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Miami Heat get eliminated in 5 games, lose to NBA Champion Nuggets 94-89
It was one heck of a run, Heat Nation.
The Miami Heat’s magical playoff run has come to an end, as they get eliminated in 5 games in the NBA Finals to the Denver Nuggets. Denver wins their first NBA championship as they come away with the 94-89 victory at home and gentleman sweep the Heat.
Nikola Jokic led both team’s in scoring with 28 points and 16 rebounds. Jamal Murray had a near triple double with 14, 8 and 8.
First and foremost, the Nuggets are a spectacular team, the best in the entire league. Getting the 1st seed in a tough Western Conference, they proved to the entire world that not only are they the best team; they have the best player.
2X MVP Nikola Jokic won the Finals MVP and he absolutely performed like the best in the world, all playoffs long too.
He is truly a dominant force, and him and his Nuggets have a talented young core that will be around for the foreseeable future.
For the Heat, man did they have a run of their own. A team that lost the first play-in game, was losing with 3 minutes left in the second play-in game, made the NBA Finals as an 8 seed.
They were just the second 8th seed in history to reach the Finals, and they ran through a fierce Eastern Conference.
Defeating the Chicago Bulls in the second play-in, dominant the Milwaukee Bucks in round 1, getting past the New York Knicks and round 2, and getting revenge on the Boston Celtics in round 3; this Heat team was special.
These playoffs featured upset after upset, including a 50 point Jimmy Butler performance followed up by a 40 piece to take down the Bucks on the road. There were Kevin Love outlets, a Duncan Robinson resurgence, Caleb Martin’s elite Eastern Conference Finals performance, even some Bam Adebayo masterclass’s.
After a mediocre regular season, Miami defied all the odds and wound up being the best in the East.
Tonight’s game brought a respectable effort from the visiting Heat, as they had their imprints all over this game early.
The Heat were leading going into half following a super solid team effort, led by Bam Adebayo.
The Nuggets defense turned it up a notch following the break.
They started hitting difficult shots and Jokic, like all series long, was getting wherever he wanted offensively.
Denver forced the Heat out of their game, and added some physicality and pressure every possession in the 3rd and 4th quarters.
Jimmy Butler had a bad shooting performance on the worst possible night, going an abysmal 5/18 from the field. He scored 21 points and had 5 assists.
However, he did hit some clutch three’s and free throws late in the 4th, but he committed a costly turnover on the final real possession.
Bam Adebayo wound up being the leading man, although he had struggles of his own in the second half. He finished with 20 points and 12 rebounds.
Max Strus had 12 points and 8 rebounds and Kyle Lowry had 9 points.
The supporting cast for the Heat was a force all playoff long, but failed to show up consistently throughout the Finals.
There is a lot to still be optimistic about if you are a Heat fan. Although Butler’s age is getting up there, he is still in at least a 2-3 year title window. Adebayo will continue to improve and is just hitting his prime. Tyler Herro will be back after being the team’s third leading scorer and missing the entire playoffs. Erik Spoelstra is still a top 3 (and not 2 or 3) coach in the NBA. The front office is still one of the best in the NBA.
They will now settle to be reigning Eastern Conference champions, but they have some work to do this offseason.
The main goal during this summer as an organization should be the same as last years was initially; get Butler and Adebayo another star.
Damian Lillard, amidst all the rumors linking him to the Heat, would be the best possible outcome. It would give the team a number 1 who is MVP caliber, averages a near career 30.0 PPG, and an All-NBA talent. It can maybe slide Jimmy to a 2nd option offensively, similar to what Dwayne Wade did when LeBron James came here.
Resign Kevin Love, resign Gabe Vincent and/or Max Strus, and try to sign an effective back up or even starting caliber big man. Ideally, it would be nice to see another PF option that is young and has the ability to start, moving Love to the regular back up big minutes and keeping Caleb Martin as a versatile option off the bench.
This team will be back; LETS GO HEAT.