TFC News

Miami Heat, Denver Nuggets brace for Game 3 of NBA finals

Steve Angeles | TFC News Los Angeles

Posted at Jun 07 2023 10:34 PM

Watch more News on iWantTFC

After splitting the first two games of the NBA finals in Denver, Colorado, the Miami Heat are back home.

Both the Heat and the Denver Nuggets opened up their practice to the media on Tuesday.

Game 3 will be the first time Miami hosts an NBA finals game in nine years, with the team's most recent finals appearance taking place in 2020 inside the fan-less bubble in Orlando. 

"The benefit of the crowd is that no matter what, they are going to be behind you," said Miami Heat's Kyle Lowry. "It will give you a little bit of a lift, but it won't win you the game because you've still got to go out there and hoop."

The eighth seed-Heat got major contributions from its bench in the first two finals games, especially with Lowry, who won an NBA championship with the Toronto Raptors in 2019.

"Our second unit now is one of our biggest strengths as a team," Head Coach Erik Spoelstra said of Lowry. "He kind of just fixed all that on his own."

Spoelstra, now in his 15th season, said the days off in between games are just as important for relaxing as game planning.

"I think we've found better, more productive ways in the moments in between to recharge, get our minds off of that so that you can gear up the next day," said.

The Filipino-American coach added: "It's tough to always be on that "on" button. This group has shown a maturity level to be able to handle both. We'll see tomorrow night. But in a moment like this, I want our guys [to relax]."

Players like Bam Adebayo believe Spoelstra's lengthy experience has been a key to the Heat's success.

As for the Nuggets, Head Coach Michael Malone said it will take a full 48 minutes of discipline to overcome the Heat, which has proven to finish strong especially in the fourth quarter.

"It's not just one player right now," he said. "Whether it's Michael, Jamal, Aaron, Pope, Nikola, whoever, we have to be a lot more disciplined, a lot more urgent."

Game 3 of the Best of Seven series tips off on Wednesday evening at the Kaseya Center.