DENVER — The Denver Nuggets carried a double-digit lead through much of their dominant Game 1 win in the NBA Finals, showing exactly why this matchup will be so tough for the Miami Heat.
Butler was not himself, taking just 14 shots, not getting to the free-throw line, and finishing with just 13 total points.
“It’s sort of been a trend since he hurt his ankle early on in that Knicks series,” Goldberg explained. “I don’t know if it’s a lack of lift, I don’t know if there’s some hesitation there … but they’re going to need a much more aggressive Jimmy Butler.”
The Heat did improve as the game went along, actually winning the second half, 51-45.
“In the fourth quarter, I thought (Miami) got much sharper, better looks, they hit down their threes,” Moore said. “I would expect Game 2 to be more competitive.”
While Miami did get up more threes than the Nuggets, the Heat shot just 33 percent from deep and shooting specialists Max Strus and Duncan Robinson combined to shoot 1-14 from deep on Thursday night.
“It feels like this is a series where their core has to be about 40 percent from three-point range if they’re going to have a chance to keep up with Denver’s high-powered offense,” Goldberg said.