The Miami Heat will face off with the Denver Nuggets in Game 2 of the NBA Finals on Sunday. We are at Ball Arena, sharing our NBA odds series, making a Heat-Nuggets Game 2 prediction and pick while showing you how to watch.
Tne Nuggets defeated the Heat 104-93 in Game 1 of the NBA Finals. Now, they hope to take a 2-0 advantage as the teams square off on Sunday for Game 2. The Nuggets controlled the pace of this game, leading 29-20 after the first quarter and 59-42 at halftime. Moreover, it was 84-63 after three quarters. The Heat made a half-hearted comeback attempt, but time ran out.
It was the first Game 1 loss in the playoffs for the Heat this season. Remarkably, the Nuggets are now 7-0 at home in the postseason. Nikola Jokic joined Michael Jordan as the only players to lead their teams in points and assists in their first Game 1 of the NBA Finals. Significantly, he finished with 27 points on 8 of 12 shooting while pulling down 10 rebounds and generating 14 assists. Jokic had 10 first-half assists. Ultimately, he kept finding open shooters. Aaron Gordon was his favorite target early.
Jamal Murray blasted the Heat verbally after having a great performance in Game 1. Substantially, he excelled with 26 points and 10 assists while shooting 11 for 22 from the floor. Murray also hit 2 of 7 from beyond the arc. Meanwhile, Gordon had 16 points while shooting 7 of 10 and Michael Porter Jr. added 14 points.
Jimmy Butler struggled on Thursday, as did many of his teammates, in Game 1. Sadly, he finished with just 13 points on 6 of 14 shooting. Bam Adebayo had 26 points with 13 rebounds while shooting 13 for 25. Likewise, Gabe Vincent added 19. But the Heat could not get much else from the rest. Significantly, Caleb Martin had just three points while shooting 1 of 7. Max Strus scored no points while going 0 for 10 from the field. Regardless, Kyle Lowry added 11 points off the bench, and Haywood Highsmith had 18. But the Heat need to shoot better in Game 2.
Here are the Heat-Nuggets NBA odds, courtesy of FanDuel
NBA Playoffs Odds: Heat-Nuggets Game 2 Odds
Miami Heat: +8.5 (-110)
Denver Nuggets: -8.5 (-110)
Over: 214.5 (-110)
Under: 214.5 (-110)
How To Watch Heat vs. Nuggets Game 2
Time: 8 PM ET/5 PM PT
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Why The Heat Could Cover The Spread
Butler could not hit his shots. Moreover, everyone else struggled. Miami finished with a 40.6 percent shooting rate while also hitting 3.33 percent of their shots from the triples. Stunningly, they only shot two free throws.
The Heat need Butler to excel. Likewise, Adebayo is an integral part of this offense, and someone the Heat need to continue his strong play. The offense was anemic in Game 1. Moreover, Butler and Martin both fell victim to blocked shots by Porter. Their sharpshooter Struss could not hit a single shot.
But the defense failed in their first attempt to stop the Nuggets. Amazingly, they fell victim to the pick-and-roll. Murray and Jokic delivered this strategy so well that it resembled John Stockton and Karl Malone. Somehow, the Heat cut the deficit to nine with 2:34 left to play but ran out of energy.
The Heat will cover the spread if they can excel on offense and hit their shots. Moreover, they must contain Murray and Jokic.
Why The Nuggets Could Cover The Spread
Jokic is asserting his dominance. Now, it seems as if the star is just enhancing his teammates as well. Jokic constantly found open shooters, allowing the Nuggets to convert their field-goal opportunities from all over the floor.
Murray continued to ball out. Additionally, his first-half performance helped establish the standard. Murray played efficiently on the court. Likewise, Porter excelled on both ends of the floor. His ability to hit his shots consistently while also blocking Butler from hitting his chances was on full display. Substantially, the Nuggets overcame the zone defense. Jokic found soft shots in the zone coverage and took advantage of the weaknesses in the system. Likewise, Gordon continued to fill his role as an excellent supporting player. The Nuggets had the advantage from the start and hoped to continue to play efficiently.
The Nuggets will cover the spread if they continue to execute their playcalling on offense. Then, the defense must once again contain Butler.
Final Heat-Nuggets Game 2 Prediction & Pick
The Heat looked worn and tired in Game 1. Meanwhile, the Nuggets looked fresh and ready to play. The Heat must figure out how to stop the Nuggets. However, it is didficult to see them doing it against the top-ranked team in the association. The Nuggets will cover the spread and take a 2-0 series lead.
Final Heat-Nuggets Game 2 Prediction & Pick: Denver Nuggets: -8.5 (-110)