The Bucks will face Miami on Saturday in their final home game of the regular season. Both teams are still playing for potential higher playoff seeds. Milwaukee looks to catch the Nets in the race for the second seed and the Heat can either gain or lose ground with their current position as the 5 seed. Let’s take a look at what to look for in Saturday’s game!
Bucks vs. Heat Game Details
Location: Fiserv Forum
Time: 7 PM CST
Where to Watch: Bally Sports Wisconsin
Bucks – Alex Toupane (oblique) OUT
Heat – Kendrick Nunn (calf) questionable, Victor Oladipo (quad) OUT
Players to Watch:
Giannis Antetokounmpo: Giannis is always an important player in every game, but this one feels so much more important. With Miami being the team that eliminated the Bucks from the playoffs last season, Giannis may be looking for a revenge game. Antetokounmpo was unhealthy for most of the series in last year’s playoffs and may be looking to make a statement to Miami about who the Bucks are when he’s there.
Jrue Holiday: Miami matched up very well against Milwaukee last season, but Milwaukee has since added Jrue Holiday. A significant upgrade over Eric Bledsoe on both ends of the court, Holiday may be key in the Bucks figuring out Miami. In the Bucks’ last game against Miami, Jrue didn’t have his best performance. That was only his 5th game in Milwaukee, as he was still adjusting to Mike Budenholzer’s scheme. Watch for how Jrue Holiday helps the Bucks matchup better against Miami.
Bam Adebayo: Bam Adebayo was the primary defender that Miami used on Giannis Antetokounmpo in last year’s matchups. Adebayo is a very athletic big with the speed and length to keep up with Giannis on the defensive end. With Bam as the assignment on Giannis most of the time, Miami held Antetokounmpo to averages of 21.8 points, 11.0 rebounds, and 5.3 assists in last year’s Eastern Conference Semifinals matchup. For a regular player, those stats are impressive. However, for a player of Antetokounmpo’s caliber, that is considered a bad series. Look to see if Bam can continue to contain Giannis on the defensive end.
Tyler Herro: Tyler Herro didn’t get off to the best start this season, but he has picked up the slack tremendously in recent games that he’s played in. Herro has missed some time with nagging injuries this season, but he appears to be healthy now. A young player, Herro hasn’t always been the most consistent scorer. When he brings his best game though, you can expect him to take over the game with his shooting ability. The Bucks will need to prevent Herro from getting open looks to help their chances to win.
Keys to Victory
Contain Tyler Herro: Over his last 4 games, Tyler Herro has shot 64% from the 3-point line. While it is unlikely that he will continue that pace for much longer, it’s still something the Bucks should focus on preventing form happening. Milwaukee has struggled with 3-point defense this season, but they should hope to figure it out against a team like Miami. A shooter like Herro can get hot quick, so making him take tough shots and not getting open looks will be huge for the Bucks.
Don’t Force Shots: Miami will very likely look to build a wall to block off Giannis Antetokounmpo from getting in the paint. If the wall is created, Giannis needs to look for shots from his teammates. Milwaukee has done an excellent job with surrounding Antetokounmpo with shooters, so the Bucks should be able to create open shots. The Bucks shooters will need to make outside shots if they want to win this game.
With this game being so close to the playoffs, it would be a huge confidence boost if the Bucks could beat the team that took them out last season. A win in this game would prove Milwaukee is ready for the playoffs. If the Bucks can defend the three and prevent Miami’s best scorers from making outside shots, they should be able to win. Saturday’s matchup should be an entertaining one for both Bucks and Heat fans.
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