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Bucks vs. Heat Preview: Milwaukee Hopes Chilly Shooting in Miami Doesn’t Follow Them Home

A revenge game after Sunday’s shellacking sure would be nice

NBA: Milwaukee Bucks at Miami Heat Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports

The Milwaukee Bucks may have redeemed themselves slightly from their embarrassing loss Sunday with a stirring win over the Washington Wizards Monday afternoon. That aforementioned Sunday loss happened to come against the streaking Miami Heat, who bring their Jungle crew up to Milwaukee for tonight’s game.

Bucks Update

A sloppily handled game for Washington resulted in 24 turnovers Milwaukee was more than happy to take off their hands in Monday’s win. Their minimal two points on 15 turnovers by Miami showed a lack of finesse finishing on the fast break and is an issue they should hope to rectify tonight. Milwaukee’s win set them back on a more stable track considering the destructiveness of their Miami meltdown, but they can’t lose their focus with two key games against EC playoff spot contenders in Miami tonight and Philadelphia on Saturday. Giannis’ 27-point, 20 rebound performance was a gargantuan effort by the All-Star, and his fourth quarter takeover was indicative of his superstar assertiveness over this roster. May that carry forward into tonight.

Player to Watch: Khris Middleton

Khris has looked horrendous of late, culminating in a 3-16 shooting performance in Miami. He finally broke out of that rut with a 9-16, 19 point game against the Wizards, but he remains far below his typical potency. He’s shooting 34% from deep (2nd worst behind his rookie season) and is working consistently from the midrange with difficult post-up jumpers. Milwaukee needs the third part of their big three to get back on track from the perimeter despite his gaudy midrange numbers (52.6% from 10-16 feet).

Heat Update

After smacking the Bucks in the wondrous Miami weather, the Heat have been frigid thus far in their brief trip north. A 119-111 Monday night loss to the Chicago Bulls may have sapped them of whatever superhuman confidence came from battering the Bucks and reaching a seven game win streak. It probably helped that Chicago didn’t shoot their season-worst mark as the Bucks did. No one player blitzed Milwaukee on Sunday, but the Heat’s new identity has been built on the contributions of reclamation projects molded in coach Erik Spoelstra’s vision. Goran Dragic did the most damage, as was expected, with 25 points, but four out of five starters reached double figures.

Player to Watch: Wayne Ellington

Ellington is one of those reclamation projects who has remade himself as a pure slinger with this Miami squad. He’s averaging 10.5 3-point attempts per 36 minutes and is shooting 40.5% for the year. Milwaukee caught a break Sunday as he went just 1-7 from the field, I wouldn’t expect that luck to continue tonight.