Five spot. Following the Bucks' massive letdown against Philly and Miami's 103-74 road annihilation of the Bulls Thursday night, the Heat come to town just two games back of the Bucks for the fifth seed, though the Bucks also have two games in hand. More importantly, the Bucks have already beaten the Heat three times this year, guaranteeing them the head-to-head tiebreaker should the clubs end up even after 82 games.
The Big J-O. Dwyane Wade had "just" 12 points in Chicago, but his ten dimes helped Jermaine O'Neal come alive for 24 on 14 shots--and in just 24 minutes. That included 18 in the first half, as Miami sprinted to a 57-31 lead late in the second quarter despite just six combined points from Wade and Michael Beasley. O'Neal also played well in the first half of the Heat's last meeting with the Bucks--a 94-71 Bucks rout in Miami.
Miami was however without Wade and the Bucks eventually tore apart the Heat's zone in the third quarter. Speaking of Marquette's finest, his 33% shooting in two games against the Bucks this season is his lowest fg% against any team this year. In two games against the Bucks he's averaged a mere mortal 22 ppg, 6.5 apg, 1.5 rpg and 4 turnovers per game.
Bogut time? No one seems to have a good answer for Andrew Bogut's three game slump, but now would be a rather good time for the big fella to snap out of it. If Bogut is hurt he won't admit it, but he did appear to be wincing about something in the third quarter in Sacramento and hasn't been the same since. He's now scored nine or fewer points in three consecutive games, and in two of those contests he pulled down just three measly rebounds. Foul trouble has been a part of it, but Skiles has also looked impatient watching Bogut struggle against the likes of Sammy Dalembert, Nene, and Al Horford. In fact, semi-ageless wonder Kurt Thomas (57 minutes) has played almost as many minutes as Bogut (63) over that span. We all appreciate Skiles trying to hold his most important player accountable, but at this point the situation is getting a bit worrying.