NBA Finals – game-3 who plays: Miami without Herro, Malone shakes Denver

The final restarts at Heat with the series at 1-1. After the outburst in game 2, the Nuggets coach puts himself in the dock together with the players, while coach Spoelstra…

The most popular word on the eve of race-3 is undoubtedly “discipline”. Michael Malone had done nothing to hide his post-match disappointment in the second match of the Finals at the attitude of a team calling him “undisciplined and not very focused”.

The vent

Strong words that recall the outbursts of past coaches but which are rarely uttered in an era in which players are very attentive to their image. How the Nuggets absorbed the coach’s outburst will only be understood in game-3 and during his meeting with the media on the eve of the first match of the series in Miami, coach Malone did not take any step back. “I showed the team 17 games in which there was a clear lack of discipline – underlines the coach from Denver – discipline from everyone, starting from the schemes up to the execution. Seventeen situations that produced more than 40 points for Miami. That’s something I find incredible.”

The mea culpa

The Nuggets coach, unlike the by now famous post-game 2 press conference, doesn’t blame only his players, but also talks about tactics and “gameplan”, thus making an implicit mea culpa. However, the substance changes little, Denver must rediscover the attitude and discipline shown throughout this postseason to get back on track against a team that makes character and “discipline” a real strength. “In defense we have to do much better in terms of communication – continues Malone -, in race-2 there were too many situations in which we paid the price because we weren’t on the same wavelength. Situations that must never happen again, let them be at the NBA Finals”.

Here Miami

Coach Spoelstra, for his part, finds the public and the classic storms of South Florida, a constant in June, which welcomed the Finals after the move to Miami. However, who the Heat coach will not find even in game 3 is Tyler Herro who the club, somewhat surprisingly, described as “out” in the injury report that each team must produce on the eve of an NBA game. The post-game 1 rumors gave Herro very close to returning, perhaps even for the second match of the series, and Saturday’s training had confirmed these good sensations. But now the player seems to have regressed and his presence in the series becomes less likely. “I’m not Nostradamus so I can’t say what will happen – Erik Spoelstra had declared a few hours before the Heat’s communication – we will decide day by day, he is training with us and is making progress, we will see tomorrow”. Evidently something has jammed in the recovery of a player who in the regular season averaged 20 points if already 24 hours before the tap-off the club has decided to communicate his absence. However, Miami doesn’t worry too much, considering the more than positive answers that came in game-2 from Max Strus and a Duncan Robinson capable of leaving his mark with 10 fundamental points at the beginning of the last quarter.