The Eastern Conference Semifinals are about to begin with such an intriguing series between the Miami Heat and Milwaukee Bucks set to begin Monday. The Heat won the season series against the Bucks 2-1 but the only loss occurred with Jimmy Butler and Goran Dragic both out. The game was highly competitive and it should be an indication that this will be a hard fought series. I’ll be going over some of Miami’s keys to beat the Bucks in this highly anticipated series.
Limit Giannis Antetokounmpo
So this first one seems impossible as no can stop the soon to be two time MVP and current defensive player of the year, but no other team has done as good a job as the Miami Heat in limiting him. Miami has a plethora of permitter wing defenders they can put on the Greek Freak. The best option during the regular season was Bam Adebayo. Bam played sensational defense of Giannis giving him issues in some of the matchups. Of course you the run the risk of having you’re most crucial player in foul trouble early. I expect Miami to save this matchup for late game situations and rather use large wings like Jae Crowder, Derrick Jones Jr, and Andre Iguodala to share time on him.
Get Duncan Robinson Open
The biggest surprise of the season for the Heat has been the phenomenal shooting of Duncan Robinson this season. He was tied third for most made threes this season in only his second year in the league. Miami plays so much better when Duncan is getting looks from three, The Heat have been extremely effective with the dribble hand off between Bam Adebayo and Duncan this season. Duncan having the ball just opens up the game for the everyone else because he constantly draws so much attention from defenders. Duncan has also improved with his back door cuts in timely situations finding ways to get open while be face guarded from the moment he steps across the half court line. A key factor in this series will be how much Duncan can make an impact against a team that will game plan very hard to stop him.
Limit Transition Baskets
The Bucks are an amazing defensive team with Bledsoe, Lopez, Middleton, and Giannis. They bother teams with their length and constant defensive pressure. They live by the saying defensive turns into offense. Especially with one of the most unique transition players the game has ever seen in Giannis Antetokounmpo. Limiting turnovers will be key to Miami staying in games. The Bucks are a scrappy team that will force turnovers but being able to get back and limit easy points will be crucial. This will be a key factor in deeciding the series outcome as games can get out of hand quick with how good the Bucks capitalize on mistakes.
The bench for the Miami Heat will be huge in this series. Miami has several high volume scorers coming off the bench in Tyler Herro and Kelly Olynyk. Any given night any one of them can drop 20 points and heavily contribute. Defenders like Andre Iguodala and Derrick Jones Jr will be huge in trying to limit Giannis as they take turns guarding him throughout the series. It will be a key element in deciding the series as the Heat have an advantage compared to the second unit of the Bucks.
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