Milwaukee hung around throughout the first half, but it felt like every time they cut Miami’s lead the Heat would kill their momentum with a made three. They entered halftime down only six, but it felt like they were down 60. Miami consistently showed a certain level of mental fortitude that the Bucks struggled to match, and many fans were having flashbacks to the 2019 Eastern Conference Finals. Milwaukee’s defensive intensity picked up in the third quarter, and the Miami lead evaporated as a result, but even after retaking the lead in the fourth quarter, the Bucks just couldn’t keep it. The fact that they managed to claw back to tie the game with fewer than 5 seconds remaining is astounding, but the game result is the same either way.
Giannis Antetokounmpo (29 points, 14 rebounds) had a nice stat line but struggled mightily once again against the Miami wall. Khris Middleton (23 points, 8 assists, 6 rebounds, team-high +20) continued his positive play, as did Brook Lopez (16 points, 7 boards). For several parts of the game, Eric Bledsoe (16 points, 7 rebounds) seemed like the only Buck who could match Miami’s intensity, and George Hill (14 points) was a more steady contributor off the bench.
For Miami, Goran Dragic paced the Heat with 23 points, 5 rebounds, and 4 assists. Game 1 hero Jimmy Butler (13 points, 6 assists) impacted the game in other ways than scoring, but he had teammates to pick up his slack; Bam Adebayo (15 points, 9 boards), Jae Crowder (16 points, 6 boards), Duncan Robinson (13 points), Kelly Olynyk (11 points) and Tyler Herro (17 points, 5 rebounds, 4 assists) all stepped up and produced.
Stat That Stood Out: 0-2
There are too many aspects of the game in which the Bucks are getting outplayed.
They are getting beat on the boards, consistently (minus-12 in total rebounds tonight). They are not taking care of the ball (minus-4 in turnovers committed tonight). They can’t make anything happen in the paint (minus-20 in points in the paint tonight). (Editor’s note: this Rapid Recap was too rapid, and the team stats were reversed. Still, the sentiment prevails; the Bucks are in trouble. Thanks to all who noticed the error; we regret the mistakes.)
The Heat have earned these two wins just as much as the Bucks have given them away with their unimaginative offense, undisciplined defense, sloppy execution, and complete inability to adapt.
Things are not good.