I doubt few people had the Milwaukee Bucks down 3-1 to the Miami Heat in the playoffs. I personally thought the Bucks would win this series in six to begin. I thought Miami presented some issues. For a team with the best regular season record, the Bucks have had no answer for Jimmy Butler and the Miami offense in general. Last night was no easier as they fell 119-114 behind 56 points from Jimmy Butler. With the Bucks back against the wall, can they win three games in a row and advance in the playoffs?
They Have No Answer For Jimmy Butler
There is no doubt Jimmy Butler has been the best player in the playoffs to this point. After averaging only 22 points a game in the regular season, Butler has averaged 36.5 points a game in this series. It is not like a Bucks defense to be giving up high percentage shots and letting a player get any shot they want.
I will say that Jimmy Butler has gotten a friendly whistle at times. However, so does most players that are the stars of their team. The fact of the matter is the Bucks have no answer and Jrue Holiday, who’s an elite defender, is getting toasted constantly.
They Need More From The Supporting Cast
The supporting cast was not good in Miami with the exception of Brook Lopez. He was fantastic last night. While the Bucks are getting 18 points a game from Jrue Holiday and 21 a game from Khris Middleton, it’s the other rotation players that they need more from.
Players such as Jae Crowder, Bobby Portis, and Joe Ingles are players that need to step up the rest of the series. Crowder is currently averaging 2.3 points, Portis with 12, and Ingles with 8.5 (17 of that in game 2). All these players have been really good this season. With Giannis not 100% and Holiday spending a ton of time on Butler, it’s these players have to pick up the slack and lessen the burden.
Everything Has Had To Go Wrong
You name it and it’s happened for the Bucks. They couldn’t afford for Giannis to get hurt. He did and essentially missed the first three games. Miami had to get hot from the field. They have done that and then some. Miami shot 46% from the field and 34.8% from three in the regular season. This series? They have shot 54% from the field and 47.6% from three. They are also the highest scoring team in this postseason after being one of the worst offensive teams in the regular season. At some point, the hot shooting has to end, but unless Milwaukee can make adjustments on the defensive side of the ball, that likely won’t happen.
Entering Monday, NBA teams to trail by 12+ points within the final 6 minutes of regulation of a playoff game had
lost 419 consecutive times. @Bucks @ESPNStatsInfo
— Jen Lada (@JenLada) April 25, 2023
The odds of this happening last night is clearly rare. Milwaukee is doing things they did not do in the regular season and it’s odd and concerning for a team with championship experience and pedigree. They have not helped themselves out this series, but every possible thing has had to go wrong and Miami’s way.
This team did win four games in a row to win the title in 2021. I think this team is better offensively than that team. However, I am not sure if that is the case defensively. I won’t count out the Bucks yet as they have only played one above average game in this series. Winning three games is possible, but a big ask with no room for error anymore.
Follow me on Twitter @DylanBuboltz and follow us @WiSportsHeroics for more great content. To read more of our articles and keep up to date on the latest in Wisconsin sports, click here! Also, check out our merch store for some amazing WSH merchandise!