Heat look for better defense, outside shooting against Bucks

Dwyane Wade - Mike Ehrmann

After a surprising loss to the Detroit Pistons, the Miami Heat will look to play better defense against the Milwaukee Bucks. Dwyane Wade will return following his one-game suspension.

The Miami Heat will complete a four-games-in-five-nights stretch tonight visiting the Milwaukee Bucks at 8:30. Miami is also in the midst of a four-game road trip, set to end Dec. 31 in Orlando. Dwyane Wade will return for Miami after serving his one-game suspension in the Heat's loss to the Detroit Pistons Friday night.

The Pistons snapped a six-game Miami winning streak with a sizzling shooting night, making 12 of 19 attempts from beyond the arc. The Heat scored the first 10 points of the contest and quickly built a 15-point lead, but Detroit dominated the second and third quarters to flip the script and go up by as many as 17. Although the Pistons primarily won because of an aberrant shooting night, Miami also relaxed after the first quarter.

Prior to last night's game, the Heat had held opponents under 100 points for nine straight games. Miami needs to recommit to the disciplined defense that fueled the winning streak. Perhaps the Bucks' recent history of challenging Miami will add motivation for the Heat. Milwaukee defeated the Heat twice last season and lost an overtime decision to Miami earlier this season, Nov. 21. Rookie John Henson finished with 17 points and 18 rebounds in just 27 minutes in that game.

Even with Wade back, Miami needs more consistent shooting from Ray Allen, Mario Chalmers and Mike Miller. Those three shot a combined 6-for-25 from the field last night. LeBron James and Chris Bosh scored 63 of Miami's 99 points against Detroit, and the lack of outside support forced Erik Spoelstra to play James 44 minutes. Playing for the fourth time in five nights, James could be fatigued. Hopefully Wade's day off last night can give James some added rest.

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