A shorthanded Denver Nuggets team fell 125-105 to the Miami Heat in their opening game of the NBA restart. Without the services of Jamal Murray, Gary Harris and Will Barton the Nuggets lose close to an average of 50 points. Though the Nuggets have amazing depth they can’t afford to lose so much production.
The Miami Heat came threw the opening punches to go up 18-10 led by the duo of Bam Adebayo and Jimmy Butler who finished with 22 points 7 assists 4 rebounds on 55% FG without attempting a single 3 pointer. Jimmy Butler’s decision making in the pick and roll has grown by leaps and bounds since he joined the heat. The Nuggets Clawed their way back into the game to cut Miami’s lead to 2 at the end of the 1st with the score at 28-26.
The depeleted Nuggets team played really well in the second, riding the coattails of Jerami Grant and their superstar big man, Nikola Jokic to take a one point lead heading into half time at 56-57. They were also aided by Miami who were ice cold to start the second just making 1/9 from the field.
Miami came out firing on all Cylinders in the third. The Heat’s firepower eventually ended up being too much. The Heat outscore the Nuggets 38-22 while forcing 8 TO’s in the period to swing the tie in their favour. Denver’s lack of 3 point shooting was clearly exposed as they just made 8/35 from beyond the arc. Jimmy capped off a great quarter with a buzzer beater!
Miami were in complete control and never looked like blowing the lead. Kelly Olynyk was the star of the 4th scoring 20 points all by himself including 4 3 pointers in the period. He’s been consistent all season long and is shooting close to 43% from deep this season.
The Nuggets will be hoping to get their starters back for the next one.
Takeaways for the Miami Heat
The Nuggets can take this game with a pinch of salt as they never stood a chance against Miami without Jamal and Will.
Duncan Robinson’s gravity on offence along with his chemistry with Bam is a deadly combination. Duncan who was a +28 tonight is making the right plays which is a recipe for success
Jimmy Butler’s pick and roll decision making has grown by leaps and bounds under Spoelstra.
Mason Plumlee’s vision is really underrated and is often eclipsed due to the fact he plays with the best passing big man in the league.