Matt’s Pick Game 5 of the NBA Finals
MATT’S PICK FOR GAME 5 OF THE NBA FINALS – The Denver Nuggets are one game away from winning the first NBA title in franchise history. Can Nikola Jokic and company finish things out in Colorado? Or will Jimmy Butler and the magical season of the Miami Heat continue on?
Let us examine the predictions for Game 5 on Monday night.
(1-3 SU in Series)
(3-1 SU in Series)
When: Monday, June 11, 2023 at 8:30 PM CT
Where: Ball Arena, Denver CO
Public Money: Denver, 70%
Public Bets: Denver, 50%
Odds courtesy of DraftKings as of June 11, 2023
How We Got Here
The Nuggets have been in complete control of this entire series up until this point. On one hand, it’s not surprising, considering the Heat had a seven-game series with the Boston Celtics and the Nuggets had a four-game sweep of the Los Angeles Lakers and a lengthy layoff.
The Nuggets won the first game by 11 points and lost Game 2 by three points. Since then, they have won the last two games, both of them by 13 or more points while holding the Heat below 100 points. In all three Nuggets victories, the Heat have failed to score more than 95 points.
Jokic has been dominant all around, averaging 30 PPG with 13.5 rebounds and 8 assists, including a pair of triple-doubles and a 41-point outing. Jamal Murray is averaging 23 PPG with 10.5 assists, and Bruce Brown has chipped in double digits off the bench in three of the four games.
Jimmy Butler has 20 or more in each of the last three games, and Bam Adebayo has 20 points in all four and double-doubles in three of four, but Miami is still waiting for help from other players. Gabe Vincent had 42 combined in the first two games but just nine points on 3-16 since then, and Caleb Martin scored just six points in the first two games after a shocking series against Boston.
Look Ahead To Game 5
With Game 4 in Miami, the Heat had the best opportunity to tie it up and send it back to Denver. However, it didn’t happen. The Heat scored more than 22 points in just one quarter on Saturday night, and Aaron Gordon stepped up for the Nuggets with a game-high 27 points. Jamal Murray struggled with just 15 points and 12 assists on 5-17 from the field, but Bruce Brown added 21 points.
The Butler-Adebayo duo dropped 45 points, but the rest of the starters had just 14 combined points. Kevin Love is back for Game 5, and maybe that’s the spark this team needs. Tyler Herro still has yet to suit up, which is certainly something Erik Spoelstra had been hoping for.
Jokic had 41 points the last time they played in Denver, although the Heat escaped with a 111-108 victory.
This shouldn’t be a question. The Heat’s backs are against the wall, and the Nuggets have a home-court advantage. Roll with the over, and don’t think twice.
The Heat have defied the odds the entire postseason, although they blew a 3-0 lead to Boston before winning Game 7 on the road. However, the Nuggets have clearly been the better team, and there is no answer for Nikola Jokic. The Nuggets have a chance to win their first NBA title at home, and that has to be even more motivation.
We see an all-time performance from Jokic as he drops 40-plus with a triple-double and the Nuggets pop champagne in their own arena.
OVER 208.5 points
Denver Nuggets (-9)