ORLANDO, Florida — After taking out Orlando in five games, the Bucks have a day of rest, followed by an Eastern Conference Semifinals duel with the Miami Heat. The Heat defeated the Indiana Pacers in four games in the first round, having time off on their side. The Bucks, however, have a very quick turnaround.
The Bucks come into this series similar to last years second round vs. Boston. After sweeping Detroit in the 2019 playoffs, Milwaukee’s next opponent? The Boston Celtics, led by Kyrie Irving, Jayson Tatum, Al Horford, and company. It seemed as if the national media started to write Milwaukee off after Boston stole Game One. The Bucks then reeled off four straight, cruising to their first Eastern Conference Final in 18 years.
It almost feels the same this year. Despite having the top seed in consecutive years, many notable names in the national media are leaning with Miami, citing their defense and three point shooting. It will be interesting to see how this one turns out.
The Miami Heat made noise last summer when they traded for Jimmy Butler, and it is safe to say that it has paid off. Accompanied by Most Improved Player candidate Bam Adebayo and sharpshooters Duncan Robinson and Tyler Herro, they have been a formidable opponent all season. Not to mention veterans like Jae Crowder, Andre Iguodala and Goran Dragic, veteran coach Erik Spoelstra sure knows how to operate come postseason play.
The Bucks once again boast the top seed in the East, as well as the top record, Defensive Player of the Year, and (likely) league MVP. So the question is: what’s not to like?
The answer? Inconsistency. Milwaukee’s play in the bubble has not consistently been where it was during the early months of the season. If the Bucks reach the level that they were on during their 18 game win streak, it will be tough for anyone to contend.
The Miami Heat are the only team with a winning record over Milwaukee this season, at 2-1. Their defensive front of Adebayo, Crowder, Olynyk and others seemed to limit the Bucks interior scoring in their two wins. On a positive note, the Bucks played their most complete game of this restart against Miami in early August, so that can provide some comfort heading into this series.
Prediction: Bucks in Six
While Miami does pose a valid threat to give the Bucks trouble, the Bucks boast the leagues best defense, best record, highest point differential, as well as the most dominant force in the game. As the first round series progressed, it seemed that the Bucks offense started to click. If that is the case, this might be scary for opponents.
After all, Miami Heat rookie Tyler Herro foreshadowed this outcome a long time ago when he Tweeted “Bucks in Six” on a tweet that has since been deleted.
Bonus: Wholesome Tweet Alert
Is there any other pair like the Lopez brothers? They’re already similar in their looks, love for Disney World, and their joyful personalities. They also shared the same college jersey, playing at Stanford. How about the Cardinal shouting out the Lopez pair? Let’s take a moment and smile.
— Stanford Men's Basketball (@StanfordMBB) August 29, 2020
Monday, August 31: 6:30 P.M.- Game One
Wednesday, September 2: 6:30 PM- Game Two
Friday, September 4- Game Three
Sunday, September 6- Game Four
Tuesday, September 8- Game Five
Thursday, September 10- Game Six
Saturday, September 12- Game Seven