2023 NBA Finals Preview

Image: NBA.com

2023 NBA Finals Preview

The Miami Heat and the Denver Nuggets are now on the biggest stage, playing for an NBA Finals championship. Denver is playing for their first ever NBA title while the Heat are battling for their fourth championship, in seven finals appearances, since 2006.

Miami has become one of the most successful franchises in the league. Head coach Eric Spoelstra and President Pat Riley have built a well-oiled machine and are ready for championship battle every year. Their runs have come up short since LeBron James left South Beach, but they hope to change that this season.

Denver hasn’t had nearly as much success, but they have incredible depth and potentially, the best player in the league in Nikola Jokic. While they have less Finals experience than the Heat, they have been the team to beat in this postseason and no one has been able to get it done.

How they got here 

Miami Heat: Miami is the first team to play in the Finals after appearing in the play-in tournament. Miami was the 8th seed entering these playoffs so it’s incredibly impressive that they have muscled their way to the Finals. They’ve had to take down the Milwaukee Bucks, New York Knicks, and Boston Celtics en route to this stage.

The series against the Celtics was easily the most interesting one. At one point they led the series 3-0, but quickly dropped three straight and went into an incredibly exciting Game 7 in BeanTown. They blew out the Celtics on the road and secured one of the greatest Cinderella stories in postseason history. 

Denver Nuggets: The Nuggets have had practically no competition up until this point. They have absolutely blown through every single team they’ve played. They took care of the Minnesota Timberwolves with practically no trouble, then they dominated the Phoenix Suns, and finished it up with a sweep of the Los Angeles Lakers where even King James’ magic couldn’t help the Lakers enough to slow down Denver for even a game.

Who will star? 

Heat – Jimmy Butler: Butler has been the star of the playoffs for the Miami Heat. He takes off when he wants to and can take over a game on the flip of a dime. Grant Williams began talking smack to him early in the last series when the Celtics led game 2 and they ended up losing that game because Butler took it personally. If the Heat want any chance at winning this series, Butler must have a couple of 25+ point performances.

Nuggets – Nikola Jokic: Jokic is a triple-double machine. He is nearly impossible to guard because of his size and his accurate shot. What Jokic really has is a better supporting cast than the Heat do and that can make him more dangerous than Butler. At the end of the day, Jokic is currently the best player in the world and Miami will have their hands full with him.


Ultimately, this is Denver’s Finals to lose. They have been incredibly hard to beat, and they’ve dominated like no other team in these playoffs. I have the Nuggets winning in six.