Barring a playoff game, the Bucks won’t beat the Heat this season. Two days after their victory against the same opponent, in the same room, the Floridians repeated it with a more prestigious victory in the heart of an avalanche of packages (Giannis Antetokounmpo, Khris Middleton, Tyler Herro, Kyle Lowry…).
Looking to ride on their good momentum at home – four wins in their last five at home – the Heat got off to a better start. Gabe Vincent is already skilled from long range and Jimmy Butler was comfortable near the rim as the locals took the lead (3/13 to start) after a first quarter (28-20) marked by the opposing team’s long-range awkwardness.
This early trend was confirmed by embarrassing defense for the Bucks, who still struggled mightily behind the 3-point line in the Floridian zone in the following minutes. The exact opposite of Gabe Vincent, he was so confident with his shot that he started sending it behind the arc with his first intent in transition. What, for the Heat, a comfortable return to the locker room (53-45).
The visitors came back to show a completely different face with a more rhythmic attack and a deterring defense (thanks Brook Lopez). Jrue Holiday showed his aggressiveness in the circle, and he inspired enough to see his teammates punish him from distance. After Joe Ingles’ award-winning shot, Milwaukee came back to the ball before falling behind by six points (77-71) after 36 minutes.
Some could then imagine the visitors taking over. Not taking into account the great combined pass from Victor Oladipo and Bam Adebayo, it allowed the Floridians to sign a deadly sequence for the guests – 11-0 – and walk away with the score (95-79). Bucks didn’t know how to respond to Jrue Holiday’s turnovers. A couple of 3-pointers gave Mike Budenholzer’s men hope, but plenty of pick-and-rolls enjoyed by Bam Adebayo allowed Miami to win easily.
WHAT TO REMEMBER
– Style opposition. Milwaukee shot just 40 percent, but the same percentage from behind the 3-point line. While making twice as many 3-pointers as his opponents. Far from awkward, the Floridians opted to insist on a racket with Bam Adebayo to finish the match strong. As a result, significant differences in their favor in rebounds (51-32) and especially in the number of points thrown inside (54-26).
– Heating area. The Bucks’ offensive woes coincided with the Heat’s runs. Conversely, when the home team took over the man-to-man defense, Jrue Holiday began to dominate. This phenomenon was limited in time.
– Jimmy Butler did not play in the final quarter. A luxury for Erik Spoelstra, who relies on a short rotation of eight players. Victor Oladipo was at such a good pace that the coach preferred to rest the star player for the entire last quarter. The setup of the match proved him right. And Butler will probably be the last to be hurt after the meeting…
✅ Gabe Vincent – Victor Oladipo – Bam Adebayo. Already finished with a career-high 28 points (against the Bucks), he flashed confidence and address in the first period. He is the first undrafted player since Jeremy Lin to score at least 25 points and 5 rebounds in the same game. Permanent presence. The other two especially shined in the final quarter, with Oladipo proving as important offensively as he was defensively. Pivot used many of his balls, including a back pass, to complete the round in “money time”, which was not actually one.
⛔ Which leader for the Bucks? The Six Bucks certainly reached or passed the 10-point mark, but none gave the impression that they had any desire to take the game alone. Jrue Holiday, who had 24 points and 11 assists in the previous game, could be that man. But he lost three key balls in the heart of that famous 11-0 run in the fourth quarter…
Heat (24-20) : Visit Atlanta, Monday.
Dollar (27-16) : Pacers host, Monday.