The Miami Heat were downright brutal in Game 1 of the NBA Finals against the Denver Nuggets, there's no other way to put it. The biggest issue was their shooting woes, draining just 41% of their field goals and shooting 33% from downtown. But, that hasn't stopped head coach Erik Spoelstra from trying to instill confidence in his players ahead of Game 2.
"Let it fly."
Coach Spo has a message for his shooters after their Game 1 woes 👀
— ClutchPoints (@ClutchPointsApp) June 3, 2023
He's not wrong. Once two or three shots go down, that will give the Heat some momentum to build on. While someone like Jimmy Butler doesn't particularly shoot a ton of triples, the rest of the rotation does. Miami took 39 of them in the series opener but only sank 13. Outside of Gabe Vincent who was 5 for 10, Max Strus, Duncan Robinson, Kyle Lowry, and Cody Martin were all hopeless. It was a very cold shooting night.
The reality is the Heat do rely heavily on their ability to make it rain from beyond the arc. Miami is shooting 38.7% from three-point territory in these playoffs and needs to find their stroke if they're going to get past Nikola Jokic and the Nuggets. Most importantly, as Spoelstra said, the Heat have to capitalize on those clean looks when possible.
Game 2 Sunday is crucial for the Eastern Conference winners, who will be looking to avoid a 2-0 hole before heading back to South Beach. Considering the heart and fight of this team, there's little doubt this contest should be a lot more competitive. Aside from the shooting though, Miami has to find a way to slow down Nikola Jokic and the Denver supporting cast, too, which is far easier said than done.