2023 NBA Finals Preview
The 2023 NBA Finals are just around the corner and this year’s title series is shaping up to be an epic battle between two of the league’s best teams. With the matchup now set between the Denver Nuggets and Miami Heat, basketball fans are in store for some exciting hoops action down the stretch. Bovada Sportsbook has all the latest NBA Finals odds you need: Nuggets are listed as a -400 betting favorite heading into the finals versus the Heat, who are available at +300.
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The finals are set to tip off later this week, with Game 1 scheduled for June 1 at Ball Arena in Denver. The Nuggets will have home-court advantage in this series and will host the first two games before heading down south to Miami’s Kaseya Center for Games 3 and 4. If needed, Games 5 and 6 would be played in Denver and Miami, respectively, with the series returning to Denver for what would be a thrilling Game 7 finale.
While the Nuggets have carved their path to glory by way of dominance, the Heat earned their spot with sheer willpower and resilience. These two squads have left a trail of fallen adversaries in their wake, captivating fans with their electrifying plays and mesmerizing displays of athleticism. Now, they prepare to clash for the chance to hoist the Larry O’Brien Trophy as this year’s NBA Champions.
Denver Nuggets (-400)
There’s no secret to the Nuggets success on the hardwood this season; his name is Nikola Jokic. The Serbian superstar and two-time NBA MVP is coming off yet another remarkable campaign, guiding his team to a 53-29 record and the No. 1 seed in the Western Conference. Jokic can dominate the box score on a nightly basis and he’s looked even better during these playoffs, putting up an incredible 29.9 points, 12.3 rebounds and 10.3 assists per game.
The biggest difference between this year’s Nuggets squad and teams from years past is the supporting cast. Denver’s Jamal Murray looks to have finally regained his scoring touch, posting 27.7 points per game in the playoffs, to go along with 5.5 rebounds and 6.1 assists. Michael Porter Jr. has also made an impact on this offense and has served as a solid third option throughout the year. Even role players like Aaron Gordon and Kentavious Caldwell-Pope have stepped up during the team’s impressive run to the NBA Finals, giving Denver some much needed depth along the way.
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The Nuggets were a dominant team at home this season and that trend has continued during the playoffs with Denver going a perfect 8-0 at Ball Arena up to this point. The Nuggets made quick work of the Timberwolves in the first round, defeating Minnesota in five games. Denver then went on to eliminate the Phoenix Suns in a six-game series before sweeping LeBron and the Los Angeles Lakers in the Western Conference Finals to earn their first NBA Finals appearance in franchise history. It’s worth noting that sweeping the Lakers has led to a lengthy layover before Game 1 of the NBA Finals, so Denver could be at risk of showing some rust out of the gate.
Miami Heat (+300)
Having gone a mediocre 44-38 in the regular season, not many basketball fans expected the Heat to be the last team standing in a stacked Eastern Conference. After losing to Atlanta in their first play-in game, the Heat barely edged past the Bulls to claim the eighth and final playoff spot in the east. The Heat raised more than a few eyebrows during the first round when they took out the top-seeded Bucks in just five games. They followed that up with a six-game series win over the New York Knicks, earning their place in the Eastern Conference Finals against the Boston Celtics.
This was the third time in the past four seasons that Boston and Miami faced off for a spot in the NBA Finals and this year’s matchup did not disappoint. After taking a quick 3-0 series lead, the Heat struggled to close the door and allowed the Celtics to force a deciding Game 7. Luckily for Heat fans, the team stepped up big in the final game and shocked the Celtics on the road in Boston. With that victory, they punched their ticket into the 2023 NBA Finals.
Jimmy Butler is the unquestioned leader of this Heat team, putting up 28.5 points per game during these playoffs along with his own brand of stifling defense and gamesmanship. Having said that, this team is all about depth and Miami has seen a number of role players step up in a big way throughout their run to the NBA Finals. The Heat are getting solid contributions from players like Bam Adebayo, Caleb Martin, Gabe Vincent and Max Strus, all of whom are averaging double-digit points this postseason. Add the sharpshooting of Duncan Robinson, the veteran leadership of Kyle Lowry and the possible return of the injured Tyler Herro, and you’ve got a very deep Miami roster.
As you can tell from reading the preview above, the Nuggets and Heat are two very different teams. Miami is the first 8-seed to reach the NBA Finals since the Knicks in 1999, while Denver is the top seed in the west and has been for most of the season. Even the head coaching matchup appears lopsided, with Denver’s Michael Malone making his first-ever NBA Finals appearance, while Miami’s Eric Spoelstra is making his sixth trip to the finals in the past 13 seasons.
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The one thing that both franchises have in common, however, is a burning desire to win. Only four more victories stand between these two rosters and their quest for an NBA Championship. If you want to add some extra excitement to the 2023 NBA Finals, create a Bovada account and place your bets. Once you have signed up, be sure to claim your crypto sports welcome bonus to make the most out of your first deposits!