Miami Heat vs Milwaukee Bucks Game 1 Predictions, Odds & Picks
- The Miami Heat enter this series after sweeping the Indiana Pacers in the first round.
- After losing Game 1 in the first round to the Orlando Magic, the Milwaukee Bucks won four straight to progress to the next round.
- Giannis Antetokounmpo was named the 2019-2020 NBA Defensive Player of the Year
Heat vs Bucks Odds
|Team||Point Spread||Total||Money Line|
|Miami Heat||+5.5 -110||O 223 -112||+200|
|Milwaukee Bucks||-5.5 -110||U 223 -109||-240|
Odds from DraftKings. Get up to a $1,000 sign-up bonus at DraftKings today or check out more offers and promo codes for the best online sportsbooks.
Heat vs Bucks Predictions and Picks
Expect a closely contested match between two of the best teams in the Eastern Conference. While the Miami Heat is strong defensively, we expect the Bucks to overcome them with their high-powered offense.
How to Watch Heat vs Bucks
|Miami Heat vs Milwaukee Bucks Information|
|What||Miami Heat vs Milwaukee Bucks|
|Where||ESPN Wide World of Sports, Orlando, FL|
|When||Monday, August 31st, 2020; 6:30 PM EST|
|How to Watch/Listen||TNT|
Head-to-Head: Miami Heat vs Milwaukee Bucks
|Miami Heat||Head-to-Head||Milwaukee Bucks|
|Erik Spoelstra||Head Coach||Mike Budenholzer|
|44-29 (5th in East, 11th Overall)||Standing||56-17 (1st in East, 1st Overall)|
|112.5 (7th of 30)||Off Rtg||112.4 (8th of 30)|
|109.5 (11th of 30)||Def Rtg||102.9 (1st of 30)|
|98.3 (27th of 30)||Pace||105.1 (1st of 30)|
Playoff Leaders (Per Game)
|G. Dragic (22.8)||PPG||G. Antetokounmpo (30.6)|
|B. Adebayo (11.3)||RPG||G. Antetokounmpo (16.0)|
|B. Adebayo (5.3)||APG||E. Bledsoe (6.6)|
|J. Butler (2.5)||SPG||E. Bledsoe (1.4)|
|T-Adebayo, Iguodala (1.3)||BPG||B. Lopez (1.2)|
|A. Iguodala (.636)/G. Dragic (9.0)||FG%/FGM||R. Lopez (.750)/G. Antetokounmpo (11.8)|
|J. Butler (.571)/T-Dragic, Robinson (3.0)||3P%/3PM||M. Williams (.615)/T-Matthews, Middleton (2.4)|
Can the Heat Find Success in the Paint?
The Miami Heat are a talented basketball team on both ends of the court due to their versatility and depth. The Florida representatives move the ball beautifully but are most successful when they can penetrate the lane and find success in the paint.
The Milwaukee Bucks are one of the biggest teams in the NBA, boasting a frontline of Lopez, Antetokounmpo, and Middleton. While the Heat are loaded with shooters, it will be up to the talents of Jimmy Butler and Goran Dragic to penetrate inside and create opportunities for their shooters.
Miami’s only true big off the bench is Kelly Olynyk, an almost hockey-Esque grinder with a three-point shot. If the Heat can find a way to beat the Bucks at the rim, it’ll open up even more opportunities offensively. If not, it’ll be a long night for Miami’s not-so-talented isolation scorers.
Can the Bucks Make-Up for their Regular Season Shortcomings Against the Heat?
The Milwaukee Bucks struggled against the Heat during the regular season. They were just 1-2 against them this year, mostly due to Miami’s offensive organization and size on the defensive side of the ball.
Against Miami this season, the Bucks were even with them in the rebounding battle, but made fewer threes and committed more turnovers on average. Milwaukee struggled with Miami’s versatility on the defensive end, able to throw the likes of Adebayo, Crowder, Butler, and Jones Jr. on Giannis for extended periods.
Milwaukee needs to be able to create space for their shooters if they want to defeat the Heat. Seeing a packed paint should be commonplace for the Wisconsin-based franchise, so methodical yet dynamic ball movement will be key to their success.
Heat Key Player: (G) Goran Dragic
— Bleacher Report (@BleacherReport) August 25, 2020
Overlooked due to his injury issues during the regular season, Dragic came on to lead the Heat in scoring during their first-round series against the Indiana Pacers.
In their four-game sweep, the Slovenian point guard averaged 22.8 points, 5.0 assists, and 1.3 steals per game on 48% shooting from the field and 41.4% shooting from deep.
He’ll have to overcome a stalwart defender in Eric Bledsoe at the point of attack. However, Dragic’s offensive creativity is Miami’s best chance at tearing down the steadfast Milwaukee defense.
Bucks Key Player: (F) Khris Middleton
Middleton is on fire in the 4th! 🔥 pic.twitter.com/ZjL08b5knp
— NBA TV (@NBATV) August 24, 2020
Milwaukee Bucks All-Star and forward Khris Middleton needs to establish himself from the outset if the Bucks want to take control of this series. He opened up his first round series against the Orlando Magic slowly, but grew into the series as it wore on.
In Middleton’s first two games against the Magic in round one, he was a combined five of 20 from the field. In his last three games, Middleton shot a more respectable 21 of 52. Still room to improve, but he was noticeably more aggressive.
The Heat love to pack the paint against the Bucks and Antetokounmpo, this is where Middleton will be crucial. If he can act as both a bail out option for Antetokounmpo as well as a secondary playmaker, the Heat’s initial success in blitzing the Greek Freak won’t be found.
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Christian Jope is a writer, social media strategist, and data analyst. A Queen’s University Alumni, Christian is an author and social media strategist with Raptors Cage, while also working closely with MLSE and Canada Basketball through community-driven events.