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NBA Playoffs Game 2 Preview: Heat aim to even first round series vs Bucks

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Miami will need big-time contributions from Bam Adebayo and Jimmy Butler to tie the series.

NBA: Playoffs-Miami Heat at Milwaukee Bucks Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports

GAME STORY

The Miami Heat will try to even their first round series with a win tonight on the road against the Milwaukee Bucks at 7:30pm.

Goran Dragic led the Heat with 25 points while Khris Middleton scored 27 points for the Bucks’ 109-107 victory in Game 1, which ended with Middleton’s game-winning basket in OT. While Giannis Antetokounmpo was only able to score near the rim, he was 0-for-14 outside the restricted area in Game 1 according to ESPN, and the Bucks were horrendous from deep (5-31, 16.1%), it remains to be seen whether or not this was an effective Heat defensive strategy that can be replicated throughout the series or if the Bucks were simply cold from the field. Plus, will Milwaukee’s coaching staff be able to swiftly make the proper adjustments — which they struggled to do effectively in last year’s playoff series between the two teams.

Conversely, the Heat relied too much on the 3-point shot with a mind-numbing 50 attempts but at least they were knocking them down with some regularity (20-50, 40%) thanks to Duncan Robinson (7-13) and Dragic (5-10). With such a disparity in 3-point shooting between the two teams, the Heat could have built a sizeable lead if it weren’t for the disappointing performances from Bam Adebayo and Jimmy Butler, who were tentative throughout the night, as well as the team shooting a pitiful 32.7% (16-of-49) from inside the arc and getting out-rebounded 64-51 for the game.

So ultimately we’ll just have to see tonight which stars step up to be more aggressive (Bam, cough cough) and what adjustments both teams will make to resolve poor shooting from outside for the Bucks and in the restricted area for the Heat.

No new injuries are being reported for either side as of now.

Required reading while waiting for tip-off:

Key takeaways and observations from Heat vs Bucks Game 1

Heat vs Bucks series preview: Six potential matchups to watch out for

Varied contributions pushed Heat past Bucks last year. Can that repeat?

Will snubs motivate Giannis Antetokounmpo against Miami Heat?

After Butler and Adebayo, who could be Miami’s four most important players for a deep playoff run?

ODDS: FiveThirtyEight is giving the Heat the same 28% chance to win Game 2 as they did Game 1.

HEAT VS BUCKS: MONDAY, MAY 24 AT 7:30 PM

INJURIES

MIAMI:

  • Victor Oladipo: out (knee)
  • Omer Yurtseven: day-to-day

MILWAUKEE:

  • Thanasis Antetokounmpo: out (right patella tendon)

LINEUPS

Projected Starters

Bucks Position Heat
Bucks Position Heat
Jrue Holiday PG Goran Dragic
Bryn Forbes SG Duncan Robinson
Khris Middleton SF Jimmy Butler
Giannis Antetokounmpo PF Trevor Ariza
Brook Lopez C Bam Adebayo

BROADCAST INFO

TV: Bally Sports Sun, TNT
RADIO: 620 AM/103.3 FM WTMJ, The HEAT Radio Network (Mike Inglis, Ron Rothstein, Jonathan Zaslow, Tommy Tighe)
SPANISH RADIO: WRTO Mix 98.3 FM (José Pañeda, Joe Pujala). HEAT Spanish Radio Network includes: WEFL ESPN Deportes 760 AM

Come back to Hot Hot Hoops at game time to join our GameThread and chat about the game live with other Heat fans!