This Bucks playoff series continues on to the 3 seed in the eastern conference, the Miami Heat. The Bucks won the regular season series 2-1 this season and actually swept Miami last season. Making that 6-1 against them in the last two years. No this is not LeBron’s Heat anymore that Brandon Jennings claimed we would be in 6 games. This is a different, less dominant team. Let’s see how they stack up.
Projected Heat Lineup
Goran Dragic, 6’3”
Dwyane Wade, 6’4”
Luol Deng, 6’9”
Chris Bosh, 6’11”
Hassan Whiteside, 7’
This lineup was the most used this regular season by Miami. Since Chris Bosh has been plagued with the blood clots, he has not played since early 2016, this lineup has changed and sees Whiteside coming off the bench, as well as Amar’e Stoudemire starting. This is a very veteran driven team. Wade, Deng, Stoudemire, Joe Johnson and Chris Bosh. That will be the deciding factor in this series because of the experience in the playoffs. Milwaukee is much younger obviously. Also rim protection is key, Whiteside and Stoudemire are big down there which will not make it easy on Milwaukee. Whiteside lead the league in blocks by far with 3.7 per game. This lineup is not as tall and long as the Bucks but they play like it, blocking 7 shots per game.
Matchup to Watch
This matchup really only goes for when the Heat have the ball, but Giannis Antetokounmpo VS Dwyane Wade is a big factor. Giannis spent the three games this season guarding Wade while mostly being guarded by Bosh and Deng. In the three games vs Miami, the Greek Freak averaged 22 points, 7 rebounds and 6 assists. Very solid numbers, while also igniting his teammates with a few posters thrown down on Bosh and Whiteside. Wade put up only 14.7 points on the Bucks. That is a big guy to slow down and that will alter this series.
How the Bucks Stack up
The Bucks have dominated Miami since LeBron left. Though this is still a very good team, the Bucks stack up very well with them. The Bucks do not defend the three well, but the Heat do not shoot the three well. Miami only makes 6 threes a game which is relatively low. The Bucks are not going to kill any team from out there either so the three point shot is almost irrelevant in this series. The Heat like to get out and run, as do the Bucks. Milwaukee also defends relatively well in transition. Where as guarding Milwaukee in transition is not so easy. The entire roster can run the floor very well including some of the bigs, excluding Monroe. If the Bucks can force some turnovers and get out in transition, which they have done well against Miami, they will dominate that aspect. At this point based off of the regular season, obviously the Bucks win this series. The Playoffs are a whole new animal though, the playoff experience of Miami is unmatched by Milwaukee. It comes down to playing good basketball. This series is a toss up at this point.
Own the Future
This has been the phrase surrounding Bucks basketball for a few years now after entering the rebuilding stage that has worked out well to this point. The Bucks in the future will own this Heat team. In four years, the Bucks have three potential all-stars. In four years the Heat will be quite experience, maybe too experienced. Age is climbing for every solid player they have aside from Whiteside and Winslow. That does not mean that new guys won’t be in Miami by then. As it stands though, Giannis, Khris, and Jabari are all getting better very fast. The big man situation will be figured out and will have someone guarding the point guard spot. This series will be much easier for Milwaukee, owning the Heat in the future.