The Bucks lit up Miami to start the game from beyond the arc as they ran out to an 8-0 lead. The Heat just didn’t seem to have an answer early, with the only points coming from Jimmy. Dedmon also helped the Heat get some points on the board, but really it was only Dedmon and Butler getting work done in the first quarter.
While the Bucks surged from three-point land, the Heat starters and reserves struggled. Goran could barely hit a shot, Bam missed free throws. It was a truly embarrassing first quarter.
The Heat attempted a comeback of sorts in the second, but the Bucks stayed ahead. It’s hard to get ahead when you let the Bucks shoot 65% from the field, and set scoring records in the first quarter. It also doesn’t help when you don’t adjust! Miami has a good defense, but it wasn’t evident tonight as the Bucks continued to shoot 60% from three. SIXTY PERCENT! Bryn Forbes spent the first half solidifying himself as a Heat killer, and well I think I heard all of South Florida collectively groan.
The Heat looked deflated, with no answers on offense or defense. I don’t think I’ve ever seen this in a Heat playoff game. I have to give credit to the Bucks’ defense too, it was suffocating.
Miami showed some signs of life towards the end of the half, but would still trail by 27.
The Bucks slowed down a little bit to start the second half, but there was some chippy-ness as emotions ran high. Trevor Ariza was given a flagrant foul 1 after a push-off on Giannis. The Heat are a tough group of guys. And when things aren’t going their way, they will get physical as a reaction to frustration. That was very evident tonight.
He was fantastic tonight, but it’s also tough to win when your best player is DeWayne Dedmon. Miami needs scoring from as many areas as possible and Tyler Herro not scoring until the fourth quarter is unacceptable in a playoff game.
Spo made some adjustments in the fourth breaking the playoff rotation to get Bjelica in the game, but things still appeared out of reach for Miami. The Heat would unload the bench at the 5-minute mark, signaling a throwing of the towel.
After a game like this where the stars just don’t perform, it’s a little hard to be optimistic about the next game. I expect the Heat to be better, but another performance like this in the series will sink the postseason early.
Last year’s Bucks’ series was just a little bit more fun. The Heat will have a chance to regroup before Thursday’s game in Miami.