Heat vs. Bucks Game Two Analysis and Prediction
HEAT VS. BUCKS GAME TWO ANALYSIS AND PREDICTION - The Miami Heat survived the NBA Play-In Tournament to get the 8th seed in the Eastern Conference and earn a trip with the Milwaukee Bucks. However, they defied the odds and were able to beat the Bucks, 130-117, on Sunday.
With Game 2 taking place on Wednesday, let us examine this matchup.
When: Wednesday, April 19, 2023 at 9:00 PM EST
Where: Fiserv Forum, Milwaukee, Wisconsin
Public Bets: Bucks, 56%
Public Money: Bucks, 99%
Odds courtesy of DraftKings, as of April 17th, 2023
Miami Heat vs Milwaukee Bucks Game 1 Review
The Heat played two games last week to move on in the Play-In Tournament, while the Bucks sat back and got a lot of rest. However, maybe the momentum helped.
The Heat jumped out to a nine-point lead at the end of the first quarter and held a 68-55 lead at halftime. The biggest story of the game (and of the playoffs so far) is the status of Giannis Antetkounmpo.
The Bucks star left the game after playing just 10 minutes following a hard fall on a blocking foul by Kevin Love, a play that has fueled discussions about potentially banning the charge.
Bucks’ superstar Giannis Antetokounmpo (lower back contusion) will not return to Game 1 of Bucks-Heat, per @ShamsCharania.
Giannis sustained the injury on this collision with Kevin Love in the 1st quarter 🤕pic.twitter.com/ep8RFTvVfD
— ClutchPoints (@ClutchPointsApp) April 16, 2023
Antetokounmpo did not return, although all reports on Monday suggested that he could play in Game 2. If he is out, it will be a massive blow for the Bucks, and a 2-0 deficit would be difficult to overcome with the next two games being played in South Beach.
In Antetokounmpo’s absence, Khris Middleton stepped up with 33 points and Jrue Holiday added 16 points with 16 assists. Bobby Portis played 26 minutes off the bench and added 21 points with 8 rebounds in the loss.
Jimmy Butler led the way for the Heat with 35 points and 11 assists and Bam Adebayo had 22 points and 9 rebounds. Four Heat starters had double figures, but Tyler Herro broke his hand and is expected to be sidelined for the next month, at minimum.
With Herro out, it will likely be Kyle Lowry who shifts back to the starting lineup and Erik Spoelstra will need to tinker with the rotation once again.
The total score of Game 1 was 247 points, well over the over/under projection. Giannis Antetokounmpo played just 10 minutes, and the hot-shooting Tyler Herro played just 19 minutes.
In Game 2, the offense should again be clicking with or without Antetokounmpo. The Heat are dead last in the NBA in points scored with just 109 per game, and it remains unlikely that they get back to the 130 mark. On the other hand, the Bucks average 117 points per game, so the makings of the over are there.
Prediction: Over 221.5
With Giannis out of the game, both Butler and Adebayo dominated in the paint, with neither player hitting a three-pointer in the contest. All indications suggest that Giannis plays Game 2, so that helps the Bucks and makes things more difficult for the Heat.
Either way, the Bucks have two full days of practice to manage a strategy in case their star can’t suit up. The Middleton-Holiday pairing was sensational, and Portis was terrific off the bench in crucial minutes for Milwaukee.
The Bucks simply can’t afford to go down 0-2 with the series headed back South, and they get a tough Game 2 win even though the Heat make a run and cover the spread.
Prediction: Bucks (ML), Heat (+9)
Over 221 Points
Bucks ML (-360)