The Miami Heat are facing the Denver Nuggets in Game 2 of the 2023 NBA Finals. The world did not expect the Heat to make it this far, mainly because of how depleted their roster has looked in the last few weeks. Despite various setbacks, they have taken down mighty franchises, including the Milwaukee Bucks and Boston Celtics. That only speaks about their mindset going into the finals this year.
The Nuggets, on the other hand, have looked pretty serious. They swept the Los Angeles Lakers series 4-0 and booked a seat in the finals. Despite not having a super team, the Nuggets look closely knit. Each player has a role in the team, and they fill that slot very efficiently. With that said, Nikola Jokic has to be mentioned, especially because of the way he has been playing this year.
The Heat lost Game 1 after the Joker put up yet another triple-double, making 27 points, 14 assists, and 10 rebounds. Jimmy Butler, the leader of the Heat, could only make 13 points but managed to put up 7 rebounds and assists each. The Heat have been unlucky with injuries to some of their key players, including Butler. He recently admitted that he is facing discomfort, but continues to play.
Jimmy Butler is available for Miami Heat vs Denver Nuggets Game 2 tonight
In a recent press conference, Jimmy mentioned that he was not at 100% but is still expected to do his job. The Heat star also mentioned that he hasn’t recovered from an ankle injury, but he will still help the team get the job done with a bad ankle.
Caleb Martin (illness) and Cody Zeller (right foot sprain) are listed as questionable. https://t.co/b5xSIHw0KX
— Anthony Chiang (@Anthony_Chiang) June 3, 2023
Butler is not the only one who has faced setbacks. Tyler Herro, one of the Heat’s best players this year, broke his right hand in a game against the Bucks. Fortunately for the Heat, they beat Giannis Antetokounmpo and Co. without Herro and made it to the finals. Herro has been reported to get better in the last few days.
But reports claim that Herro will not be ready to suit up for Game 2. Along with him, Caleb Martin and Cody Zeller are also on the injury report and are questionable. They are dealing with illness and a right foot sprain respectively. This would certainly be good news for the Nuggets, considering how Caleb Martin has been stepping up for the Heat in the last few games.
Miami Heat injury report
- Tyler Herro (out)
- Caleb Martin (questionable)
- Cody Zeller (questionable)
- Victor Oladipo (out)
Miami Heat expected roster
- Jimmy Butler
- Bam Adebayo
- Gabe Vincent
- Max Strus
- Haywood Highsmith
Denver Nuggets injury report
- Collin Gillespie (out)
Denver Nuggets expected roster
- Michael Porter Jr.
- Nikola Jokic
- Jamal Murray
- Kentavious Caldwell-Pope
- Aaron Gordon
Can Jimmy Butler lead the Heat to redemption in Game 2?
As mentioned earlier, Butler had an off night in Game 1. He had been exceptional for the team until that point, especially in the scoring department. Not only Butler, but Caleb Martin could also only make 3 points and failed to replicate his form from previous games. Many believe that the Nuggets could take yet another win tonight.
Despite popular belief, there is a chance that Heat might take Game 2. Erik Spoelstra made a good decision to place Haywood Highsmith against Nikola Jokic. Highsmith had a decent game, making 18 points in just 23 minutes.
It is highly likely that he gets more minutes tonight, considering Caleb Martin’s injury as well. Along with Highsmith, Butler will be aiming to have a better game, and his confidence has not taken any hit despite losing in the last game. He has been averaging 27.6 points, 7.0 rebounds, and 5.8 assists this postseason and that form is likely to continue tonight as well.
For the Heat to win, Jokic undoubtedly will be their target. The Serbian has been a freak of nature in the last few years and he only seems to be getting better. An interesting point to note is that his 3P% is at an astonishing 47.5, which is surprising considering his play style. With that said, the Heat would have to defend as a solidified unit to stop Jokic and Co.