The Miami Heat’s regular-season success against the Milwaukee Bucks last year ended up functioning as a precise indicator of what a playoff series between the two teams might look like.
However, the Heat’s expectation is its initial matchup from the Bucks this year is merely a one-game blip.
After removing top-seeded Milwaukee in the next round of last year’s playoffs, the Heat (1-2) was defeated from the Bucks 144-97 from the teams’ first matchup this year Tuesday at AmericanAirlines Arena. The 47-point reduction is tied to the Heat’s second-most lopsided defeat in franchise history, just behind a 68-point loss to the Cleveland Cavaliers in 1991, and it is the most significant road win in Bucks history.
“It was fairly clear to everyone in the stadium and anyone that was watching that match, at least to the initial 20 minutes of this that they were playing in another urgency and intensity level,” Heat coach Erik Spoelstra said. “It seemed like they have been considering this match for 80 days”
The Heat was Jimmy Butler on Tuesday from the Bucks (2-2) due to a sprained ankle.
Miami never led to the match, and Milwaukee led by as many as 51 points at a record-setting performance. The Bucks shot 55.4 percent from the field and place a new NBA single-game album with 29 created threes, surpassing the previous mark of 27 made threes determined by the Houston Rockets on April 7, 2019.
“I think only making instant attempts and only making that extra effort to maintain the paintto have the ability to prevent Giannis from becoming downhill then really sprinting out into the three-point line for into the shooters,” Heat guard Tyler Herro said of their defensive issues that caused the Bucks’ record-setting nighttime by three-point selection. “It is not simple. They have a very lively team where they can take and put it in the paint”
The Heat also committed 22 turnovers the Bucks turned to 31 points.
“That is the easiest way I can place it.”
Milwaukee was notable despite only nine points and six rebounds out of two-time reigning MVP Giannis Antetokounmpo.