Our Heat season companion part 17 finds the Heat tied 1-1 in their first-round series against the Bucks. The Heat won game 1 130-117 and the Bucks won game 2 138-122. Giannis left game 1 early and didn’t play at all in game 2. Let’s dive deeper into the first two games of this series.
Heat Season Companion Part 17: Jimmy Butler Scored 35 Points in Game 1
There were many factors that contributed to the Heat’s game 1 win against the Bucks. However, Jimmy Butler’s performance was critical, as he scored 35 points on 15/27 shooting and played his typically great defense. Additionally, Butler had 11 assists in game 1, so he was setting up his teammates well.
Butler has stepped up in the playoffs many times for the Heat and was the primary reason why the Heat made it to the Eastern Conference Finals last season. It is great to see Butler play well against the Bucks. This is especially encouraging given that the Bucks are an excellent defensive team.
The Heat Shot 60% from Three-Point Range in Game 1
Another factor in the Heat’s game 1 win was their 60% shooting from three-point range. Three-point shooting is a significant factor in the outcome of an NBA game these days, as is widely known. Gabe Vincent shot 4/5 from three-point range and Kevin Love shot 4/7 from three-point range off the bench. Also, Caleb Martin made two 3s off the bench, as well.
The Bucks’ paint defense is excellent. As a result, the Heat will have to continue to shoot well from three-point range to pull off the first-round upset. The Bucks’ drop coverage also gives the Heat opportunities for three-point shots on a regular basis.
Heat Season Companion Part 17: The Bucks Shot 51% from Three-Point Range in Game 2
The Bucks recovered from their extremely poor three-point shooting in game 1. By contrast, the Bucks shot 51% from three-point range in game 2, going 25/49 from three-point range. Pat Connaughton shot 6/10 from three-point range and Joe Ingles shot 5/6 from three-point range in game 2. It is quite difficult to beat a team when they shoot this well from three-point range.
Khris Middleton Only Scored 16 Points in Game 2
Game 2 was a bad loss for the Heat, no matter how one looks at it. However, one positive from Game 2 for the Heat was that Khris Middleton only scored 16 points on 6/16 shooting. Slowing him down will be crucial for the Heat in order to upset the Bucks. Hopefully, the Heat can continue slowing down Middleton for the remainder of the series.
The Heat Return to Miami for Games 3 and 4
The series shifts to Miami for Games 3 and 4. The Heat have played much better at home than on the road and their winning ways at home will have to continue for the Heat to upset the Bucks. I would bet on Butler scoring at least 20 points in Game 3, regardless of the outcome.
Check back next week for more Miami Heat content.