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
Nuggets 6-9 Heat, 8:43, 1st quarter
Jimmy Butler drives to the basket and lays one in. Nikola Jokić responds for Denver. Not a defensive masterclass so far.
Nuggets 4-7 Heat, 9:36, 1st quarter
Adebayo with a jumper. Murray responds.
Nuggets 2-5 Heat, 10:10, 1st quarter
Jamal Murray starts the scoring for the Nuggets.
Nuggets 0-5 Heat, 10:34, 1st quarter
Kevin Love hits a three right away and it’s a quick start by Miami.
Nuggets 0-2 Heat, 11:18, 1st quarter
Bam Adebyo with a layup to start the scoring!
Nuggets 0-0 Heat, 12:00, 1st quarter
And we have basketball! Game 3 has officially tipped off!
I am not alone in my prediction:
I also had no idea who Néhémie, today’s anthem singer is. Sorry, but she gives us a pretty great “Star Spangled Banner.” 7/10.
Big news for diehard fans of The Shoe Surgeon who is certainly a celebrity that I, a middle age person who listens to jam bands, certainly recognize.
The NBA analysts seem to be on the Heat’s side, which is making me feel better about my Nuggets prediction.
Miami Heat starting lineup
PG: Gabe Vincent
SG: Max Strus
SF: Jimmy Butler
PF: Kevin Love
C: Bam Adebayo
No changes for either team, which is no surprise with the Heat who benefited from promoting the veteran Love to the starting lineup in place of Caleb Martin.
Denver Nuggets starting lineup
PG: Jamal Murray
SG: Kentavious Caldwell-Pope
SF: Michael Porter Jr
PF: Aaron Gordon
C: Nikola Jokić
This is a rarity for me: I am currently 2-for-2 when it comes to predictions. First, I said that the Nuggets would win Game 1 fairly easily and then I thought that the Heat would stun the world by doing everything in their power to win a tight Game 2. So far, so good. I’ve honestly been dreading Game 3 because I know that this trend can’t continue.
However, tradition demands that I put my reputation on the line once again. Game 3? It feels like Denver and head coach Michael Malone have had enough time to figure out what went horribly wrong for them in the fourth quarter against Miami on Sunday.
In “Star Trek,” the Borg are vulnerable to a novel form of attack on the first attempt but future attempts to defeat them in the same manner prove, well, “futile.” I feel that the Nuggets are basically the Basketball Borg. So, look for them to regain control of the series and make it 2-1. It won’t be a blowout, but it won’t be extremely suspenseful down the stretch.
Earlier in the postseason, My Improv Teacher asked a question on Twitter that led me down an unexpected rabbit hole:
By his all-business on-the-court demeanor, you might think that Nikola Jokić leads a rather quiet life off of it. Apparently not! When he won his second straight MVP award, he happened to be riding behind his horse in a two-wheeled cart back in his home court of Serbia. He is, it turns out, the biggest horse guy in the NBA. Possibly literally!
Bad news for the Heat, who were hoping to get Tyler Herro, one of their most dangerous shooters, for Game 3. According to Adrian Wojnarowski, he is still recovering from hand surgery so it’s looking like Game 4 will be the earliest possible return date.
Four minutes into the ABC pregame broadcast and Stephen A. Smith has already attacked Boston Celtics duo Jaylen Brown and Jayson Tatum even though, last I checked (and I’d love to be wrong) they were eliminated last round.
Meanwhile, NBA news doesn’t stop just because it’s the finals. Earlier today came reports that the Phoenix Suns are considering moving on from Chris Paul’s current contract.
Initial reports suggested that it would be a straight-up waiving, but the Athletic’s Shams Charania suggests that the Suns could trade the HOF point guard, stretch his contract to reduce his salary cap hit or waive and re-sign him (assuming he passes through waivers). If he is on the move, expect contenders to seek the veteran’s services if the price is right.
Hello, first of all, I hope that any readers who happen to be affected by the North American wildfires and the rapidly spreading smoke are safe and doing okay. While the NBA finals will be unaffected, the wildfire smoke is wreaking havoc around the sports world.
Now, let us turn to the task at hand. There is good news for those of us who love drama: the NBA finals look like an actual series! After the Denver Nuggets dismantled the Miami Heat in Game 1 of the NBA finals, there was a sense that this would end up being one of these brief, unmemorable series.
Well, as has been happening all postseason long, the Heat defied expectations. With their 111-108 win, they became the first team to beat the Nuggets at home in the playoffs. Now, the series has traveled back to Miami tied 1-1, with the Nuggets suddenly playing without home-court advantage.
So, what are we to expect now? Well, it depends on whether the Nuggets make an adjustment to the Heat’s Game 2 adjustment. On Sunday, the Heat’s defense forced Nikola Jokić to become a scorer to disrupt the type of team basketball that has been the key to Denver’s success all season long. Now, it only barely worked: Jokić torched Miami for 41 points and the team was a made three-pointer away from forcing overtime. Still, the Heat came away with the W.
So, as it usually does, Game 3 is going to tell us a lot about both teams and the state of the series. If you want to comment on the finals or the state of the basketball world in general, this is the perfect opportunity, so send us your thoughts or questions either via email (to firstname.lastname@example.org or tweet them (to @HunterFelt) and we’ll incorporate them throughout today’s blog.
It’s Game 3 of the NBA Finals between the Denver Nuggets and the Miami Heat at American Airl- er, uh, Kaseya Center! Opening tip will happen at some indeterminate time after 8:30 pm EST, but we’ll be back with opening lineups, predictions and other updates before then.
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.
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.