Bucks vs Heat Game 2 Preview- “Welcome to Miami”
And who doesn’t love Will Smith? Well…
Bucks vs Heat
The 27-15 Milwaukee Bucks take on the 23-20 Miami Heat Saturday afternoon in Miami on ABC at noon. (Gametime is the earliest in the day the Bucks have played this season.) Milwaukee lost to the Heat on Thursday Night 108-102. Both teams rested a ton of players and Milwaukee, for whatever reason, decided to take a season high 57 three point attempts. (The points in the paint battle was brutal.) Jrue Holiday led the way for the Bucks with 24 points. Giannis did not play. Bucks vs Heat, game 2, should be a different affair.
Bucks guard George Hill said earlier in the year that, “…at least we get to go somewhere warm.” These NBA back-to-backs in the same place have been unusual but according to the league, “drastically reduce wasted team travel time.” Hopefully our guys enjoy the time in the sun and do not come out flat in game 2.
Milwaukee was up 23-14 after the first quarter of game 1. Hopefully they get off to a fast start on their way to 117 total points.
The keys for the Bucks
Score over 117 points
This feels like a magic number for Milwaukee. Thursday they scored 102- they lost. Wednesday they scored 114 and beat Atlanta. They scored 113 and lost to the Bulls; the following game they scored 123 and beat Minnesota. Against New York Milwaukee only scored 111 but they played some stellar defense and really mounted a strong comeback.
For whatever reason, around 117 points has almost guaranteed a win. The Bucks need to generate offense by shooting threes and driving the ball to the basket. In “Bucks vs Heat” game 2, who is going to score? Ingles, Allen, Lopez, and even AJ Green have all been effective shooters so far.. Can Milwaukee finally start to shoot well from the outside at a more consistent clip?
Milwaukee ranks 20th in the NBA at 36.2% from behind the arc. Away from the Fiserv it gets even worse- 33.2%. Milwaukee is built to make threes- it is almost “for real” time.
“Move your feet”- don’t reach
Coach Bud and his staff took our advice from the game 1 preview. Milwaukee only committed 12 personal fouls. The issue was Miami only committed 8. Any discerning eyes that caught the game saw the Bucks play better team defense, albeit against a depleted Heat roster. For Bucks vs Heat game 2, Milwaukee needs to avoid silly fouls.
Still, the Bucks commit too many dumb turnovers and too many lazy fouls. Of course we all understand it is the NBA regular season, teams experience highs and lows. But for Milwaukee, they need to make sure they limit their opponents trip to the charity strip; especially a team like Miami that is a really, really great free-throw shooting team.
The Opponent: The Miami Heat
Bam Adebayo is a really interesting player. Only 25, he seems to be coming into his prime. Averaging 21 points and 10 rebounds per game, Adebayo really is the engine that drives the Heat, even more so than point guard Kyle Lowry. In “Bucks vs Heat” game 1, Brook Lopez really seemed to have trouble scoring and guarding Adebayo.
Tyler Herro, a Milwaukee native who attended Whitnall High School in Greenfield Wisconsin, was out in Game 1. If he plays in game 2 he’ll provide instant scoring. If Herro plays, he will give the Bucks trouble as he always has. He averages 18 points, 7 rebounds and 4 assists against Milwaukee. These performances all come across 29 minutes per game. Herro’s ability to shoot the three and get to the arm of the paint sets him apart.
Jimmy Butler is a great player for Miami. However unlike Herro, his career stats against Milwaukee are not as strong (15/4/4). That doesn’t mean he won’t be up to play. He is averaging 22 points a game this season, above his career average.
Things to tell your buddies as you are watching the game
- Miami and Milwaukee (Bucks vs Heat) play again, in Milwaukee, on Saturday February 4th.
- Miami is about a 22 hour drive from Milwaukee or about 1,470 miles. Yesterday it was 79 degrees.
- The Bucks 2022-2023 season wikipedia page is now live. It feels pretty empty.
- Five Thirty eight, the infamous political polling site, has the Bucks projected record at 50-32.
- Will Smith is 54 and was born and raised in Philadelphia.
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