Milwaukee Bucks vs Miami Heat: Predictions, Odds and Roster Notes

How to Watch

What: Milwaukee Bucks at Miami Heat

Where: American Airlines Arena in Miami, FL

When: Friday, March 15th at 8:00 PM EST

How (TV/Radio): NBA TV, Fox Sports Wisconsin, Fox Sports Sun | 790 The Ticket / S: WAQI 710 AM, Fox Sports Wisconsin

Milwaukee Bucks (Away)

Head Coach: Mike Budenholzer {All-Time 264-214 | ATL, MIL}

The Milwaukee Bucks maintain as the top team in the NBA and the Eastern Conference. With a record of 51-17, the Bucks have a solid 2.5 game lead over the Toronto Raptors who are second place in the East. Milwaukee has also clinched the playoffs, setting themselves up for a comfortable run for the end of the season.

Milwaukee has also not taken their foot off the gas pedal. Over their last ten games, the Bucks are 7-3 with impressive wins over the Pacers, Hornets, and Pelicans. They have stumbled as of late with losses to the Jazz, Suns, and Spurs, but the Bucks have built themselves a comfortable enough lead that they haven’t lost any ground.

When the Milwaukee Bucks take on the Miami Heat they are facing off with the eighth-place team in the Eastern Conference. This may be a preview of the Eastern Conference first round of the playoffs, between the 1st and 8th seeds. The Bucks need to be wary, as the Heat are still at threat of falling out of the playoffs and are sure to try to secure their place.

Miami Heat (Home)

Head Coach: Erik Spoelstra {All-Time 516-355 | MIA}

The Miami Heat are currently sitting eighth in the Eastern Conference. With a record of 32-35, the Miami Heat are just 1.5 games ahead of the Orlando Magic who are ninth in the East. Without a playoff spot locked up, they can’t yet rest going into the final stretch of the season.

Over the span of their recent matches, the Miami Heat have done their best to maintain their place in the Eastern Conference playoff race. In their last ten games, the Miami Heat are 6-4 with a solid run of wins against the Nets, Hawks, Hornets, Cavs, and Pistons. They only lost once in their last six to the Toronto Raptors.

The Miami Heat are in a dangerous position when they take on the Milwaukee Bucks. They have split the season series to this point with a close win and a blowout loss to the Bucks. Milwaukee are sure to put up a good performance after their last performance against the Heat, but Miami will be motivated to not drop a game with the playoff race so close.

What’s At Stake?

In the all-time series the Miami Heat have dominated the Milwaukee Bucks. Over 110 games the Heat lead the Bucks 68-42.

A win for the Milwaukee Bucks would return them to three games above the Toronto Raptors at first in the Eastern Conference.

A win for the Miami Heat would give them a two-game lead over the Orlando Magic who trail them at ninth in the Eastern Conference.

Questions to answer

How did the Bucks beat the Pels while shooting so poor?

How can the Miami Heat defeat the Bucks?

We are going to compare the Milwaukee Bucks and the Miami Heat in an attempt to see who has the advantage in this matchup.

The Bucks Shot 28% From Three

The Milwaukee Bucks defeated the New Orleans Pelicans 130-113. In that match, six different Bucks scored in double figures, despite shooting 29% from the floor and 28% from three. Luckily for the Bucks, when Anthony Davis left the court there was no holding on for the Pelicans.

Important for the Milwaukee Bucks was their performance in the third quarter. After leading at the half by only eight points, the Milwaukee Bucks were able to put together a 45 point third quarter off the back of 29 free throw attempts on the game.

The Miami Heat are a more capable defensive team than the New Orleans Pelicans. They are second in the league in field-goal percentage allowed but are 23rd in three-point percentage allowed. The Heat like to pack the paint, so it is important for the Bucks to convert on their opportunities from range.

The Season Series is 1-1

In two recent matches the Miami Heat lost to the Toronto Raptors by 21 and defeated the Detroit Pistons by 38. While inconsistent, the Miami Heat have been noticed in the lead. Especially by Giannis Antetokounmpo and the Milwaukee Bucks. The Greek Freak was quoted:

“This definitely is a team that we might face in the first round of the playoffs, so we’ve definitely got to be locked in and go out there and play the best basketball we can play and send a message.”

The Milwaukee Bucks play a style of basketball that is contrary to the Miami Heat’s strengths. They avoid inefficient two-pointers and settle for open three-point attempts off of the penetration of their star Antetokounmpo. If the Heat want to win, they may be better served focusing on the offensive end, rather than handcuffing themselves by packing the paint against the Bucks.

Milwaukee Bucks Roster Notes

G Sterling Brown – 12 Mar 2019 – Day To Day (Wrist) – Brown did not play in Tuesday’s game (Mar. 12).

G George Hill – 12 Mar 2019 – Day To Day (Adductor) – Hill did not play in Tuesday’s game (Mar. 12).

Miami Heat Roster Notes

The Miami Heat have no roster injuries to note.

Head-to-Head: Eric Bledsoe (MIL) vs Justise Winslow (MIA)

Keep an eye out on the point guards on the court when Eric Bledsoe and Justise Winslow face off. They are two sides of the coin for the modern NBA point guard, lightning quick Eric Bledsoe and the tall and athletic Justise Winslow are looking to make an impact on the game.

Eric Bledsoe

Point Guard | 6-1, 205lb (185cm, 92kg) | Kentucky | Exp. 8 Years

15.8 PPG | 5.4 APG | 4.7 RPG | 1.4 SPG | 0.3 BPG | 2.0 TOV | .490 FG% | .317 3P%

The once touted “Mini-LeBron” has finally found himself with the Milwaukee Bucks and was rewarded with a long-term contract. Bledsoe has been steady in recent games, playing less than thirty minutes in each but still contributing at least 11 points and 5 assists in his last five games. He will have the added responsibility of guarding Dion Waiters, a dangerous wing scorer.

Justise Winslow

Point Guard | 6-7, 225lb (201cm, 102kg) | Duke | Exp. 3 Years

12.6 PPG | 4.3 APG | 5.5 RPG | 1.1 SPG | 0.3 BPG | 2.1 TOV | .435 FG% | .379 3P%

Justise Winslow entered the league without a defined position and now seemingly enters the playoffs with the most unexpected role for him, point guard. At 6-7, 225lbs Winslow is more power forward than point guard. But his ball security, passing intelligence, and physicality at the guard position makes him an incredibly capable choice. So much so that Spoelstra has deployed him full time at the position to the tune of career highs across the board.

Milwaukee Bucks at Miami Heat Predictions and Odds

The odds makers have the Milwaukee Bucks favored over the Miami Heat by 4.5, with a 115 for the under and a 105 for the over.