NBA Finals Preview

Photo Source: Fadeaway World

Photo Source: Fadeaway World

Ian Anderson, Writer

Denver Nuggets (53-29)


Denver finished as the one seed as they had the best record in the Western Conference. 

2x NBA MVP Nikola Jokic had another historic season and finished second in MVP Voting averaging 24.5 Points Per Game (PPG) 11.8 Rebounds Per Game (RPG) 9.8 Assist Per Game (AST) on historic shooting splits.


Along with a historic season from the Nuggets leader, they also gained their second-best player back from injury, Jamal Murray. Murray tore his ACL in the 2020-2021 season and missed all of last year rehabbing it to full strength. Murray came back averaging 20.0 PPG and 6.2 AST, Murray is also a known playoff performer so getting him back was very vital to the Nuggets title run.


Round 1

Photo Source: Star Tribune


In the first round, the Nuggets dismantled the Timberwolves in a gentleman’s sweep (4-1).  Jokic dominated the Timberwolves frontcourt of Rudy Gobert and Karl Anthony-Towns. Towns struggled all series long only averaging 18.2 PPG on 45% shooting from the field. 


Round 2

PhotoSource: Sportscenter


The Nuggets kept up their dominance as they made quick work of the new superteam Phoenix Suns (4-2). Jokic upped his scoring to 34.5 PPG and had Deandre Ayton overwhelmed in the paint. The Suns seemingly had no answer for Jokic. Phoenix also did have their third-best player Chris Paul get injured in game two and would miss the rest of the series. The two games Phoenix did win were when Durant and Booker both scored 35+.


Western Conference Finals

Photo Source: ESPN


The Nuggets made quick work of the Los Angeles Lakers beating them (4-0). Jamal Murray stepped up scoring 37 points in games two & three. The Lakers kept it competitive but tough shot-making from Jokic and the supporting cast was ultimately too much. Aaron Gordon stepped up in the close-out game scoring 22 points on very good efficiency (64.3 FG%). Jokic upped his defensive intensity after Anthony Davis scored 40 points in game one. Davis was never the same after game one and the Lakers really missed not having him at his peak.


Miami Heat (44-38)

Miami technically finished as the seventh seed but they lost the play-in game to the Atlanta Hawks. After having an up-and-down season with multiple injuries to key players. The Heat’s standout player Jimmy Butler had another incredible season averaging 22.9 PPG 5.9 RPG and 5.3 AST. Miami wouldn’t have even been a respectable team if Butler didn’t have the season he had.


Round 1

Photo Source: Sports Illustrated

Miami faced the number one seed Milwaukee Bucks led by 2x MVP Giannis Antetokounmpo. The Heat stunned the Bucks in game one and never lost control of the series. Miami also hit the injury jackpot with Giannis getting hurt in game one and never playing at full health. The Bucks would also shortly fire their head coach after their 4-1 defeat. Jimmy Butler had one of the best playoff games of all time in game four, Butler scored 56 points which is tied for fourth most ever.


Round 2

Photo Source: Getty Images

The Heat would face the New York Knicks fresh off a 4-1 series win over the Cleveland Cavaliers. The Knicks’ best player Julius Randle is a known playoff choker and didn’t show up for any of the games. Heat role players like Max Strus, Caleb Martin, and Gabe Vincent all had massive impacts. The Knicks only had one player perform on par and that was Jalen Brunson who averaged 31.0 PPG but it wasn’t enough to defeat the Heat.


Eastern Conference Finals

PhotoSource: The Ringer

The Miami Heat were up 3-0 against the Celtics and looked like they were about to have a week off to prepare for the NBA Finals. Boston then came back and tied the series 3-3. With the Heat’s season on the line in Boston role player Caleb Martin turned into prime Michael Jordan and scored 26 points and grabbed ten rebounds. Celtics stars Jalen Brown, and Jayson Tatum both had stinkers in game seven.


Who Will Win?

With the NBA Season coming to an end with the final two teams we will be treated to an incredible matchup. The Underdog 8th-seeded Miami Heat vs the powerhouse one-seeded Denver Nuggets. I personally believe that the Nuggets will make quick work of the Miami Heat and win the NBA Finals in 5 games (4-1).