Spoelstra believes in his players.
The Miami Heat will host the Denver Nuggets in Game 2 of the 2023 NBA Finals on Friday (Feb. 5) at the Mile High City’s Ball Arena.
Miami suffered an 11-point loss to Denver in Game 1 on Feb. 2. The Heat failed to contain Nikola Jokic, the key to this series. Jokic showed his usual versatility in Game 1 with 27 points, 10 rebounds and 14 assists.
A lackluster performance from ace Jimmy Butler also hindered them. Butler shot just 42.9 percent (6-of-14) from three-point range. That’s because he struggled with the defense of Denver’s Aaron Gordon. The switch defense made it difficult for Butler to get into his offense.
The three-point shooters need to step up. Max Struth and Duncan Robinson combined to shoot 14 three-pointers in Game 1 and hit just one.
Tactical adjustments needed for Game 2. Miami’s true No. 1 option, Erik Spoelstra, will have to step up. But Spoelstra was more concerned with the will of his players.
In an interview with NBC Sports, Spoelstra said, “I’m not focusing on the game plan. It’s not going to save us. It’s about toughness and determination for the team. We’re at our best when we come together to do unbelievable things,” he said.
“We love to go above and beyond the norm, we love to compete, we love to get out on the court and do things that people say we can’t do.”
True to Spoelstra’s word, the Heat rose to the occasion in crunch time this season. The Heat made it through the play-in tournament and earned the No. 8 seed. They then defeated the No. 1 seed and the No. 5 seed to advance to the Eastern Conference Finals.안전놀이터
In the Eastern Conference Finals, they dropped three straight games to fall from a 3-0 series lead. Game 7 was at the home of the second-seeded Boston Celtics. However, Miami sent Game 7 to garbage time and advanced to the Finals. It was a testament to Miami’s determination.
Game 1 exposed a number of problems. But you can’t ignore the cohesion of the Miami players. It will be interesting to see if Miami can bounce back from their Game 1 loss in Game 2.