NBA Finals: Jimmy Butler Addresses Miami Heat’s Awful Game 1 Performance

NBA Finals: Jimmy Butler Addresses Miami Heat’s Awful Game 1 Performance

Edwin Kiplagat
June 2, 2023 at 2:23 PM
  • Jimmy Butler said the Miami Heat need to attack the rim more after losing Game 1 to the Denver Nuggets
  • The Heat lost 104-93 and attempted just two free throws in the entire contest
  • Butler scored only 13 points in 38 minutes

Miami Heat's quest for their fourth NBA title began on the wrong foot as they lost Game 1 104-93 to the Denver Nuggets.

Jimmy Butler had a poor game, while role players who stole the show in the Eastern Conference finals failed to turn up.

Nikola Jokic, Jimmy Butler, 2023 NBA Finals, Nuggets, Miami Heat, Jamal Murray, Caleb Martin, Max Strus, Bam Adebayo, Aaron Gordon, Michael Porter Jr
Jimmy Butler of the Miami Heat looks to pass in the lane during the first quarter against the Denver Nuggets in Game One. Photo by Jamie Schwaberow.
Source: Getty Images

The Heat faced a well-rested Nuggets team that dominated the game from start to finish. It was the first time the Heat lost Game 1 in a series in this year's playoffs.

Butler, Miami's hero, was underwhelming, scoring just 13 points. Caleb Martin, who was on fire in the Eastern Conference finals, went 1-for-7 from the field. Max Strus shot 0-of-10 overall and 0 of 9 from three-point range.

The Heat were led by 26 points and 13 rebounds from Bam Adebayo. Moreover, the three-time NBA champions attempted just two free throws, the fewest in NBA Finals history, per Sporting News.

Erik Spoelstra's team were down 21 at the end of the third quarter and never looked like erasing that deficit in the final 29 minutes, per the Athletic.

What went wrong for the Heat?

Butler said his team needs to attack the rim more in Game 2.

"Getting layups, getting to the free throw line. When you look at it during the game, they all look like the right shots...And I'm not saying that we can't as a team make those, but got to get more layups, got to get more free throws," via ESPN.

The 33-year-old said Game 1 was a learning process for the Heat, and they will bounce back in Game 2 on Sunday at Denver’s Ball Arena.

"But we missed a lot tonight, and we'll be better in Game 2. At the end of the day, that's what it is, and we'll take this, and we'll learn from it, and we'll be back in two days."

Nikola Jokic finished with 27 points, 10 boards, and 14 assists for the Nuggets. Jamal Murray had 26 with 10 assists.

Jokic makes history, again

Sports Brief earlier reported on Jokic making history in Game 1 of the 2023 NBA Finals.

Jokic became the second player in NBA history to record a triple-double in his finals debut.

He joined legendary point guard Jason Kidd on that exclusive list. Kidd posted a triple-double in his Finals debut against the Los Angeles Lakers in 2002.

Edwin Kiplagat photo
Edwin Kiplagat
Editor- Other Sports