The Denver Nuggets have just two more back to backs to play this season, and one of them is tonight against the Miami Heat. Fresh off a big win over the Sacramento Kings, it’s a short turnaround for the defending champs. Working in their favor though is both last night’s game and tonight’s game are at home. Miami meanwhile is rested. They continue to be a perennial playoff team in the East and there’s no reason to think that won’t be the case again this year. Led by Jimmy Butler and Bam Adebayo and bolstered by rookie Jaime Jacquez Jr. the Heat currently sit as the fifth seed in the west, embroiled in a battle with four other teams to avoid the play-in tournament and perhaps even gain homecourt advantage for the first round of the playoffs.

The Essentials

Who: Denver Nuggets (40-19) vs Miami Heat (33-25)

When: 6PM MST

Where: The Can. Denver, CO.

How to watch/listen: Denver Stiffs does not condone piracy….unless it’s the romanticized 18th century type. TNT. NBA League pass for those not in the Nuggets market. Altitude Radio 92.5. Show up with a 5 gallon bucket of industrial grade hair gel and say you are Pat Riley’s personal assistant.

Rival Blog: Hot Hot Hoops

The Matchup

Position Nuggets Heat Advantage
PG Reggie Jackson Terry Rozier Heat
SG Kentavious Caldwell-Pope Tyler Herro Even
SF Michael Porter Jr. Jimmy Butler Heat
PF Aaron Gordon Nikola Jovic Nuggets
C Nikola Jokic Bam Adebayo Nuggets
Bench Christian Braun, Peyton Watson, Zeke Nnaji, Colin Gillespie Cody Martin, Jaime Jacquez Jr., Delon Wright, Duncan Robinson, Haywood Highsmith Heat

Injury report*: Jamal Murray – questionable (shin), Hunter Tyson – out (finger), Vlatko Cancar – out (knee); Orlando Robinson – probable (back), Tyler Herro – questionable (knee), Josh Richardson – out (shoulder), Dru Smith – out (knee), Kevin Love – out (heel), Thomas Bryant – out (embracing the Heat’s fake tough guy culture), Jamal Cain – out (G-League), Cole Swider – out (G-League).*The Denver Nuggets injury report was not submitted at time of writing.

The Three Things

The thing to watch for: Nikola Jokic vs Bam Adebayo

Jun 12, 2023; Denver, Colorado, USA; Denver Nuggets center Nikola Jokic (15) shoots against Miami Heat center Bam Adebayo (13) during the fourth quarter of game five of the 2023 NBA Finals at Ball Arena. Mandatory Credit: Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY Sports

No doubt the marquee matchup tonight is at the five. Nikola Jokic is a man on a mission and notched his fourth straight triple-double last night. It’s starting to feel like he may get a triple double every night for the rest of the season. His rebounding in particular has been insane since coming out of the all star break. Tonight Jokic faces the challenge of one of the best defensive (and overall) centers in the league. Bam has proven to be a star player that the Heat can count on night in and night out. That being said, he hasn’t had a ton of success against Jokic so I expect the triple double streak to continue if Joker can muster the energy.

The thing to remember: Miami is looking for payback

This is the first meeting between these two teams since they met in the Finals last summer. The Nuggets summarily dismissed the Heat’s hopes of a championship in five games and one can only imagine that this team has been stewing on it ever since. Tonight they get their chance for some revenge. It will also be ring night for Thomas Bryant. Even though he is currently suspended, the NBA will allow him to attend a pregame ceremony before immediately telling him to get out. There is also the whole history of the Markieff Morris/Nikola Jokic incident from a few years back so expect emotions to run high tonight. Which team that works in favor of remains to be seen.

The thing to bet: Miami first to ten points (+105)

Doing something a little different with the TTB tonight. Given that Miami will be looking for some revenge and given that they are the rested team while Denver played last night, I like the chances of the Heat getting out in front early. I’m not convinced they win this game but I expect them to try to make a statement from the jump. With positive odds on them being the team to score ten points first I’m going to give it a whirl.

Stiffs. Night. Out.

Alright you crazy Nuggets sickos, it’s time to collectively crawl out of our mother’s basements and socialize! We are throwing our very first SNO of the season this Saturday at Number Thirty Eight in RINO. We’re teaming up with the boys over at Mile High Sports to make this a really great event. We will have giveaways throughout the night, including a Nikola Jokic Jersey. We’re doing a live postgame podcast crossover episode with myself, Ryan Blackburn and Swipacam and most importantly we’re going to all gather and watch the Lakers get swept by the Nuggets once again. Great drink specials, great food and great times, you don’t want to miss it. It’s also your opportunity to tell me in person how much you hate my takes and who could say no to that, am I right? Party officially gets started at 6:30 but seating is first come first serve so get their early if you can!