Miami Heat Haven’t Won A Game In Denver Since 2016

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The Miami Heat will enter the 2023 NBA Finals as heavy underdogs, and perhaps rightfully so. The line for Game 1 currently sits at 9 points in favor of the Nuggets, who will be the home team for the opening contest. And if history is any indication, the Heat will have trouble pulling off a victory in the Mile High City.

Miami Heat Haven’t Won In Denver In Last 6 Tries

Teams traveling to Colorado always face issues due to climate. No matter the sport, athletes playing at a high altitude often have some trouble acclimating to the thinner air and shortness of breath. But whether it be from the conditions in the atmosphere or on the court, the Heat have had some serious trouble winning as the road team in Denver.

The last time that Miami won in Denver was way back in 2016. They’ve lost 6 straight since then, including the most recent contest back on December 30th. The games in between haven’t been particularly close, either. Aside from the 1-point game in 2017 and the 5-point spread in 2022, the Heat have lost by double-digits in each contest.

A six-year streak may not seem like a huge stretch, but that Miami Heat team looked far different than the one that will play in this year’s Finals. Udonis Haslem was of course on the team in 2016-17, but the leading scorer was Goran Dragic. Hassan Whiteside averaged 17 points and 14 rebounds per game, and Justise Winslow was the leading minutes getter that year.

That team finished 41-41 overall and in 9th place in the Eastern Conference, missing out on the playoffs.

Jimmy Butler and company will look to reverse the fortunes. They’ll do so against steep odds, both for Game 1 and for the series. Miami will be the underdog in Game 1 by a spread of 9, and their designation for the series sits at a steep +325, depending on the outlet.

But overcoming insurmountable odds is what has gotten them to this point, and they won’t be looking to slow down now. ESPN analytics famously gave them a 3% chance to beat the Celtics in the Eastern Conference Finals, and those same measurements are now giving them an 11% shot against the Nuggets.

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