Remember The Nuggets vs. Heat Fight? 💀

The arrival of June means it's officially Finals season in the NBA. Denver looks like the clear favorite in this matchup, but Miami obviously has a knack for pulling out unexpected upsets. Let's take a look at some of the top narratives heading into Game 1 🍿 (3 min read)

Photo by Eric Espada/NBAE via Getty Images

The Big Stage

Remember this?

Same. So pumped. While many casual fans may have longed for the classic Lakers-Celtics Finals matchup, this year’s climactic clash isn’t short on compelling narratives. Nikola Jokic has a golden opportunity to deliver the Nuggets their first ever championship, while cementing himself as a true all-time great at just 28 years old. On the other side, Jimmy Butler’s Heat can become the lowest seeded champion in NBA history, with their star etching his name among the postseason legends 👑

  • As the top and bottom playoff seeds in their respective conferences, the Nuggets and Heat have forged dramatically different paths to arrive here

It feels strange that the Heat were crowned kings of the East, since they came remarkably close to not even making the playoffs. After getting blown out in their initial Play-In matchup vs. Atlanta, Miami trailed the Bulls by double digits in their battle for the eight seed before ultimately emerging victorious 🔥

  • Watching Miami go from scrapping with playoff hopefuls to shattering the hopes of legitimate title contenders has been a turnaround for the ages

  • The Heat’s first-round takedown of Milwaukee stemmed largely from Butler’s heroics, but their later victories were true team accomplishments

  • Miami’s legion of undrafted studs epitomizes “Heat culture”, spearheaded by Caleb Martin, who put forth a performance for the ages vs. Boston

While Miami just underwent a grueling seven game battle vs. the Celtics, Denver made quick work of the Lakers in a clean sweep. Jokic made a statement vs. LA, looking like by far the best player in the NBA, specifically against Anthony Davis, who is considered one of the best defensive bigs in the league 🃏

  • Jokic made a mockery of the Western Conference competition, averaging an astonishing 30 PPG, 13 RPG and 10 APG in Denver’s romp to the Finals

  • The reverence with which Jokic’s peers discuss him tells you all you need to know about this generational talent 💪

Jokic will have no problem picking apart the Miami zone that confounded Boston, if the Heat are foolish enough to even attempt it. The Joker orchestrates a well-oiled machine in Denver, whether running devastatingly efficient pick-and-rolls with Jamal Murray, bullying teams in the post or lofting pinpoint dimes to Denver’s collection of elite shooters and cutters 🎯

  • Murray in particular hit another level vs. LA, looking like the historic scoring machine who terrorized teams in the Bubble

  • However, Butler and co. can always be counted upon to muck up a series and throw the odds out the window 👀

Fun fact, this is the first NBA Finals since 1990 that won’t feature a first team All-NBA player. Tatum was the last hope to keep the streak alive, and Jokic & Butler were both second team this season. And a more entertaining narrative…this was only a year ago 💀

  • Spread: Nuggets -9

  • Moneyline: Nuggets -375, Heat +300

  • O/U: 219

Trivia Question: What is the lowest seeded team to ever win the NBA championship?

Photo by Eric Espada/NBAE via Getty Images

For My Parlay Gurus

I think the Nuggets will defend home court in Game 1 vs. a significantly less rested Miami team, but count on the Heat to put up a fight and keep things interesting. I like Butler’s squad to cover the big spread spread, while Denver prevails in the end behind another monster effort from Jokic. Check out the same game action I’m riding with 👇

  • Heat +9 @ Nuggets: -110

  • Jokic OVER 27.5 Points: -125

$100 on this bet would win you $280 — if we hit, make sure you email [email protected] for a chance to win up to $100*. Many will enter, only some will win 😉

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Trivia Answer: The lowest seeded champion of all-time was the 1995 Houston Rockets, who were sixth in the West

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