Nuggets have by far been the best team in the playoffs this year, only losing three games so far. They’re coming off 9 days break after sweeping the LA Lakers Behind the play of Nikola Jokic and Jamal Murray. Their offense has been great with their role players stepping up and hitting shots when all defensive pressure is on Jokic or Murray. That combined with how good they’ve been at home all playoffs (yet to lose a game at home), they are the clear favourites in this one.
Collin Gillespie – Lower leg
The Miami Heat have slotted themselves into history becoming only the second team in the NBA to make the Finals as an 8th seed and the first team in the 2000s. Jimmy Butler has been their superstar pushing them past the 1stseeded Bucks and the 2nd-seeded Celtics. Although Jimmy has been incredible most of their success is due to unlikely role players stepping up when needed, guys like Duncan Robinson and Max Strus have been on fire and not to mention Caleb Martin who put up a crazy 26 points in game 7 against the Celtics.
Although the Heat have surpassed everyone’s expectations, they’ve only had 3 days rest compared to the Nuggets’ 9 after being pushed to game 7 by a Celtics team who aren’t on the same level as the Nuggets.
- Tyler Herro – Hand
NBA Finals Game 1 Prediction
The Denver Nuggets, who have had an outstanding playoff run, losing only three games, are strongly poised to clinch the NBA Finals this year. Fresh from a nine-day break after a sweeping victory over the LA Lakers, the Nuggets’ dynamism is hard to ignore. With Nikola Jokic and Jamal Murray leading the charge, their offense has been formidable. The team’s role players have consistently stepped up, making crucial shots when the defensive pressure is focused on Jokic or Murray. Furthermore, the Nuggets’ performance at home has been impeccable; they’ve yet to lose a game there. While the Miami Heat have made history as the second team to make the Finals as an 8th seed, their journey has been more taxing. Even though Jimmy Butler has been phenomenal, and role players like Duncan Robinson, Max Strus, and Caleb Martin have surprised everyone with their performances, the Heat have only had a three-day break after a strenuous seven-game series against the Celtics. The Nuggets, with their superior rest, strong home game performance, and top-notch players, certainly hold the edge in this championship face-off.
Suggested Bet: Denver Nuggets
NBA Finals Multi – Game 1
- Denver Nuggets moneyline
- Caleb Martin 15 points
- Jamal Murray 20 points
- Nikola Jokic 8 assists
Take Bet: $2.57 with Ladbrokes
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Check out our previous NBA betting tips.