I somehow forgot the greatest Jimmy Butler anecdote ever. You have a few minutes before Opening Tip, I strongly recommend reading this story (and also DO NOT DO THIS).
Tyler Herro is not playing in Game 2, but he’s already conjuring up some 90’s alt-rock memories with his getup.
I have predicted the Nuggets in 6 which means… well they have to lose at least two games here. It feels like, to me, for the series to progress even that far, Miami has to win this Game 2. So, I’m guessing they manage a one or two-point victory on the back of a classic Playoff Jimmy performance where he puts up something ridiculous like 40+ points.
Am I at all confident about this? ABSOLUTELY NOT! If you think you predict a more likely outcome (and it might not be difficult in this situation) you can send your thoughts to [email protected] or tweet @HunterFelt. Until then, legendary comedian Dana Carvey gave his in verse earlier today on Twitter (it does not quite go to the tune of “Choppin’ Broccoli”):
Miami Heat starting lineup
PG: Gabe Vincent
SG: Max Strus
SF: Jimmy Butler
PF: Kevin Love
C: Bam Adebayo
Again, the only change seems to be swapping Martin for Love. Love is 34 years old and not quite the All-Star he once was, but he’s still one of those veteran players who are always a threat to have a huge finals game. He is also the only player on either side with Beach Boys DNA.
Denver Nuggets starting lineup
PG: Jamal Murray
SG: Kentavious Caldwell-Pope
SF: Michael Porter Jr
PF: Aaron Gordon
C: Nikola Jokić
Apparently, the Nuggets haven’t changed up the starting lineup from Game 1 and why would they, honestly?
There was some speculation that Tyler Herro would be available to play today for the Heat, but it looks like if he does play in this series it will be when it shifts to Miami. Meanwhile, the Heat did say that Caleb Martin will be available to play after missing practice yesterday with an illness, although Kevin Love will reportedly be starting in his absence.
It’s not the ideal situation but considering how little they got from Martin, maybe switching it up could end up paying dividends.
Well, Game 1 ended up going pretty much exactly how the analysts assumed it would go. The well-rested Denver Nuggets crushed the Miami Heat 104-93, despite the fact that their coach thought they could play better. As Michael Malone pointed out, his team did let up a bit in the fourth quarter, making the final score seem more respectable for the Heat than it actually was while giving them some life heading into today’s Game 2.
No matter what, the Heat are going to have to play a lot better to win this game to avoid falling into a 0-2 hole (something which will probably determine how long this series lasts). Whether it was Denver’s defense or Miami simply regressing to the mean after their Eastern Conference playoffs run, the Heat’s offense sputtered for most of Game 1. Their star player Jimmy Butler scored just 13 points while Boston-killer Caleb Martin and Max Strus fell back to Earth, combined to go 1-for-17.
It sounds bad, but we’ve been counting out the Heat at our own peril all postseason long. Can they do it one more time against Denver’s Nikola Jokić, who is already putting up finals numbers that rival those of some of the game’s all-time greats? If he and Jamal Murray are in sync, it might not matter what adjustments the Heat make.
As always, we at the Guardian welcome your comments throughout this live blog. You can either send them via email to [email protected] or tweet them to @HunterFelt, we’ll use them throughout the game. The way I look at it, the world is my color commentator.
It’s Game 2 of the NBA Finals between the Miami Heat and the Denver Nuggets at Ball Arena. Opening tip is scheduled to start at 8:00 pm EST, but keep your eyes here as we will be back with opening lineups, predictions and other such things.
Hunter will be here shortly. In the meantime, here’s how the Nuggets went up 1-0 after the series opener:
Maybe it was the thin air. Perhaps it was fatigue in their 21st game since the end of the regular season. Or just an inevitable reversion towards normality for the postseason’s greatest overachievers.
Whatever it was, it was quickly clear that anyone tuning in to the first game of the NBA finals on Thursday in the hope of witnessing a stirring mountain tale starring a brave band of odds-defying underdogs should have switched off the game and streamed The Sound of Music instead.
The most flagrant cause of the wide margin of victory was the Miami Heat’s failure to rack up enough points from distance, especially from open looks early in the game.
You can read the full report below:
How to watch the NBA finals
Every game of the NBA finals will air in the US on broadcast TV (ABC), live stream (ESPN3) and on NBA League Pass. Additionally, Game 1 will be simulcast on ESPN+.
UK viewers can watch on Sky Sports or NBA League Pass. Australian viewers can stream on Kayo Sports via ESPN and additionally through NBA League Pass.
Best-of-seven series. All times EDT.
Thu 1 Jun Game 1: Heat 93-104 Nuggets. The outmatched Heat had no answer to Jokic and the Nuggets.
Sun 4 Jun Game 2: Heat at Nuggets, 8pm (ABC)
Wed 7 Jun Game 3: Nuggets at Heat, 8.30pm (ABC)
Fri 9 Jun Game 4: Nuggets at Heat, 8.30pm (ABC)
Mon 12 Jun Game 5: Heat at Nuggets, 8.30pm (ABC) *
Thu 15 Jun Game 6: Nuggets at Heat, 8.30pm (ABC) *
Sun 18 Jun Game 7: Heat at Nuggets, 8pm (ABC) *
* if necessary
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