Nuggets face HEAT in rematch of 2023 NBA Finals

Matt Brooks
Writer & Digital Content Specialist

NBA fans get a rematch of the 2023 NBA Finals on Thursday when the Denver Nuggets and the Miami HEAT face off at Ball Arena.

Here's a look at the injury report.


Vlatko Čančar — OUT (Left Knee Surgery)

Thomas Bryant — OUT (League Suspension)
Jamal Cain — OUT (G League Two-Way Assignment)
Tyler Herro — OUT (Left Knee Hyperextension)
Kevin Love — OUT (Right Heel Bruise)
Josh Richardson — OUT (Right Shoulder Dislocation)
Orlando Robinson — Available (Lower Back Spasms)
Dru Smith — OUT (Right Knee Surgery)
Cole Swindler — OUT (G League Two-Way)

For the first time since June's NBA Finals, Denver and Miami go head-to-head. As a recap, here's how both teams reached the 2023 NBA Finals.

Denver finished as the No. 1 seed in the Western Conference by a solid two-game cushion. They would then go on to lose just three total playoff games in a dominant run to the NBA Finals. This included a sweep over the Los Angeles Lakers in the Western Conference Finals.

Miami's run was much more improbable. They finished with the eighth-best record in the Eastern Conference yet managed to take down the two best teams in the East, the Milwaukee Bucks and the Boston Celtics, in the postseason. This allowed them to become the first eight-seed to advance to the NBA Finals since the 1999 New York Knicks.

Unfortunately for HEAT fans, their run ended there. Denver got it done in five games and won by double-digit points in three of their four Finals wins. They outscored Miami by 41 points in the series, the eleventh-highest point differential in an NBA Finals since the ABA-NBA merger in 1976.

Thursday will be Thomas Bryant's Ring Night, who was a member of the 2022-23 Nuggets. The now-HEAT center is currently serving a league suspension but was granted access to Denver's home floor for his ring ceremony. He is not allowed to play in the game that follows afterward.

Miami's had an under-the-radar season and has dealt with a lot of injuries but is starting to trend upward with the playoffs on the horizon. Sure sounds like the HEAT of last year, huh? A team peaking at the right time?

Denver, too, is playing its best basketball when it counts. They've come out of the All-Star break on a mission and won all four of their games by 15 or more points. Currently, the Nuggets sit two games behind the Minnesota Timberwolves for the No. 1 seed in the West. Multiple players have come out and said how much they want the best record in their conference.

Thursday's game wraps up Denver's twelfth back-to-back of the season. They won on Wednesday, 117-96, against the Sacramento Kings thanks to an incredulous 46-point turnaround. After Thursday's game, Denver will only have one more back-to-back remaining on their schedule in the final 22 games.

TUNE-IN: Thursday 8:00 p.m. MT, TNT, and Altitude Sports Radio 92.5 FM