HEAT Travel To Mile High City To Face Nuggets

Goran Dragić
Photo Credit: Bart Young
by Joe Beguiristain
HEAT.com

Don’t look now, but the HEAT have had one heck of a start to the season.

Thanks to great ball movement and hard-nosed defense, Miami has already notched impressive victories over the Bucks and Rockets en route to a 5-1 opening.

Speaking of the Rockets, let’s quickly recap that historic matchup for the HEAT on Sunday.

In a nutshell, Miami ran Houston out of the gym and set franchise records for points in a first quarter (46) and point differential after one (plus-32). Naturally, Jimmy Butler set the tone and did a little bit of everything, but pretty much everyone balled out before the night was done.

Case in point: the HEAT had 38 assists on 47 made field goals (their most dimes since Jan. 11, 2000 against the Timberwolves) and shot 18-of-41 from deep as a result. What’s more, Duncan Robinson recorded career highs across the board (including 23 points and seven made triples), while Meyers Leonard poured in a season-high 21 points.

Told you it was impressive.

But enough about that.

A new challenge lies ahead in the Denver Nuggets on Tuesday at 9PM.

The Nuggets enter the contest at 4-2 and possess one of the deeper rosters in the league despite their recent struggles. And while Jamal Murray, Gary Harris and Jerami Grant have played well, Nikola Jokić is Denver’s centerpiece (literally and figuratively).

In fact, Jokić leads all centers with 6.0 assists per game (Bam Adebayo is actually second with 5.2 a contest) and paces the Nuggets with 10.5 rebounds per.

It’ll be fun to see how Miami combats the unique big man at Pepsi Center.

INJURY REPORT: Justise Winslow (Lower Back Stiffness) and Derrick Jones Jr. (Left Groin Strain) are questionable, while Daryl Macon (G League - Two-Way) and KZ Okpala (Left Achilles Strain) are out for Miami. Will Barton (Left Toe Inflammation) is questionable, while Bol Bol (Left Foot Surgery) is out for Denver.

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