It wasn’t pretty, but the Milwaukee Bucks escaped Game 1 against the Miami Heat with a win in overtime, thanks to a last-second bucket by Khris Middleton. After a disappointing showing in the postseason last year against the Heat, Milwaukee made a statement and got some of the pressure off its back by taking control of the series, but that doesn’t mean Miami won’t come back fighting.
The Heat struggled to get consistent production from both of their star players in Jimmy Butler and Bam Adebayo, and if it weren’t for Butler’s game-tying shot at the buzzer to send the game to overtime, Milwaukee would’ve won the game a lot sooner. The Heat should get better offensive performances from Butler and Adebayo going forward, which will force Milwaukee to adjust, leading to what should be a very entertaining series. Here’s everything you need to know ahead of Game 2 on Monday night.
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(3) Milwaukee Bucks vs. (6) Miami Heat
- Date: Monday, May 24 | Time: 7:30 p.m. ET
- Location: Fiserv Forum — Milwaukee, Wisconsin
- TV: TNT | Live stream: fuboTV
- Odds: MIA +165; MIL -185; O/U: 221.5 (via William Hill Sportsbook)
Featured Game | Milwaukee Bucks vs. Miami Heat
Bucks: In the early going of Game 1, it looked like the Heat once again were going to stifle Giannis Antetokounmpo on offense by putting up a brick wall around him in the paint. However, he managed to break free — mostly in transition — which forced Miami to change up its defensive scheme around him. Although he didn’t have as dominant a performance as we’ve come to expect from him, it helped that Middleton had a great game to put the Bucks over the edge. Then there was Jrue Holiday, who did a little bit of everything to help Milwaukee get the win. He came up with clutch buckets, finished with three steals and was a balancing presence on offense when the Bucks needed some points. In Game 2 it will be interesting to see if Milwaukee can get the same type of production from Holiday, who finished with 20 points, and Brook Lopez who had 18 points.
Heat: For Miami, it’s pretty simple going into Game 2: get Adebayo and Butler going early. The Heat won’t win this series if they’re going to rely so heavily on the sharpshooting of Duncan Robinson — who had 24 points — and reserve guard Goran Dragic (team-high 25 points). Butler and Adebayo played well on defense, but that won’t be enough to overcome the Bucks and their wealth of players who can put points on the board. The good news is this will probably be the worst game Butler plays all series, and it’s not as if he wasn’t getting decent looks; he just wasn’t connecting. The same goes for Adebayo, who had countless possessions where he had Lopez one-on-one and clanked on pull-up jumpers left and right.
I’m betting on bounce-back performances from Butler and Adebayo in Game 2 to even this series up, because while I think the Bucks advance to the semifinals eventually, I don’t think it’s going to be easy for them. Pick: Heat +4.5