Denver Nuggets vs Miami Heat Prediction & Match Preview - November 29th, 2021 | NBA Season 2021-22

The Denver Nuggets and Miami Heat will meet for the first time since the ugly dustup between Nikola Jokic and Markieff Morris the last time they played each other. [Photo: ESPN]
The Denver Nuggets and Miami Heat will meet for the first time since the ugly dustup between Nikola Jokic and Markieff Morris the last time they played each other. [Photo: ESPN]

The Denver Nuggets will start a season-high seven-game road trip starting with a visit to the FTX Arena for a heavily-anticipated rematch with the Miami Heat. This will be the first meeting between the two teams since the Nikola Jokic-Markieff Morris altercation that shook the league.

Coach Mike Malone’s ability to thread above water took a severe hit when Nikola Jokic sprained his wrist. They have lost four straight games, including six overall, in a terrible streak without the reigning NBA MVP. The Denver Nuggets have been beaten by an average of 16.5 points per game since Jokic was sidelined with the injury.

Meanwhile, the Miami Heat have been alternating wins and losses in their last five games, mainly due to injuries as well. Jimmy Butler, Bam Adebayo, Kyle Lowry and Tyler Herro have been in and out of the lineup in their past few games, which is a big reason for the uneven performance.

Herro and Butler have been ruled questionable by the Miami Heat for the game against the Denver Nuggets. Given the history of what happened the last time they met, they will likely push to play as long as they are medically cleared.

The Denver Nuggets thoroughly outclassed the Miami Heat the last time they met behind Jokic’s spectacular triple-double. The rematch is a must-see on TV, particularly after a war of words broke out on social media between the Morris twins and the Jokic brothers.

Udonis Haslem sends warning to Nikola Jokic’s brothers“I keep hearing about the Jokic brothers buying tickets to come to the game. They better stay in line and don’t come down there and start trouble. Miami is my city.”…

Match Details

Fixture: Denver Nuggets vs Miami Heat | 2021-22 NBA season.

Date & Time: Monday, November 29th; 7:30 PM ET (Tuesday, November 30th; 6:00 AM IST).

Venue: FTX Arena, Miami, FL.

Denver Nuggets Preview

The Denver Nuggets are almost unrecognizable without the reigning MVP in their last four games.[Photo: Heat Nation]
The Denver Nuggets are almost unrecognizable without the reigning MVP in their last four games.[Photo: Heat Nation]

The Denver Nuggets previously ranked second in defensive rating a week and a half ago behind the Golden State Warriors. They dropped to 15th after their loss to the Milwaukee Bucks in their last game.

Despite Nikola Jokic’s offensive mastery, his absence is highlighted in the Denver Nuggets’ defensive woes. Without Jokic, the Nuggets’ defensive rating plummets so far from the standings, it’s not even in the same zip code as the rest of the league.

Their 123.6 defensive rating is embarrassingly worse than the Memphis Grizzlies’ bottom-ranked 114.8 rating by an unimaginable margin. They need to be at least respectable on defense for a chance to repeat a victory against the Miami Heat.

Key Player - Aaron Gordon

The Denver Nuggets are so depleted that, with all due respect, Aaron Gordon will never be the team’s key player in any game if the roster is healthy. Without Jokic and Jamal Murray, the Nuggets’ key player is a toss-up between Will Barton and Gordon. The latter has been quite good without the league MVP in the lineup.

Aaron Gordon really just be floating sometimes. (via @NBAonTNT)

In the last four consecutive games for the Denver Nuggets without Jokic, Gordon has been very solid. He is averaging 18.3 points, 7.8 rebounds and 3.5 assists. Although Denver has lost all of these games, the high-leaping slam dunk artist has certainly done his part well.

Denver Nuggets Predicted Lineup

G - Montee Morris | G - Will Barton | F - Jeff Green | F - Aaron Gordon | C - JaMychal Green.

Miami Heat Preview

The Miami Heat continue to ride on their defense to get them wins. That defense was evident in their last matchup against the Chicago Bulls were they limited Chicago to 28.2% three-point shooting.

The Heat’s defense is also the key to forcing opponents to cough up the ball. Kyle Lowry, Jimmy Butler and P.J. Tucker were instrumental in forcing 23 Bulls’ turnovers compared to only 10 for Miami.

In their lopsided loss to the Denver Nuggets, the Miami Heat were beaten by Mike Malone’s team in their own game. Denver gobbled up more rebounds and pounded the Heat in the paint. The Nuggets’ 50 points in the paint were just too much to overcome. Denver also took care of the ball despite the pressure and physicality, with only 10 in that game.

If the Denver Nuggets are without Nikola Jokic, the Miami Heat’s defense could capitalize by forcing miscues and crashing boards. Miami has to keep its focus with or without Jokic playing for Denver. They need to take care of business to avoid another upset like the one the Nuggets pulled off in their last encounter.

Key Player - Kyle Lowry

If Jimmy Butler is out of commission against the Denver Nuggets, Kyle Lowry will be crucial for the Miami Heat.

The 30-year old veteran is only averaging 12.3 points, 7.4 assists and five rebounds per game. Lowry is also just shooting 30.6% from distance and 41.9% overall from the field. However, the one-time NBA champion is more than just numbers.

In Kyle Lowry, the Miami Heat have a point guard who has been there and done that. His leadership skills on and off the floor are admired by head coach Erik Spoelstra and teammates. Lowry could end up with no points at all, but still make opposing teams feel he was a critical factor in the game.

He also plays hard for the Miami Heat on both ends of the floor and commands the respect of his teammates, which is why they follow Lowry's lead. They can’t be lackadaisical when the six-time All-Star is constantly jawing at them to get better.

Miami Heat Predicted Lineup

G - Kyle Lowry | G - Tyler Herro | F - Duncan Robinson | F - P.J. Tucker | C - Bam Adebayo.

Nuggets vs Heat Match Prediction

The funny thing about the hype coming into this game is that Jokic and Morris could both be out, which will disappoint thousands of NBA fans. While the Denver Nuggets have fallen off a cliff without their MVP, the Miami Heat have gone about business as usual without Morris.

If Jokic is cleared to play, it will certainly spice things up in many ways. The Denver Nuggets, with the three-time All-Star in the lineup, routed the heavily-favored Miami Heat last time out. Miami will be greatly motivated to avenge their ugly loss against Denver and without Jokic, they could easily breeze through.

The game should be closer if the Joker plays, but Miami’s depth, home-court advantage and motivation could still push them past Denver.

Where to watch the Nuggets vs Heat game

The NBA League Pass will stream the game live. Local coverage of the matchup is available via Bally Sports Sun and Altitude Sports.

Edited by Anantaajith Ra

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