The NBA sure is a busy place these days! The trade deadline approaches in less than a week, the GOAT player for Twitter accounts named @ReelH00perSZN (thankfully not a real account name...yet) is demanding out just when things were going well in Brooklyn, and we have a real brouhaha in Minnesota. The drama never stops, except when the Milwaukee Bucks are involved. Let’s see if that changes tonight, against the Miami Heat!
Everybody fighting!? They ready for all star…— Kevin Garnett (@KevinGarnett5KG) February 4, 2023
Where We’re At
The Bucks are in good shape at the moment, having won six straight contests and solidifying their hold on one of the top Eastern Conference playoff seeds with less than 30 games to go. Moreover, Khris Middleton is starting to round into form, Joe Ingles seems like he really and truly works for this team, and Giannis is tossing around potential endorsements like hotcakes.
But despite the thrilling comeback win against the Clippers on Thursday, we have to admit something to ourselves: Los Angeles lost that game just as much (if not more than) as the Bucks won it. Yes, Giannis was once-again transcendent. Of course, the Milwaukee defense was stout. Absolutely, Wes Matthews turned back time and put the absolute clamps on Kawhi Leonard. All of that is true...as is the fact that the Clippers crunch time offense was no more formidable than a half-hearted shrug. Had Milwaukee enjoyed the luxury of oh, I don’t know, 30 minutes of Khris Middleton instead of only 20, the Bucks would have been in much better shape than they were for most of that contest. Good thing the end of Khris’ minutes restriction is nigh!
Meanwhile, Miami is working to stay above 0.500 and make it to an advantageous situation for the postseason. Kyle Lowry is out, as are Duncan Robinson, rookie Nikola Jovic, and possibly Victor Oladipo, Gabe Vincent, and Max Strus, so they’ll be a bit shorthanded. Despite that, the Heat constantly find a way to end up winning more games than they lose. All three of Jimmy Butler, Bam Adebayo, and Tyler Herro are averaging above 20 points per game, but they’re a far cry from the squad that made a run to the NBA Finals in the Orlando bubble. Maybe they need a shake up, something to really push things into overdrive. Maybe they need to get in on...Kyrie Irving? From Hot Hot Hoops:
The Miami Heat should be 100% interested in a deal like this. Strictly basketball wise, he provides everything this team is missing and more. Shooting at a high efficiency and the ability to play make and score at any spot on the floor is very enticing. It also pairs Jimmy Butler and Bam Adebayo with another superstar talent. A trade like this would almost certainly make the Heat a title favorite. You can even add Tyler Herro into that mix of players and say an Irving acquisition could form an elite “core four” in South Beach.
If you were to ask me? I’d say that there are precious few things I would like to see before I someday depart this mortal coil than to see Jimmy Butler, Udonis Haslem, and Erik Spoelstra have to put up with Kyrie Irving.
Player To Watch
We almost never put Giannis Antetokounmpo here, because if we didn’t follow the unofficial rule to make this a Giannis-free section, we would never put another player in this section of any game preview for a contest in which Giannis plays. But as the TNT broadcast showed everybody on Thursday, Giannis is that dude.
I was way off...only 54 points and 18 rebounds for Giannis tonight. https://t.co/ZVDmszGh7Q— Frank Madden (@fmaddenNBA) February 3, 2023
We don’t appreciate Giannis as much as we should. We can’t, we aren’t capable of it. Just like how the current CBA has max contracts that prevent the game’s superstars from getting paid what they are actually worth (relatively speaking), we will never be able to fully comprehend how wonderful watching Giannis play basketball is...until his era is over.
Thankfully for us, his era is not over. So let’s enjoy it.
Game 53: Against Miami, the Bucks will...
This poll is closed
Win big (by 10 or more points)
Win close (by 9 or fewer points)
Lose close (by 9 or fewer points)
Lose big (by 10 or more points)