With 20 seconds left in overtime of Game 1 of the Miami Heat’s first-round series against the Milwaukee Bucks, Goran Dragic sunk an open 3-pointer to tie the game. The shot had come off an offensive rebound, but Miami would take it on a night they struggled offensively.
On the other side of the court, Khris Middleton sunk a contested 18-foot jumper to put the Bucks up 109-107 with just 0.5 seconds left. The Heat called a timeout to advance the ball, and Jimmy Butler grabbed the in-bounds pass. But Jrue Holiday was there to block the shot, and the buzzer sounded. The Heat lost Game 1.
Both teams can look at this game and say that they’ll play better the rest of the series. For the Heat, Butler and Bam Adebayo couldn’t buy a bucket offensively. (They did make up for some of that on defense.) Butler missed numerous shots he usually makes and finished 4-for-22 from the field. He attempted nine 3s and made just two. Butler even missed three free throws; he’s usually reliable from the foul line.
Jimmy is a genius level help defender. Perfect read of Giannis' spin move. pic.twitter.com/4rqtqvNzkx— Couper Moorhead (@CoupNBA) May 22, 2021
Butler did hit a shot at the buzzer to send the game into overtime on a nice drive to get a nice angle on Giannis Antetokounmpo.
And Adebayo shot just 4-of-15 from the field. Often, he wouldn’t take the open jumper Brook Lopez conceded to him and took a dribble or two in the lane for a contested floater. Those shots missed, and I would expect an adjustment coming in Game 2.
The Heat shot just 36 percent on the night, with some bad misses — an errant 3 from Trevor Ariza, and an air-ball from Butler. The Heat will have a lot of film to review tomorrow to think through how this game could’ve turned.
And Milwaukee shot just 5-for-31 from 3. It’s not hard to see that improving later in this series. Neither team played particularly well in this game. The Heat missed some opportunities to build an early lead with turnovers and missed shots at the rim. The Bucks missed 13 free throws to keep Miami in the game. (Antetokounmpo committed the rare 10-second violation on a free throw, failing to attempt a shot in the allotted time.)
Goran Dragic and Duncan Robinson led Miami, scoring 25 and 24 points, respectively. Dragic went 5-of-10 from beyond the arc, while Robinson nailed three 3s in the first three minutes and Robinson went 7-of-13 from distance.
Dragic looked like the player who powered the Heat to numerous playoff victories last season. It’s a shame Butler and Adebayo missed the shots that would’ve lifted the Heat over the Bucks in this game.
Kendrick Nunn scored 10 points, but Tyler Herro shot just 2-of-10 from the field. Both Nunn and Herro will need to hit their pull-up jumpers this series, something we saw to mixed results today.
The Heat will look to tie the series and steal home-court advantage Monday night.