The Milwaukee Bucks suffered a surprising upset loss to the Miami Heat in Game 1 of their opening round series of the 2023 NBA Playoffs. To add salt to the wound, Giannis Antetokounmpo suffered a back injury late in the first quarter and was ruled out for the rest of the game. His playing status for Game 2 is now in jeopardy, and the Bucks will be in a serious predicament if he isn't able to play. Without Antetokounmpo, the Bucks will have to grind out a win to avoid going down 2-0 before they are set to travel to Miami for games 3 and 4. Fortunately for the Bucks, they were 11-8 in games this season without Antetokounmpo, so they have demonstrated the ability to pull out victories regardless of the Greek Freak.

Of course, the Bucks would rather have Antetokounmpo than not. Without their star forward, they relied heavily on Khris Middleton in Game 1, who put forth a solid effort. He finished with 33 points, 9 rebounds and 4 assists, while shooting an efficient  12-20 from the field. Point guard Jrue Holiday had a rough day shooting the ball, however dialed up a massive 16 assists to go along with his 16 points. The only other bright spot in the Bucks rotation was Bobby Portis, who came in off the bench and dropped 21 points and 8 rebounds. In the end, none of these performances were enough without Antetokounmpo to propel the Bucks over the Heat. With or without Antetokounmpo, this series looks like it will be a competitive one, starting again with Game 2. For the Bucks, here are 3 bold predictions ahead of Game 2 vs. the Heat in the 2023 NBA Playoffs.

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*Stats via ESPN

The Milwaukee Bucks shoot over 50% from the 3-point-line

The Milwaukee Bucks were one of the best 3-point shooting teams in the NBA this season. They averaged 14.8 3-pointers per game on 40.3 attempts, leading to a 36.8% mark from beyond the arc. This helped the Bucks score a whopping 116.9 points per game, giving them the eighth highest scoring offense in the NBA, and the third highest scoring offense in the East. In Game 1 against the Heat, they were nowhere near their regular season averages, and it showed in their offensive output. They were 11-45 from the 3-point line for a 24.4% mark from deep. This is simply not a sustainable average for a team that shoots so many 3s, and necessitates improvement if they are going to keep chucking. Fortunately for Bucks fans, they will shoot the ball much better in Game 2.

Once Game 2 comes to a close, the Bucks will have an over 50% mark from 3-point land, and will make over 20 3s total for the contest. With or without Antetokounmpo, this will give the Bucks a much better chance of coming away with a win and successfully executing their style of basketball. Sometimes, shots just don't seem to go in, and that was the case in Game 1. In Game 2, the Bucks will take the lid off the basket and drain 3s all game long.

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Jrue Holiday has 30 points against the Miami Heat

Jrue Holiday can score with the best of them in the NBA, however he has not been known as a prolific scorer throughout his career. He has always filled the role of a playmaker and a stout defender at the point guard position, giving his team buckets when the time is right. This year he averaged 19.3 points, 7.4 assists, and 5.1 rebounds over 67 games, executing strong guard play all season long for the Bucks. He did go for a career-high 51 points on March 29th against the Indiana Pacers, so he is not that far removed from an elite scoring effort. In Game 2, Holiday is going to channel that area of his game and finish with over 30 points.

30 points would be a very strong effort from Holiday, especially if Antetokounmpo is not able to go. This type of scoring output from Holiday would be huge for the Bucks, as it would take pressure off of Middleton to pick up the slack without Antetokounmpo. In general, the Bucks need a more efficient showing Tuesday against the Heat, and 30 from Holiday would be just what the doctor ordered. In a big Game 2 to avoid going down 2-0, Jrue Holiday is going for at least 30 points.

Goran Dragic hits a huge crunch time shot

Goran Dragic is in the leaner years of his career, and doesn't expect to see many minutes in the 2023 NBA Playoffs. He was acquired late in the season from the Chicago Bulls to add experience to the roster, and that is pretty much all he has done so far. He didn't see any minutes in Game 1, but that is going to change in Game 2. With the game on the line late in the fourth quarter, Dragic is going to come in and hit a clutch shot to give the Bucks a lead.

This would be a big moment for Dragic, as he spent the majority of his career playing with the Miami Heat. Dragic has never won a championship, and he is hoping to ride the Bucks' coattails towards a ring before he calls it quits on his career. In Game 2, he is going to hit a clutch shot in surprise minutes for the Bucks, allowing him a little piece of this year's Bucks' playoff run.