The Denver Nuggets trounced the Miami Heat in Game 1 of the 2023 NBA Finals. Denver led the entire way, and the final result wasn’t in question throughout the second half. We’ll lock in our favorite NBA props for Sunday night’s Game 2 in the mile-high city.
The Nuggets hope to take a 2-0 series lead on Sunday night — tip-off is at 8:00 ET. Denver is an 8.5-point favorite in this one, and it will be pretty intriguing to see how each squad adjusts for their second time squaring off on the big stage.
The Nuggs go how Nikola Jokic goes. After winning back-to-back MVPs, he has a title in his sights, and this group is now just three wins away. The superstar center should be locked into huge minutes, as head coach Michael Malone won’t want to make anything easier for Miami.
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NBA Props for Sunday (6/4)
Nikola Jokic Triple-Double (-135 @ DraftKings)
Nikola Jokic has served as the fulcrum of the Nuggets’ offense for the last half-decade. But, he seems to get better with every passing year.
He’s currently playing the best basketball of his life, averaging 29.8 points, 13.1 rebounds, and 10.5 assists per game this postseason. There may not even be words in the English language to describe how masterful he’s been offensively, and it feels like he’s only performing better as Denver’s playoff run gets longer.
The Joker has been a triple-double machine over the last few weeks. He’s averaged 12.8 rebounds and 11.8 assists per game over his last ten outings. And, he’s triple-doubled in six of his last seven contests.
The 28-year-old has already amassed nine triple-doubles in the 2023 postseason. That marks the most in a single postseason in league history, and he’s still adding to that total. He’s led the NBA in assists this postseason. Plus, he’s second in rebounds per game, trailing only Anthony Davis
After playing only 33.7 minutes per game in the regular season, coach Malone has upped that figure to 39.0 MPG in the playoffs. If Miami is able to keep Game 2 competitive, we should see another 40-plus minutes of action for the Joker on Sunday.
Jokic presents a nightmare of a matchup for Bam Adebayo and the Miami Heat. His combination of enormous size and all-time, elite-level touch makes it difficult for the 6’9″ Miami center to defend him one-on-one. But, as is always the dilemma with facing the Joker, do you send a double team?
The Heat had extra defenders waiting for much of the first half, which helped Jokic torch Miami for 10 first-half assists. But, he burned Bam’s late-game single coverage for 12 points in the 4th quarter alone.
Jokic has shot 68.1% from the field in five games against Miami since last season, so it would certainly be a surprise to see single coverage for an entire game. Coupled with a huge dosage of playing time, that should lead to a triple-double in Game 2.
The Serbia native cashed this prop in 25 of 40 games when seeing at least 35 minutes this season. But, when logging at least 38 minutes of action, he’s cashed in 16 of 23 games, averaging 14.0 RPG and 11.2 APG.
Nikola Jokic averaged a triple-double in the 2nd Round and in the Western Conference Finals. He should be able to make it three straight during these Finals, especially with massive playing time in front of him. I have the Denver big man penciled in for a minimum of 36 minutes on Sunday night, with the potential to see up to 40-42 minutes if Miami keeps it close. That bodes incredibly well for our chances on Sunday night.
Have fun playing our best NBA Props for Sunday and Join us for the rest of the NBA Finals!