Game: Milwaukee Bucks @ Miami Heat
Time: 7:30 p.m.
Odds: Bucks -5.5, Heat +5.5
At a time when the best player on each team is battling an injury, the Miami Heat will aim to take a decisive lead in their first-round series with the Milwaukee Bucks. When the two Eastern Conference rivals meet for Game 4 tonight in Miami, the Bucks hope to see Giannis Antetokounmpo back on the court. Eighth-seeded Heat are up 2-1 in the series.
With his lower back injury, Antetokounmpo is listed as questionable after missing the previous two games. Heat star Jimmy Butler has a bruised glute and is listed as questionable for Miami. The top-seeded Bucks split the two games Antetokounmpo missed because of an injury sustained in Game 1.
Despite not practicing on Sunday, Antetokounmpo was able to complete individual work, according to Milwaukee coach Mike Budenholzer. The team will continue to keep an eye on the two-time league MVP’s health, according to Budenholzer.
The Bucks struggled on Saturday as Miami crushed them 121-99 without their star. Milwaukee struggled against the Heat’s defensive strategies, trailing by as many as 29 points and committing 18 turnovers, including five each by Jrue Holiday and Khris Middleton.
Butler is averaging 30 points per game in the playoffs and had 30 in just 28 minutes on Saturday. With just over four minutes remaining in the third quarter, he was hurt on a fall after driving for a basket and left the game permanently shortly thereafter.
In Game 3, Duncan Robinson scored 20 points on 5-of-6 shooting from beyond the arc. Given that the Heat are lacking on the perimeter, Robinson will likely get more looks in Game 4. The Heat are also ailing with Tyler Herro, Victor Oladipo, and Bam Adebayo all injured. Herro suffered a broken right hand in Game 1. Oladipo suffered a torn patellar tendon in his left knee in Game 3. Oladipo’s injury occurred during a drive to the basket when his knee gave out and he fell forcefully beneath the basket.
Adebayo is not fully recovered from a left hamstring injury, but he is listed as probable for tonight’s game.
In the meantime, Miami head coach Erik Spoelstra stated that a number of roster and game plans will be implemented depending on whether Antetokounmpo plays for Milwaukee, who won the NBA title just two seasons ago.
The Bucks are now just 1-4 SU and ATS in their last five games. On the road in Miami, the Bucks have lost the last five straight games. Miami, on the other hand, is 7-3 SU in its last 10 games. The Heat have covered four of their last six games and they are 4-1 ATS in their last five games played at home.
Each of Milwaukee’s last five game totals has gone Over. The Bucks’ normally strong defense has not been playing well. In their last five games, Milwaukee has allowed at least 121 points and has given up an average of 126.2 points per game. That’s why the Bucks have just one win in those five games.
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