The Miami Heat and the Milwaukee Bucks’ Eastern Conference first-round series wrapped up quickly. The Bucks took a commanding 3-0 series lead and ultimately completed the sweep in South Beach. Miami pulled off the upset in this series in last year’s playoffs, but they couldn’t recreate that magic. Let’s take a look at the final odds for the series, including our mid-series prediction.
Heat vs. Bucks Series Odds (5/25)
Miami Heat (+680)
Milwaukee Bucks (-1200)
Miami Heat +1.5 (+300)
Milwaukee Bucks -1.5 (-400)
When Series Will Finish (Updated 5/28)
Game 4 -170
Game 5 +260
Game 6 +1200
Game 7 +1200
Heat vs. Bucks Round 1 Schedule
Game 1: MIA 107-109 MIL
Game 2: MIA 98-132 MIL
Game 3: MIL 113-84 MIA
Game 4: MIL 120-103 MIA
No. 3 Milwaukee Bucks
The Milwaukee Bucks soared to a 3-0 series lead behind dominant performances in Game 2 and Game 3. The 34-point victory in Game 2 showed that this team is hungry to avenge the loss that they suffered to this same Miami Heat team in last year’s postseason. Milwaukee has had championship aspirations for the past few seasons and hasn’t been able to get over the hump. They were the highest-scoring team in all of basketball during the regular season, which was the main catalyst in earning the three seed in the postseason. The defense was always an issue for this club, but Game 2 showed that they’re beginning to pick up the intensity on that end of the floor.
The Bucks poured it on the Heat from deep in Game 2, shooting 22 of 53 from beyond the arc. Milwaukee set the record for most three-pointers ever made by a team in a playoff game. After the close call in Game 1, the Bucks seemed to snatch the momentum in this series and certainly won’t let up. Giannis is playing like his usual self and with elite contributions down the line from guys like Bryn Forbes, this team looks virtually unstoppable right now.
No. 6 Miami Heat
The Miami Heat seemed demoralized in Game 2 after a devastating defeat in the series opener. Miami pushed Game 1 into overtime after an uncharacteristic 10-second free throw violation call and 13 missed free throws by Milwaukee. They shot much better than the Bucks from deep and forced 17 turnovers and still lost. That can’t be an easy pill for any team to swallow. Despite the heartbreak, the Heat still had a chance to steal a game on the road and even the series. They absolutely fell apart in Game 2 and got torched from deep. Miami will need a huge bounce-back performance in Game 4 in order to regain momentum, but it’s probably too late.
It’ll really be up to Miami’s stellar defense to keep games within striking distance down the stretch. Miami gave up the fifth-fewest points per game in the league this season and played especially well on their home court. Their offensive struggles through the first three games aren’t surprising as they’ve leaned on their defense all season long. This Miami team doesn’t possess a superstar threat on the offensive end and without Victor Oladipo, it’ll be tough to create offense consistently. Jimmy Butler and Bam Adebayo will have to elevate their game to another level to match the production of Giannis, Kris Middleton, and the rest of the juggernaut Bucks roster if they want to make this a series.
Game 3 update: The Bucks followed up their Game 2 blowout of the Heat with another dominant outing in Game 3, demolishing Miami by a final score of 113-84. Milwaukee put the clamps on the Heat defensively, leading to easy transition opportunities and contributions from the entire roster. It’s no longer a matter of if, but when the Bucks will avenge their second-round series loss to the Heat in 2020.
Game 4 update: The Bucks made quick work of the Heat in Game 4, cruising to a 120-103 win and a series sweep.
Heat vs. Bucks Series Prediction and Pick (5/25)
Both teams were hot heading into the postseason and the 2-0 series lead may be misleading in a sense. Game 1 was very competitive and Game 2 was a result that the Bucks are capable of pulling off on any given night. Miami reminded us during their postseason run last year that defense is still what wins championships. The Heat can defend with the best of them and should be able to squeak out a game or two behind elite defensive performances. Milwaukee’s momentum and abilities will be too much for the Heat to handle at the end of the day, though. Take the Bucks to cover the spread for some added value.
Heat vs. Bucks Final Series Picks (5/25)
Series Winner: Milwaukee Bucks (-1200)
Series Spread: Milwaukee Bucks -1.5 (-400)