It goes without saying that winning Game 3 of a best-of-7 series is of utmost importance. When the NBA Finals were tied 1-1, the team that won Game 3 went on to win the series 32 out of 40 times! That’s an 80% success rate! That may sound extreme, but it makes sense if you think about it. The winner tonight will obviously be closer to winning the series, and they’ll have homecourt advantage, meaning they won’t have to win on the road again to win the series.
With that all important fact in mind, it’ll be all hands on deck for both teams. Game 2 was decided by just 3 points, meaning anyone who hits a couple of clutch buckets late has a chance to be a hero. Arguably the biggest key to the game is going to be Jamal Murray. Murray only had 18 points in Game 2, after scoring 26 in Game 1. Jimmy Butler is also going to be a major factor tonight. He always is, as the de facto leader and best player on the team. He scored 21 points in Game 2, but he will have to step up even more for the Heat to continue winning these close games. It may be a lot to expect Gabe Vincent to score 23 and go 8-12 from the field again, like he did in Game 2.
Last but not least, Michael Porter Jr. has to be better. He was just brutal in Game 2, going 2-8 and scoring just 5 points. If he’s even marginally better than that, the Nuggets are likely up 2-0 in this series.
The best part about the playoffs is that anyone can step up and be a hero. In Game 2, it was Gabe Vincent and Duncan Robinson who hit the clutch shots in the 4th quarter to give the Heat a shocking come from behind win. Tonight, it’ll likely be someone we aren’t expecting who will step up in the biggest moment of the season. There’s no better time to have a legendary performance.