The Miami Heat pulled off the most shocking upset of the 2023 NBA Playoffs so far with a Game 1 victory over the Milwaukee Bucks. They beat the No.1 overall seed by a score of 130-117, leading the entire way besides a Bucks 4-2 advantage at the very start of the game. The Heat were led by Jimmy Butler, as he scored 35 points on 15-27 shooting from the field, while also dishing out 11 assists along the way. The Heat also got 22 points, 9 rebounds and 7 assists from Bam Adebayo, while Kevin Love came in off the bench and scored 18 points. After a suspect showing in the 2023 NBA Play-In Tournament, the Heat proved the doubters wrong by ambushing the Bucks and taking Game 1.
Although the Heat came out victorious, the win was bittersweet, as they joined the Bucks in absorbing new injury woes. Tyler Herro dove for a loose ball late in the first half and sustained a broken right hand, unfortunately knocking him out for at least the next four to six weeks. The Bucks lost star Giannis Antetokounmpo in the first half as well with a back injury, although his ailment looks to be less long-term. However, his status for Game 2 is uncertain, and there is a possibility he misses the second installment of the series. If Antetokounmpo is out, the Heat will have a golden opportunity to shock the NBA world and return to Miami with a 2-0 lead over the Bucks. Regardless if they win or not, here are 3 bold predictions for the Miami Heat in Game 2 of the 2023 NBA Playoffs first round series vs. the Milwaukee Bucks.
*Watch NBA games LIVE with fuboTV (click for free trial)*
*Stats via ESPN
Duncan Robinson hits 5+ 3-pointers for the Miami Heat
Duncan Robinson saw a significant dip in playing time this season, as he seemed to have lost confidence in the coaching staff, and quite frankly himself. He averaged the least amount of minutes and played in the least amount of games since the 2018-2019 season, shooting a career-low 37.1 % from the field. He was not expected to play a major role in the 2023 NBA Playoffs for the Heat, but the injury to Herro now changes that. He saw 6 minutes in Game 1, and hit his only attempt from beyond the arc. In Game 2, his minutes will rise again, and his performance will be reminiscent of 2019 Duncan Robinson. When Game 2 ends, Robinson will have hit at least 5 3-pointers.
The injury to Tyler Herro is a brutal blow for the Heat, especially after Herro came out with 12 points in a strong first half showing. However, the silver lining is that Robinson is going to have to play, and consequently return to a form that the Heat have been desperately missing. The Heat were one of the worst three-point shooting teams this season, and Robinson will fill a much needed void with Herro out. After his 5+ 3-point performance in Game 2, Robinson will insert himself back into the rotation vs. the Bucks and potentially beyond in the 2o23 NBA Playoffs.
Jimmy Butler has a triple-double vs. the Milwaukee Bucks
Jimmy Butler has made a name for himself for his playoff performances. In Game 1 vs. the Bucks, he continued the trend, by far and away the best player on either side of the court. His 35 point, 11 assist double-double paced the game for the Heat, and he looked unstoppable on his way to shooting well over 50%. In Game 2, Butler is going to follow up his double-double performance by besting himself with a triple-double.
Butler will most likely have to take on even more slack than he already has given the Herro injury, although this won’t be an issue for him. Every time the playoffs come around, Butler steps his game up and becomes one of the most feared players on the planet. His intense work ethic and determination for greatness has been well documented, so his ability to elevate his game in the bigger moments comes as no surprise. He will continue to do so in Game 2, finishing with a triple-double vs. the Milwaukee Bucks.
Heat break franchise scoring record set in Game 1
The Miami Heat are not known as an offensive juggernaut, and put on two very sluggish offensive displays in the 2023 NBA Play-In Tournament. Much of the same was expected from them in Game 1, but they flipped the script to the tune of 130 points and a franchise record for team scoring in an NBA Playoffs game. They will officially begin a hot streak in Game 2, surpassing 130 points and setting a franchise scoring record for the second straight game.
If Giannis Antetokounmpo can’t go in Wednesday’s game, the Heat will be salivating at the opportunity that lies ahead of them. This urgency will propel them to stay hot behind the arc, as they went 15-25 from 3-point land on their way towards a Game 1 victory. No Giannis will keep the Heat aggressive, and confident playing will lead to success shooting the ball. In the end, another uncharacteristically strong offensive performance from the Heat will result, as they will score more than 130 points and set another franchise playoff scoring record.