The Heat have had one of the most memorable seasons in league history as they had a 27 game winning streak and 66 games overall. Lebron James will undoubtedly win his 4th MVP award. He added a new element to his game this offseason by becoming a dominant post player to match his all-around game. Dwayne Wade quietly had arguably his best season as he was a consistent force and avoided any lengthy injuries. Chris Bosh continued in his role as a perimeter oriented big man who kept the defenses honest and played strong interior defense. Ray Allen replaced Mike Miller in the Heat rotation and was a consistent 3 point threat throughout the year. Role players Shane Battier, Chris Anderson, Mario Chalmers, and Udonis Haslem each played their role in Coach Erik Spolestra’s position less system extremely well and the Heat enter the playoffs as the favorite to win the NBA title.
The Bucks are as dangerous as a playoff team can be strictly because they have a backcourt that is capable of going on a scoring barrage at any time with Monta Ellis and Brandon Jennings. They haven’t always played very well together, however if one or the other gets hot they are incredibly difficult to stop. In season acquisition J.J Redick is an improved all-around player and a fantastic three point shooter who will sometimes play with Jennings and Ellis in a small lineup that will have several flaws on the defensive end but will present a lot of options on offense. Their front court does not feature anyone who can score from the post or provide any type of offense on a consistent basis. Big man Larry Sanders does provide a strong defensive presence in the middle as he led the NBA in blocked shots. The Bucks cannot afford for him to get in foul trouble as the Heat are relentless attacking the paint and without his presence it will be very difficult for the Bucks to stay in games.
The only way the Bucks have any chance in this series is if they can force Miami onto the perimeter and limit their fast break opportunities. The Heat thrive in transition and tend to score a lot of their points off of their defense. They Bucks will have to rely on their guard to protect the basketball and not allow Miami’s defense to initiate an up tempo game. Keeping James and Wade on the perimeter will work to their advantage. They will also have to commit to doubling James when he plays in the post and force the Heat to make open 3 pointers. Miami will simply look to do what they always do which is share the ball and find the open man throughout the game. In the closing moments they always have a likely 4 time MVP to give the ball to and carry them to victory.
There are a few scenarios in which the Bucks can make a few of the games close, however they are all unlikely. The Heat are too strong defensively to allow a team like the Bucks to hang around for 48 minutes.
For more NBA Playoff betting odds: