Nikola Jokic still sparkling, precious Murray, Miami stars Bam Adebayo and Jimmy Butler on alternating current… The tops and flops after Denver’s victory over Miami (94-89) on Monday for the title.
Jokic in his standards
In a match where the address was not there for either team, Nikola Jokic’s 12/16 is an exception. Hampered by mistakes at the start of the game, the 28-year-old Serbian pivot finished with 28 points and 16 rebounds, with 4 ists and 1 against as a bonus. Of course, he was named Finals MVP. Logic. He shot 30.2 points, 14 rebounds and 7.2 ists on the series.
Murray, the art of timing
14 points at 6/15 on shots and 6 bullet losses? Figures that should tilt Jamal Murray in the flops. Except that the first lieutenant of Jokic has, once again, returned important points, points of impact, when his club needed it the most. Sense of timing and appropriateness for Murray, author of 8 ists.
Lowry, it’s in the old pots…
Relegated to a substitute rank at 37, far from his heyday on the Toronto side, Kyle Lowry gave everything during his 34 minutes of action on Monday. All his address from afar (4 three-point successes), all his vice, all his malice. His leadership too. It was he who often pressed the accelerator when the Heat seemed in distress, with a Jimmy Butler in chiaroscuro. Admittedly, he only returned 4 of his 13 shots, but the former Raptor had a big impact, with 12 points, 9 rebounds, 4 ists, 2 steals and 1 against.
Porter Jr, the alarm clock
In distress since the start of the series, Michael Porter Jr did not succeed in everything on Monday, during Game 5. 7/17 on shots for him, including 1/6 on three points. The former number 14 in the Draft nevertheless proved valuable, regaining some of his lost confidence. Enough to make people forget Aaron Gordon’s foul problems (see elsewhere). Porter Jr finished with 16 points and 13 rebounds. He did good in Denver, in this amazing match, also with the contest of “KCP” (11 pts) or Bruce Brown (10 pts), these two having made big deeds in the “money-time” .
Adebayo and Butler on AC
During the vast majority of the meeting, we wondered what fly could have bitten Jimmy Butler. Shy, soft, borrow… The former Chicago star was just a shadow of himself. We did not recognize the incandescent pack leader who is used to sublimating himself when his team needs it most, and especially in the play-offs. And it was when we no longer expected him that he woke up, scoring 13 points in a row (!) in the fourth quarter to allow Miami to regain control. An incredible blow of heat (see video) which made us think twice before including Butler in our flops, but if he had started before, who knows, the NBA season might not be over… 21 points at 5/18 for him in this encounter. Alternating current. Bam Adebayo was the opposite. 18 points in the first period for the interior of the Heat, only… 2 after the break. And how many misses near the circle… In his defense, he left a lot of energy in the positions and this duel with Jokic, but still…
After the light, Gordon returns to the shadows
Author of a crazy match 4, with 27 points on arrival, Aaron Gordon was much more discreet on Monday evening. 4 points at 1/6 on shots, with all the same 7 rebounds, 1 ist, 2 steals and 1 monumental counter at the end of the game. Evan Fournier’s former teammate in Orlando never really got into his game because of the fouls. Already 3 in the first period, 4 on arrival. He finally spent only 29 minutes on the floor of the Ball Arena.
Strus/Vincent at the wrong address
As often in this series, the back line of the Heat drew in terms of address. Author of 8 of his 12 points in the first quarter, Max Strus finished with a small 1/6 on shots. 8 rebounds anyway. 6 points and 3/13 on shots for his comrade Gabe Vincent. Too few. We once thought that Tyler Herro could come and lend a hand outside the Heat, this is what coach Spoelstra had announced before the game. Bluff.