Jokic: Best Player in the NBA 💪

Denver took the series lead and stole back home court advantage with an electric Game 3 performance from Jokic and Murray. Can Miami respond tonight with their season on the line? This is the last newsletter for a few weeks, the boys are going to Cancun 😎 (2 min read)

Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images

Game 4 In South Beach

First off, just a heads up that this will be the last newsletter for two weeks…we’re going on vacation. I doubt you missed it, but if so just look at Denver’s box score from Game 3 😎

Despite not being an actual elimination game, tonight’s Game 4 of the NBA Finals feels like a true must-win for the Heat. After dropping the first matchup in Miami, Jimmy Butler and co. simply cannot afford to head back to Denver trailing 3-1. The Nuggets hadn’t lost a home game in the playoffs until the Heat’s thrilling Game 2 comeback, and they’ll be hard-pressed to give up another with a championship on the line 🏆

  • For Denver, the winning formula ultimately boils down to the Nuggets’ dynamic duo. When you have two stars even approaching the level of dominance shown by Nikola Jokic and Jamal Murray on Wednesday, postseason success is inevitable

  • The pair combined for a truly historic performance in Game 3’s win 👇

What stands out the most about Jokic and Murray as a duo is the well-roundedness that defines each of their games. Jokic is, of course, the league’s preeminent triple-double threat (best in NBA history), a beastly inside presence who doubles as one of the top passers in the game. But Murray doesn’t receive enough credit for his ability to toggle between playing the traditional point guard role and attacking as a pure scorer 💪

  • The fact that each of these stars can occupy so many roles in the offense allows the supporting cast to flourish. It feels like it’s a different player every night

  • In Game 3 it was rookie Christian Braun, who showed off his potent mix of athleticism and smarts as a defender/rim attacker 🔥

Given the way Denver dominated Miami on their home floor, Butler and Adebayo are surely hungry for revenge in Game 4. Both players posted solid stat-lines on Wednesday, but failed to generate efficient offense for their squad at the level of Denver’s duo. Miami is at their best when Jimmy and Bam consistently penetrate the paint and create easy looks for Miami’s shooters 💦

  • However, on a certain level, Miami’s struggles simply boil down to those of their top dog. Butler has to be better if the Heat are going to have a chance — he hasn’t even approached the level of offensive comfort that he displayed against Boston and especially Milwaukee

  • To his credit, Jimmy isn’t sugar-coating his struggles, and showed his trademark unshakable confidence postgame 👇

At the end of the day, the Heat know that talk is cheap and their season rides on tonight’s matchup. For Jokic and the Nuggets, it’s all about inching one very significant step toward basketball immortality. Butler and this Heat squad, who clearly relish their underdog status, will be fighting tooth and nail to stave off a 3-1 deficit 🍿

  • Spread: Nuggets -3.5

  • Moneyline: Nuggets -162, Heat +136

  • Over/Under: 210.5

Trivia Question: Butler set Miami’s single game postseason scoring record with his 56-point masterpiece vs. Milwaukee in Round 1. Who held the record before him?

Photo by Nathaniel S. Butler/NBAE via Getty Images

For My Parlay Gurus

Maybe this is wishful thinking for a competitive series, but I just can’t see the Heat rolling over in this one. They’re too resilient and battle-tested to let go of the rope at home, and thrive in these types of high pressure situations. Look for Miami to eke out a pivotal win, powered by a resurgent performance from non other than Jimmy Butler 👀

  • Heat +3.5 vs. Nuggets: -110

  • Jimmy Butler OVER 27.5 Points: +100

$100 on this bet would win you $219 — 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: LeBron was the previous leader in single game points scored for the Heat, dropping 49 points on the Brooklyn Nets in 2014

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