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GAME PREVIEW: Heat looking to defend home court, take 2-1 series lead
Miami is excited to be playing in front of their home fans in a Finals game for the first time since 2014.
The Miami Heat did what they were supposed to do on the road in Denver and came home with a series split 1-1. Prior to the impressive game 2 win, Miami hasn’t won in Denver since November 30 of 2016. In a different perspective, the lineup then was Goran Dragic, Rodney Mcgruder, Luke Babbit, Josh Mcroberts, and Hassan Whiteside.
The Heat have proven time and time again that they are the real deal. Odds are always against them and people are always willing to count them out until they prove otherwise.
The play of the team is enough to show that this squad is NOT your typical 8 seed.
Miami has had championship aspirations for years now, and after a couple deep playoff runs ending in heartbreak they are now finally in position to change the narrative and create history.
The Heat are a strong home team, and for the first time since the “big three” era in 2014 the South Florida fans get to witness their team live on an NBA Finals stage.
Miami did make the Finals in 2020 as well, but that was in the bubble with no fans whatsoever.
Hopefully, Miami faithful shows up loud and proud, and fuels this team with adrenaline to get the job done in a pivotal game.
It is expected that the Nuggets will be making adjustments, such as getting Jamal Murray more open looks. Kevin Love is now staying in this starting lineup for the long run to match the size and length of Denver, which allows Jimmy Butler to defend Murray and put some pressure on him.
Nikola Jokic will always be doing his thing, but if the Heat can take his teammates out of the game like they did in game 2, then the Nuggets are in for a tough night.
It would be nice to see Butler have a standout game tonight, who has been relatively quiet offensively for a while now. Honestly, there hasn’t been a true “playoff Jimmy” performance since he rolled his ankle early in the New York Knicks series.
However, he is still making winning plays and doing a fantastic job at getting his teammates involved. Bam Adebayo has been an absolute catalyst on both ends, so expect him to come out aggressive again.
Tyler Herro was reportedly (by Woj) aiming for a return to the rotation from his broken hand tonight. However, Herro is still experiencing soreness and is listed as out. Victor Oladipo is the only other player out.
Tonight’s game will be nationally televised on ABC.
Tyler Herro (hand) — OUT
Victor Oladipo (knee) — OUT
Probable Starters (at time of publishing):
Michael Porter Jr.
ODDS (via FanDuel)
Check the odds out at FanDuel!
Tipoff: 8:30 PM EST
Radio: AM 560 Sports WQAM & The HEAT Radio Network (Jason Jackson)
Spanish Radio: WAQI 710 AM & The HEAT Spanish Radio Network (José Pañeda)
Come back to Hot Hot Hoops at game time to join our GameThread and chat about the game live with other Heat fans!
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