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Game Preview: Miami Heat at Milwaukee Bucks

Hello All, Tonight, the Heat will be in Milwaukee for the second game in a back to back set that started with Friday’s blowout of the Pistons. The Heat has been generally horrible in the second game of back to backs this season and will look to buck that trend against…the Bucks. Boom! The Bucks are 19-25 on the season and 14-7 at home. They have been lead by rookie sensation Brandon Jennings and Andrew Bogut, who many feel was an All Star game snub. They have been a pleasant surprise this season and are currently in 9th place in the Eastern Conference. The Heat carries in a 24-22 record, 11-11 on the road. PROBABLE STARTERS Heat Bucks PG Alston B. Jennings SG Wade C. Bell SF Richardson C. Delfino PF Haslem (Beasley?) L. Mbah a Moute C O’Neal A. Bogut The Heat has the talent edge, especially with no Michael Redd in the Bucks lineup. Jennings is an emerging star and Bogut is one of the top big men in the conference, but the three other Milwaukee starters are role players with very low ceilings. The key will be to take Bogut or Jennings out of the equation and force the other to shoulder the entire load. Having Beasley back would obviously be huge for Miami. STATISTICAL BREAKDWON Effective Field Goal % The Heat is 17th in the league at 49.5%; the Bucks are 25th at 47.8%. EDGE: Heat Turnover % The Heat is 2nd in the league at 12.8%; the Bucks are 6th at 13.1%. EDGE: Even Offensive Rebound % The Heat is 18th in the league at 26.1%; the Bucks are 20th at 25.4%. EDGE: Even Free Throw Rate The Heat is 15th in the league at 30.6%; the Bucks are 30th at 23.5%. EDGE: Heat KEY TO THE GAME As I said, Jennings and Bogut can be a lethal inside-outside combination. Jennings can take his guy to the hoop off of the pick and roll, and Bogut is fairly athletic for a center. Jennings has also proven that he can get on a roll from three point land, so defenses can’t completely suck down into the post to crowd Bogut. The Heat need big defensive efforts from O’Neal and Joel Anthony against Bogut. Jennings is far more effective when he is playing the role of playmaker and not pure scorer, because it makes him more versatile (duh). The Heat can live with him scoring 30 points if he is jacking up a ton of shots. It will take the Bucks out of their rhythm, and really, who else in this lineup (outside of Bogut and Jennings) scares you? Always guard the inbound passer.