Sunday features Game 2 of the NBA Finals between the Miami Heat and Denver Nuggets. Looking to take a 2-0 lead in the series, the Nuggets are nearly double-digit home favorites after winning Game 1 by a final score of 104-93. This article will feature two player props — one from each team — for Jimmy Butler and Kentavious Caldwell-Pope. Let’s have a Sunday!
NBA Finals Player Props Today
Jimmy Butler Over 26.5 Points (-106)
|Time | TV||8 p.m. ET | ABC|
Not only are the Heat looking to bounce back in Game 2, but so is Jimmy Butler as he only scored 13 points in Game 1 while shooting 6-of-14 from the field. Butler was a -17 in Plus/Minus and didn’t look aggressive whatsoever. 13 points and an 18% Usage Rate were both playoff-lows for Butler, who has looked unstoppable this postseason.
Fatigue may have been a problem for Butler as the Celtics took the Heat to seven games in the Eastern Conference Finals. Expect Butler to bounce back tonight as he is averaging 27.6 points per game during the playoffs, while shooting 48.1% from the field and 38.1% from behind the arc.
He can take advantage of this Nuggets matchup by getting Jamal Murray switched onto him and driving more frequently to the basket, where the Nuggets lack elite rim protection.
He usually bounces back after a poor performance, and consequently, our model has Butler projected for 31.2 points in Game 2, which is well over this prop line. This player prop line jumped from 25.5 to 26.5 points, but I would still take it at over 27.5 points. In order for the Heat to win tonight, Butler needs to be aggressive.
Kentavious Caldwell-Pope Over 9.5 Points (-130)
Staying with a player points props, Nuggets starting shooting guard Kentavious Caldwell-Pope’s point total feels a little too low going into Game 2. Reaching double-digit points for Caldwell-Pope in a projected 35 minutes shouldn’t be that difficult. He has scored 10+ points in 10 of his 16 playoff games and is averaging 11.4 points per game.
In his first season with the Nuggets, Caldwell-Pope averaged 10.8 points per game during the regular season while shooting a career-high 42.3% from behind the arc. Caldwell-Pope has carried that 40+% shooting to the postseason as Nikola Jokic and Jamal Murray have helped get him good looks from 3.
The Heat defense has been susceptible to perimeter shooting as they are allowing 37.4 3-point attempts per game, which ranks as the fourth-most among the 16 playoff teams. Caldwell-Pope has also shown the ability to get to the rim and make midrange shots. Our model has him projected for 11 points, and I would take this over up to 10.5 points.