Blessed are the Heat, for they ball out in spurts.

Nikola Jokic and Jamal Murray combined for 53 points in Denver’s 104-93 victory over Miami in Game 1 of the NBA Finals. The Heat never led after the contest’s opening minutes and lagged behind by as many as 22 points late in the third quarter.

Some took this as a sign of the future. The Heat seem to have no memory whatsoever.

In Game 2, Miami masqueraded in its amnesia. The team trailed, 83-75, at the end of the third quarter, with a 2-0 hole staring it in the face. Then Duncan Robinson scored all 10 of his points on all five of his field-goal attempts as the Heat outdid the Nuggets, 36-25, in the game’s final 12 minutes. With the 111-108 conquest in Colorado, the series moves to Miami with an entirely different mood.

This has become standard procedure for the Heat in these playoffs. Nothing seems to kill them – not injuries, not bad performances, and not their opponents. Tyler Herro and Victor Oladipo have barely played in this postseason, and it hasn’t mattered. Miami suffered blowouts and a heartbreaking Game 6 disappointment last round against the Celtics, and it didn’t matter. As the East’s No. 8 seed, the Heat have not had home-court advantage in any series and faced some of the league’s most formidable foes, not to mention having to navigate the Play-In Tournament before earning the right to fight in the playoffs. None of that has mattered, either.

When you put it all together, it begs the question: does anything matter with Miami?

Nobody expected much from the Heat in the first round. Giannis and the top-seeded Bucks were one of the favorites to win the 2023 title, which would have been their second in three seasons. Even with Herro exiting Game 1 with his ailment, Miami still shocked the sport with the initial upset. Surely, that was a mere coincidence, though, which especially had to be true after Milwaukee responded strongly in Game 2. These series are best-of-seven for a reason, right?

Turns out, none of that was relevant. Game 3 was a comfortable Miami triumph, and the Heat closed out tight contests in the next two to send the Bucks to the links in five despite Oladipo’s absence.

In the second round, Miami managed to split the opening games with the Knicks. A defeat in Game 5 welcomed some queries into whether or not the lowest seed had it in them to close out the series. That disbelief was swiftly disproven in Game 6.

The Conference Finals introduced the most adversity yet. The Celtics and Heat are well-acquainted, having previously met in two of the last three Eastern Conference Finals, with Boston besting Miami in seven in 2022. Tensions were high, and they grew higher with every chip the Celtics placed in the 3-0 series jump the Heat held early on. No team in NBA history had ever gone up 3-0 in a series and not advanced, but after beatings in Game 4 and Game 5 and one point separating the sides in Game 6, all the energy was with the Celtics leading into a Game 7 at TD Garden. Naturally, the Heat beat Boston into next October, 103-84, pulverizing revenge on their adversary.

So here we are, two games into the 2023 NBA Finals, and Miami is still doing it. Just when you think this team might waver, it locks in. Caleb Martin and Gabe Vincent are each averaging about four points better in the playoffs compared to in the regular season, Jimmy Butler is operating in another dimension, and Robinson has naysayers swallowing their tongues. Whether it makes sense or not, this is happening.

The Heat have become the wascally wabbits of the NBA, evading capture regardless of their hunters’ ample arsenals. The Nuggets are no Elmer Fudd. They dominated the West on their route to these NBA Finals and have two of the hottest players in the world in Jokic and Murray. But there is something undeniable about Miami; something difficult to articulate but impossible to ignore. Perhaps that’s just the genius of Erik Spoelstra at work.

NBA FAQs

How do you win NBA pick'em pool?

In order to win an NBA Pick'Em pool, players must have the most points at the end of the season. For each correct pick during the regular season, members will receive one point (customizable based on the pool commissioner). Some pools will choose picks based on the spread or straight up.

What is NBA pick'em pool?

In an NBA Pick'Em pool, players make weekly picks (either against the point spread or straight-up). The number of picks each week is customizable by the pool commissioner. Optional best-bet and confidence pick settings can be put into place as well. Commissioners can use a hosting site like RunYourPool to keep up with scoring and calculations.

How to play an NBA basketball pool?

The way one plays a basketball pool varies on the game type. For example, in Pick'em Pools, you simply pick every game each week.

How to run a weekly basketball pool?

In order to run a basketball pool, you must first crown yourself as Pool Commissioner. Begin by picking a game type like Survivor or Pick'Em. You'll want to establish rules before inviting friends, family, and colleagues to join. As commissioner, you make the rules and also need to enforce them equally and fairly.

How do you win NBA Survivor Pool?

In NBA Survivor, the last player standing wins. The name of the game is to make it to the next week. A member will select one game from all the games in that given week. If members choose the correct winner, they move on to the next week. If they pick incorrectly, they are eliminated from the contest.

What is NBA Surivor Pool?

In an NBA Survivor pool, players choose one NBA team each week that they believe will win. They may only pick a team one time per season. Picks are made "straight up," not using a point spread system. If their pick is correct, they survive until the next week. An incorrect pick eliminates the player from the pool for the remainder of the season.

What is a basketball pool?

"Basketball Pool" is a broad term for a group of people competitively guessing the outcome of one or more basketball game. There are many types of formats, each assigning winners differently. They can be played informally between friends or through a more formalized system.

How to make a basketball pool?

A basketball pool generally requires the creation of a shareable spreadsheet (like Google Sheets) so that members may pick teams. Then depending on the game type, creators must use several kinds of formulas (e.g. CountIF), data validation, and conditional formatting. Or, you can just use basketball pool hosting services like RunYourPool where we do all the work for you!

How do you win NBA Playoff Bracket Pool?

In NBA Playoff Bracket pools, the winning entry is the team with the most points at the end of Playoffs. Members try to pick the winner of each playoff series. For each series, they also pick how many games they think the series will go. Points are awarded for each winning pick, with bonus points for how close they come to the correct series length

What is an NBA Playoff Bracket Pool?

In an NBA Playoff Bracket pool, players pick the winner of each NBA Playoff series. Commissioners can choose to have members receive bonus points for guessing the series length. Points increase as the tournament progresses (points per round are configurable by the commissioner). The winning entry is the player with the most points at the end of the playoffs.

Are there other Playoff Pools?

Yes! RunYourPool offers plenty of contest types for various playoff events! March Madness squares and bracket pools aer very popular among basketball fanatics, while the Super Bowl Prop Pool is the most popular annual event game.

How to set up a basketball pool?

To set up a basketball pool, you'll need to first choose a pool type like Survivor or Pick'em. Then, you'll need to set the ground rules. As pool commissioner, you'll enforce these rules and make sure the game runs smoothly throughout the season. Many commissioners use pool hosting sites like RunYourPool to make it easier and more engaging.

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