The Bucks and Heat will meet to play the fifth game of the series. Miami was able to win each of the first three before the short-handed Bucks pulled out an impressive victory in the late stages of Game 4. And they did it with the MVP and DPOY out since the early part of the second quarter.
It is unclear if Giannis Antetokounmpo will play, though all signs point toward him being out. Miami will have to be ready to play both ways, with him in and out of the lineup. And for the Bucks, a lot of pressure slides to Khris Middleton, who was incredible in the waning moments of the last game.
This is a Bucks team that was 53-12 before the bubble but is just 8-9 since. They struggled all series against the Magic, before coming in and taking three losses in a row to open the series. And they now need to win three games in a row. Miami will hope to put the clamps on and end things tonight.
Miami is a 2.5-point favorite. The over/under is set at 216.
Miami Looks to Deliver Finishing Blow
One more win and the Miami Heat are in the ECF for the first time since LeBron James left to go back home to Cleveland. They had won just one playoff series in the previous five years, this being their best team in a long time. They have a great depth chart and are stockpiled with game-changing talents.
From Jimmy Butler and Bam Adebayo, you have Goran Dragic and Tyler Herro, and Duncan Robinson has been nothing short of spectacular. You have two fantastic defensive veteran wings in Andre Iguodala and Jae Crowder. Derrick Jones Jr. isn’t a regular in the rotation, but he always brings the energy when he steps foot on the floor.
They cannot worry about if Antetokounmpo will play. They just need to lock in and play their own game. They’ll have to dictate the terms of this engagement.
Giannis or Not, Here They Come
It all comes down to this for the Bucks, who are trying to get to the NBA Finals for the first time since 1974. Last year was their first ECF trip in two decades, but they are in danger of being knocked out. And they can’t get Antetokounmpo’s lingering injury affect them too much.
This is a talented team that was able to win a lot of the games he sat out during the year. And that helped them in the big moments of Game 4. It is Khris Middleton’s team while he’s out, and if Antetokounmpo does play, that’s excellent news.
They need to lock in on the defensive end and score enough points to suffice. They are more than capable, but will they win?
Miami Survives and Advances
The answer is no. Antetokounmpo or not, Miami will not slip up, coming up with a win to put the series to bed. On to the next!
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