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Catching up with the NBA Finals

Game 3 is in the books

2023 NBA Finals - Denver Nuggets v Miami Heat Photo by Nathaniel S. Butler/NBAE via Getty Images

The school year has ended and the summer has begun. The NBA Finals are in full swing, but as is par for the course this time of year, I am off schedule and playing catch up.

After being away from civilization for 5 days of camping (as much civilization separation as can be acquired with today’s technologies), I missed Game 2 of the NBA Finals. I recorded it and watched it Tuesday night in preparation for last night’s Game 3.

Game 1 saw a dominating effort by the Denver Nuggets in which The Joker pushed more assists than shots to kick off the series. By getting everyone else involved, the Nuggets were able to build a steady and substantial lead that squelched a 4th quarter comeback and gave the Denver a 1-0 series lead.

Game 2 was considerably more competitive. Jokic only had 4 assists. By limiting his passing, the Heat were able to stave off a loss and tie the series before heading back to South Beach.

Although Miami made a valiant effort to overcome an eight-point deficit heading into the final frame, there are two exceptions to note:

(1) During the third quarter, Butler stepped out of bounds along the baseline before assisting a three-pointer by Gabe Vincent.

(2) Bam Adebayo was credited with a block when he should have been assessed a goaltending.

Game 2 of the NBA Finals Denver Nuggets vs Miami Heat Photo by Andy Cross/MediaNews Group/The Denver Post via Getty Images

An argument can be made that bad calls go both ways, and in the case of fouls, that is definitely true, but when a five-point differential can be determined in a three-point win, it is fair to say the bad calls had a defining outcome.

You’d have to search high and low to find a group of people more criticized than NBA referees. And during the Finals, a brighter shine exposes the bile that pairs with every call or no-call.

Looking at the game as a whole, the Nuggets looked out of sorts for the 4th quarter. I would be reasonable to assume Denver will make the necessary adjustments to win Game 3 on the road.

Last night in Game 3, the Nuggets did what they needed to do. Still struggling to distance themselves from the Heat in the final frame, the Nuggets have yet to find an answer for Miami, but have been far enough ahead to lock down two of the three games thus far.

I am going to go on record in saying that this is the Nuggets’ series. When they fall short, it is on them. The Miami Heat is playing the best they can with the talent they have, but they have hit their ceiling.

A Nuggets loss can be attributed to the mistakes they make throughout the game, not the mistakes the Heat caused the Nuggets to make.

But, hey, there is a Game 4 that can prove me wrong.

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