If there was only one half of basketball, then the Miami Heat would’ve came out victorious. But it doesn’t work out that way. After leading by as many as 23 points, the Milwaukee Bucks made a huge comeback to get back into the game. And they never looked back. It was Milwaukee’s first victory over the Heat this season. The Heat are now 43-26 for the season and still remain in the fourth seed in the East.
Here’s my takeaways from Thursday’s loss to the Bucks.
The team was without Jimmy Butler and Goran Dragic on Thursday. Butler sat out due to a foot injury, which is reportedly not serious. Dragic suffered a sprained ankle on Tuesday and was likely out as a precaution. Both players could be back in time before the playoffs start. KZ Okpala and Gabe Vincent were also out.
Miami most definitely could’ve used both Butler and Dragic during the team’s second half meltdown. They needed a go to guy whenever the offense was stalled.
Unlike years past, Miami has players that can shoot the basketball. Miami entered Thursday’s game with the league’s highest three point percentage at 38.2. They shot 21 of 46 from beyond the arc against Milwaukee. The majority of the shooting came in the first half when the team shot 13 of 24 from deep. Unfortunately, the shooting cooled down in the second half.
Three point shooting has been a huge reason why Miami has had success against the Bucks. The Bucks allow the most three point attempts in the league at 39.3 per game. That’s because Milwaukee’s defense focuses on protecting the paint.
No answer for Giannis Antetokounmpo
No team frustrates Giannis Antetokounmpo like the Heat. In the team’s first two games against the Bucks this season, Miami has done a good job of containing Giannis. However, Thursday was a different story. Despite being in foul trouble, Giannis still scored 33 points on 77 percent shooting.
The Heat’s best defender Bam Adebayo was in foul trouble. He picked up his fourth foul with nine minutes left in the third period. Adebayo couldn’t get into a rhythm, finishing the game six points, five rebounds, and six assists in 22 minutes of action.
Even though they lost, there were some positives to take away from the game. One of them being the depth the team has. Miami’s depth was on full display against the Bucks on Thursday. With Butler and Dragic out, it opened up minutes for Derrick Jones Jr and Solomon Hill. Jones Jr played double-digit minutes for the second consecutive game. He finished with 12 points and four rebounds.
Tyler Herro and Andre Iguodala were very impressive. As the Heat’s primary ball-handler off the bench, Herro scored 20 points on 6 of 12 shooting to go with four rebounds and five assists. Iguodala ended up with 12 points, seven rebounds, and eight assists.
Next up: The Phoenix Suns on Saturday. Game tips off at 7:30pmET.
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