NBA Finals XsOs: Denver Nuggets vs Miami Heat

By Tony Miller

Denver Nuggets Nikola Jokic Miami Heat NBA Finals

Don’t miss Coach Tony Miller’s top plays of the NBA Finals! See what the Denver Nuggets and Miami Heat have been running for success.

This year’s NBA Finals matchup between the Nuggets and Heat has given us two of today’s great XsOs coaches. Here are a few of my favorite plays from Michael Malone and Eric Spoelstra.


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NBA FINALS XsOs

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Denver Nuggets

It seems the Nuggets did a little scouting during the Miami-Boston Eastern Conference Finals series. The Celtics ran this exact set and scored off of it; Denver had the same luck. Really hard action for the defense to guard with x2 chasing 2 over the top of the screen.

5 Out Transition Flare

Like I said earlier, guarding flares can be a challenge. Denver will set super basic guard-to-big (Jokic) flares in transition. Big defenders who aren’t as comfortable out on the perimeter, and definitely aren’t used to guarding early in the offense on the perimeter, often get caught watching the basketball, leaving Jokic open.


Miami Heat

Ricky SLOB

Ricky action is always hard to guard. After receiving the ball on the block, 5 can kick to the shooter or hit the slip like Miami did this particular time.

Curl Lob SLOB (Game Winner)

A late game sidelines out of bounds situation for Erik Spoelstra’s team against the defending champion, Milwaukee Bucks. Heat go to their playoff superstar, Jimmy Butler, with a curl lob to tie the game. Video breakdown below.

Zipper Flare

Flare screens are hard to guard at any level. When you pair a flare with an empty side, it usually ends in a bucket. Miami can run this for a shooter like Duncan Robinson or Caleb Martin, or they can throw it over the top for Jimmy Butler who can then attack the rim. Video breakdown below.


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Tony Miller

Men's Assistant Basketball Coach at Bob Jones University Bruins
Dr. Tony Miller is the men's assistant basketball coach at Bob Jones University in Greenville, SC. In addition, he serves as the director of BJU's sport management degree program.
June 7, 2023: Miami, Florida, USA: The Denver Nuggets’ NIKOLA JOKIC (15) drives against the Miami Heat’s KEVIN LOVE (42) during the first half of Game 3 of the NBA Finals at the Kaseya Center. (Credit Image: © Al Diaz/Miami Herald via ZUMA Press Wire)
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