NBA Game 2 Preview: Miami Heat at Milwaukee Bucks

Apr 19, 2023

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Game: Miami Heat @ Milwaukee Bucks

Time: 9:00 p.m.

Odds: Heat +6.5, Bucks -6.5

Total: 219.5

The Miami Heat will try to take a 2-0 lead on the road in their Eastern Conference first-round playoff series against the top-seeded Milwaukee Bucks tonight. Both teams are likely to be down a key player. Both Heat star guard Tyler Herro and MVP-contender Giannis Antetokounmpo had to leave Sunday’s painful Game 1 due to injuries. Miami won the game 130–117.

Herro has been identified as having a broken right hand. Later this week, he is anticipated to have season-ending surgery and he will be out for the remainder of the postseason. On Sunday, Herro scored 12 points in 19 minutes, contributing to the Heat’s 68-55 halftime lead.

Long before that, the Bucks had already lost Antetokounmpo. Late in the first quarter, he suffered a lower back/tailbone injury, forcing him to leave the game. He is listed as doubtful for Game 2 tonight.

Who will start in place of Herro, who is Miami’s second-leading scorer, hasn’t been revealed by head coach Erik Spoelstra. The front-runners are Duncan Robinson, who started the second half of Game 1 in Herro’s place, and Caleb Martin, who started 49 of Miami’s first 59 games during the regular season.

Bucks head coach Mike Budenholzer was relieved to learn that Antetokounmpo’s X-rays were negative. However, the Bucks star might not be ready to go tonight. Antetokounmpo played just 11 minutes before exiting. He had six points and three rebounds. Miami would go on to outshoot Milwaukee 59.5 percent to 49.5 percent.

The Heat shot way better than their opponents from behind the three-point line. Miami hit 15-of-25 threes while Milwaukee made just 11-of-45. Miami’s Kevin Love hit 4-of-7 and Gabe Vincent knocked down 4-of-5 from three-point range. The Heat’s 60 percent three-point shooting efficiency was a season high and tied their second-best mark ever in a playoff game. They won in overtime at Toronto in 2016 after shooting 8-of-11 (72.7 percent).

It was also a season-high for the Bucks this year, surpassing their previous record set in Game 5 of the 2021 NBA Finals when the Phoenix Suns hammered Milwaukee with 13-of-19 three-pointers (68.4 percent).

Bam Adebayo contributed 22 points, nine rebounds, and seven assists to the victory, the Heat’s first in Milwaukee but their third in five meetings with the Bucks this season. Jimmy Butler finished with 35 points.

The Bucks lost despite Khris Middleton’s 33 points and Jrue Holiday’s double-double of 16 points and 16 assists. The Bucks haven’t trailed 2-0 in a playoff series since they defeated the Suns in a best-of-seven series by sweeping the final four games in 2021.

Kyle Lowry, a Miami guard, is questionable for tonight with a left knee injury. Miami will try to win for the seventh time in nine games. The Heat is 4-2 ATS over their last six games, but they are 4-9 ATS in their last 13 road games.

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