Well, that escalated quickly. The Dan Le Batard Show with Stugotz broke down Game 1 of the NBA Finals between the Nuggets and Heat and a key question is: Do the Heat have any answers?
"I'd take that game from Jokic the entire series. That's as well as you're gonna do against the Denver offense...AND, the Heat will lose in 4 if the Nuggets get Bam to shoot mid-range jumpers the entire time." – Dan— Dan Le Batard Show with Stugotz (@LeBatardShow) June 2, 2023
So, yeah, a “so-so” game for Jokic is a triple-double and was dominated by the Nuggets throughout. Dan says that Game 1 can be reduced to the fact that if the Heat miss that many 3-pointers and don’t shoot free throws they will lose every time because how they win is defense, 3s, free throws. Dan says that was a historically bad free throw game, He also points out that what the Heat got from Max Strus, Duncan Robinson and Caleb Martin must have INFURIATED Celtics fans.
Stugotz also said, however, that the Heat needed more from Jimmy Butler. He says that if Butler is your superstar, drawing Kobe and LeBron and Michael comparisons, he can’t give you 13 points on the road in Game 1 of the NBA Finals with no free throws. Dan points out that even though the Heat shot a record-low two free throws in Game 1 that was two more free throws than what they deserved.
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Stugotz points out that the Heat wasted Haywood Highsmith’s 18-point performance and Mike points out that also wasted were a solid Bam game and a good Kyle Lowry game. He said what was so difficult about Game 1 was that Strus and Martin didn’t just miss wide-open looks, they missed PREMIUM looks and he says if they just bury two of those the game could have been tight at the end.
Dan does push back a bit, noting that it felt like a 20-point loss. Chris, however, points out that Game 1 didn’t feel like a death sentence. Stugotz said he was with him and that if Jimmy gives you 30 points you’re right in the game. Dan, however, says that he would not say that performances were wasted on the Heat side. What he would say was wasted was that was as much as you will be able to hold Denver down. Game 1 was a bad Denver game, Dan says. He says holding them to 104 points is exactly how to beat them, but what you just saw offensively from the Heat was the team you saw all regular season that was last in the league in shooting and couldn’t be trusted. Mike points out that you really can’t beat anybody in the NBA scoring 93 points, let alone a team that swept its way into the NBA Finals.
Stugotz points out that Michael Porter is going to be a problem, but Mike notes that also inconsistent. Mike says what could really become a problem is that Porter is starting to come online defensively a bit. He also says the Nuggets use teams worrying about Jokic to allow Aaron Gordon cook you on the switch.
Dan points out that he doesn’t think the zone is going to work against Jokic, he will neutralize it. Mike, however, asserts that the zone was working better than switching was. Dan says that in the first quarter Aaron Gordon and the Nuggets were doing everything at the rim and that Game 1 was a typical Aaron Gordon game since he’s been with the Nuggets. Classic Aaron Gordon, to quote Stugotz. The reason the Nuggets are a championship contender is because Gordon is their fourth-best option, compared to when he was the first option in Orlando and the team was terrible.
Mike also laments that the Heat were just 5 of 22 in the paint, getting stiffled in a way similar to how the Miami Hurricanes were shut down inside by the eventual national champion UConn Huskies. Chris advocated for using Kevin Love to bring Jokic out of the paint because with Bam he’s just going to stand there and challenge Bam to make those mid-range jumpers. Mike actually agrees and says that if you’re going to go zone, give Love a shot because you can trust his shot and you need to bury 3s in order to beat Denver. Stugotz is unconvinced, saying that Kevin Love cannot be the key to this series. Mike, however, says that with Love on the floor you’re going to get some stuff and give up some stuff, but you could potentially use his shooting. Mike LOVES THE NBA FINALS!!!
Meanwhile, this also happened ...
And we got, to quote AEW’s Tony Khan, a MAJOR ANNOUNCEMENT ...
#BreakingNews— Dan Le Batard Show with Stugotz (@LeBatardShow) June 2, 2023
After thousands of requests from our listeners, the #LocalHour will now be #LIVE Monday - Thursday 9AM - 10AM ET each and every week!!! — Dan
Check out the breakdown of Friday’s show below.
Local Hour: EVERYTHING IS FINE
Le Batard, Stugotz and crew break down Heat/Nuggets Game 1, Adam Silver’s comments about Ja Morant, and Peyton Manning’s lack of fashion.
The Big Suey: Tom and Amin Postgame Show (UNCENSORED)
- Amin Elhassan, Tom Haberstroh, Charlotte Wilder, Zach Harper, Mo Dakhil and Jena Garcia break down Game 1 of the NBA Finals from Denver.
Hour 1: Defense Wins Championships
- The annual Spelling Bee returns to see if Stugotz knows his South Florida sports teams. Also, Stu is a National Champion but wants more - a ring, more playing time for his daughter and the opportunity to put coaches on the hot seat. Dan was caught in an embarrassing moment during last nights NBA Finals telecast and much more.
Postgame Show: Papi’s Victory Lap
- Le Batard, Stugotz and the crew play our favorite game, Against The Spread, and Papi joins the show to take a victory lap on all his Miami Heat predictions.
Watch more below!
Check out the Le Batard and Friends YouTube page for more and subscribe to the show on Apple Podcasts, Spotify or wherever you get your podcasts. You can also follow the show on Twitter @LeBatardShow.
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