GAME PREVIEW: Miami faces steep postseason test against Bucks in Game 1
If Miami's going to steal a game, no better time to do it than Game 1
The top-seeded Milwaukee Bucks will host the No. 8-seeded Miami Heat in the first round of the 2022-23 playoffs on Sunday in Game 1.
This is the third time the two teams have met in a postseason series in the last four seasons. The first ended in a demonstrative 4-1 series victory for Miami in the 2019-20 bubble playoffs over then-No. 1 seeded Milwaukee. A year later, Giannis Antetokounmpo and Co. got their revenge in the first round, sweeping the then-No. 6 seeded Heat in blowout fashion — arguably the worst series in franchise history.
Now, the two Eastern Conference foes meet yet again.
The Bucks and Heat split their four regular-season meetings, though Milwaukee was without Antetokounmpo in both of Miami’s victories. Their most recent meeting came in the first game after the All-Star break. Antetokounmpo played only six minutes due to a right wrist injury, but Milwaukee still blew Miami out 128-99. Jrue Holiday finished with 24 points and seven assists on 5-of-9 shooting from beyond the arc.
The Heat is coming off two grind-it-out games over the Atlanta Hawks and Chicago Bulls, respectively. Even though the odds will be against them — rightfully — there might be no better time to steal a game on the road than in Game 1.
But can they? Only time will tell.
Spread: Bucks -9.5
The Bucks were 43-33-6 ATS this season, the sixth-best in the NBA, while Miami was 31-50-3, second-worst. As a home favorite, Milwaukee went 23-15-2 ATS (6th) while Miami went 8-11 ATS as a road underdog (8th worst).
The games went under in Heat games 51.2 percent of the time and 48.8 percent of the time for Milwaukee. Miami’s games have, however, exceeded 220 points in eight of its last 11 games; Bucks games have exceeded the same threshold in 20 of their last 22 games (with one push).
Odds via DraftKings Sportsbook.
Kyle Lowry (knee) — QUESTIONABLE
Gabe Vincent (hip) — QUESTIONABLE
Nikola Jovic (back) — OUT
PROJECTED STARTING 5 (at time of publishing):
Tipoff: 5:30 p.m. EST
TV: TNT, Bally Sports Sun
RADIO: WQAM 560 & The HEAT Radio Network (Jason Jackson)
SPANISH RADIO: WAQI 710AM & The HEAT Spanish Radio Network (José Pañeda)
Let's get an upset these bucks in this first game.Kull them heaters.