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Game Thread: Bucks/Heat

Nobody splits double teams like Dwyane Wade. Just ask Gadz.

Bucks (9-15, 4-11 road) @ Heat (12-11, 7-4 home)
Gametime: 6:30 p.m. central time

Heat Position Bucks
Mario Chalmers
PG Luke Ridnour
Dwyane Wade
SG Michael Redd
Shawn Marion
SF Richard Jefferson
Udonis Haslem
PF Luc Mbah a Moute
Joel Anthony
C Andrew Bogut

Injuries:

Heat: James Jones (wrist) and Dorell Wright (knee) are out.

Bucks: Malik Allen (ribs) is not expected to play.

07/08 Series:

Mar 24: @Miami 78, Bucks 73

Mar 18: Miami 112, @Bucks 106

Jan 9: @Bucks 98, Heat 92

Jan 2: Bucks 103, @Miami 98

08/09 Advanced Stats:

Heat: Offense: 13th (107.6 points/100 possessions) Defense: 16th (106.6) Pace: 22nd (90.6)

Bucks: Offense: 24th (103.5 points/100 possessions) Defense: 13th (106.3) Pace: 11th (92.5)

Three points:

  • New Heat. After miserable 07/08 campaigns, both the Bucks and Heat have different looks for 08/09, and it's hard to argue any team has improved more than Miami. The Heat promoted long-time assistant Erik Spoelstra and drafted Michael Beasley and Mario Chalmers--oh, and they got a guy named Wade back. No doubt the resurgence of Wade has been the biggest factor in the Heat winning 12 of their first 23 after winning 15 of 82 a season ago. Wade's posting video gamish averages of 28.6 ppg, 7.2 apg, 5.1 rpg, 2.2 spg, and 1.6 bpg. Yeah, that's absurd. While LeBron is probably the favorite to claim the MVP trophy, Wade has been every bit as important to Miami.
    Big Dog redux? Any analysis of second overall pick Beasley necessarily starts with the fact that he doesn't turn 20 for another month. Still, Beasley's first month in the NBA didn't set the world on fire: 14.1 ppg (on a poor .502 TS%), 5.3 rpg (w/a below-average 11.5 rebound rate), and an average PER of 14.82. Looking a bit deeper, he's also hemorrhaged points against opposing PFs and the Heat have been better with him off the court. Statistically, Beasley looks like this year's Kevin Durant: a precocious college forward who put up monster scoring and rebounding numbers as a freshman, but has had a hard time translating that into pro productivity. Durant finished strong and put up nice raw numbers playing for an awful Sonics team last year, but Beasley is now coming off the bench for a playoff-contending Heat club. There's no doubt Beasley has the tools (and time) to be a great player, but you also have to wonder if he'll ever be more than a Glenn Robinson-type: a gifted scoring forward whose lack of size and ballhandling hampered his ability to ever reach true stardom.
    Tired Heat? While the Bucks won at home on Saturday, the Heat are coming off a blowout loss in Memphis last night and will be playing their third game in four days after also losing handily in Atlanta on Friday. Udonis Haslem did not play yesterday due to the death of his grandmother, but is expected to play tonight. He'll be paired with Shawn Marion at the forward spot, while former D-Leaguer Joel Anthony will start at center. Anthony had his first career double-double last night with 12 points (5/5 fg), 13 boards and five blocks, and he's no stranger to the Bucks. He averaged 10 ppg and 8.5 rpg in the Heat's two wins over the Bucks last March, but at 6'9" and 260 lbs he does sacrifice length to Andrew Bogut. Among the other bigs on the Heat roster is a familiar face to Bogut and Bucks fans: Jamaal Magloire. of course, Mags might not be available if the league office has anything to do with it--he was ejected from Sunday's game for headbutting Darko Milicic on an inbounds play. "MINE!"

Coverage:

Bucks.com / Ira Winderman / Peninsula is Mightier