The seven-game format of an NBA playoff series may not lead to the most unpredictable outcomes, but it transforms every series into a game of micro-adjustments. At the moment, it's looking like Michael Malone and the Denver Nuggets are one step ahead of Erik Spoelstra and the Miami Heat, as the Nuggets take a 3-1 series lead following a spirited 108-95 Game 4 win.

After the Heat seemed to figure out the Nuggets defense late in Game 2, scoring 36 points in the fourth quarter to even up the series. But the Nuggets have made plenty of adjustments since then. One adjustment in particular has taken Gabe Vincent and Max Strus' exploits from deep out of the equation, with the Nuggets making a much more concerted effort in fighting over screens to force them into tough pull-ups.

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But in Game 4, as head coach Erik Spoelstra said in his postgame presser, it was the Nuggets' disruptiveness in the passing lanes that prevented the Heat from getting into rhythm.

“Tonight it was probably those quick hands, either stripping us when we had advantages on drives, the kick balls that Jokic does very well, deflected passes or just some miscues,” Spoelstra said, per Bally Sports Heat. “It's not like we had 25 turnovers. But whatever the turnovers were — 15 or 16 — they just led to scores that were deflating going the other way when it felt like we had an advantage.”

The Heat finished with 14 turnovers on the night, the most they've had in a game during the 2023 NBA Finals thus far, but as Spoelstra said, not all turnovers are created equal. Live ball turnovers hurt, and a vast majority of their giveaways (11 out of 14) gave the Nuggets a golden opportunity to go out and run in transition.

Meanwhile, Nikola Jokic's tendency to use his foot as a defensive tool may induce eye-rolls, but at the end of the day, don't hate the player, hate the game.

It'll be interesting what move Erik Spoelstra has in mind in this riveting chess match against Michael Malone, as the Heat try to mount one last comeback in Game 5 of the 2023 NBA Finals on Monday night.