After scorching through their first three rounds of playoff basketball, the Miami Heat seem to be running out of gas.
Their three-point production has resembled their struggles during the regular season far more than it has resembled the other-worldly efficiency we saw earlier in the playoffs in this series and the Nuggets have capitalized.
With the Heat facing a 3-1 series deficit on the road, I have very little faith that they have enough fight remaining to take one last significant swing at Denver.
HEAT VS. NUGGETS BETTING ODDS
Odds and lines are accurate at the time of publication via FanDuel Sportsbook.
HEAT VS. NUGGETS BEST BETS
Nuggets -8.5 (-110, FanDuel)
As alluded to previously, the Miami Heat are suffering from the fact that their three-point production has regressed back to the levels we saw throughout the 82-game regular season.
So far this series from three, the Heat have shot 33.3% (Game 1), 48.6% (Game 2), 31.4% (Game 3), and 32.0% (Game 4). Being down 3-1 in the series, it’s rather obvious which game they won, as the unsustainable 48.6% mark from distance was a driving factor in their lone win so far this series.
On top of their shooting regressing back to what we’ve become used to this season, Jimmy Butler has been nearly a non-factor in this series. Through four games, he’s averaged 21.8 points (the lowest mark of any series so far) on 44.6% shooting while being outscored in fourth quarters by both Bam Adebayo and Duncan Robinson. This is alarmingly bad when talking about the backbone of your playoff run.
With so many offensive struggles, the Heat need to rely on their defense to help stay in the game, but this, like their offense, has been a struggle. Given the ability of both Nikola Jokic and Jamal Murray to facilitate, double teams have provided very little effectiveness as the Denver offense continues to hum.
At home in Game 5, I expect the Nuggets to continue their trend of winning by significant margins, as they haven’t won a game this series by less than 11 points while holding a 9-1 record at home in the playoffs.
Risk: 1.1 units on FanDuel to win 1 unit.
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