Will Jimmy Butler & the Heat be swept in Game 4? (Photo by Brian Rothmuller/Icon Sportswire)
- Miami is on the ropes with an 0-3 deficit against the Milwaukee Bucks
- Is this going to be the first time since 2007 that the Heat get swept?
- See odds, latest injury news and a preview of the game below
Looks like we should count the Miami Heat out, eh? Well, a word of caution on that one with a true story.
Back in 1996 when the Seattle SuperSonics were down 0-3 against Michael Jordan and the Chicago Bulls, a sweep was considered such a sure thing that all of the hotel rooms that the NBA had reserved in Chicago were canceled – without anyone telling the NBA.
And when Gary Payton and Sean Kemp and Nate McMillan came back and took Games 4 and 5 in Seattle, the NBA had to scramble to book hundreds upon hundreds of new hotel rooms. Legendary story in NBA circles.
Just goes to show that a series is not over until one team wins four games, not three. And the Milwaukee Bucks need to keep that in mind because their work is not yet done despite last night’s 113-84 victory. The Bucks covered in Games 2 and 3.
Bucks vs Heat Game 4 Odds
|Team||Spread at DraftKings||Moneyline||Total Points|
|Milwaukee Bucks||-5 (-110)||-190||O 221.5 (-112)|
|Miami Heat||+5 (-110)||+160||U 221.5 (-109)|
Odds as of May 28th
DraftKings Promo for NBA Playoffs Gives Bettors Crazy 40-1 Odds on Any Team to Win
The Bucks got some tough news on Friday afternoon, as Donte DiVincenzo was ruled out for the remainder of the postseason due to his tendon injury in his foot.
Bucks vs Heat Projected Lineups
|Jrue Holiday||PG||Goran Dragic|
|Pat Connaughton||SG||Jimmy Butler|
|Khris Middleton||SF||Duncan Robinson|
|Giannis Antetokounmpo||PF||Bam Adebayo|
|Brook Lopez||C||DeWayne Dedmon|
Is There Any Hope for the Heat?
Well, let’s approach that one the way Erik Spoelstra will: Take it one day and one game at a time. No NBA team has ever come all the way back from an 0-3 deficit, but the 2003 Dallas Mavericks won three straight before losing Game 7 to the Portland Trail Blazers, and the same thing happened to the 1994 Utah Jazz (against Denver) and 1951 Rochester Royals (against the New York Knicks).
The trick for Spoelstra will be convincing his team that they have a chance despite losing 113-84 last night and 132-98 in Game 2. Jimmy Butler is shooting only 30.6 percent from the field and has missed a third of his free throws, clearly being bothered by a bad back that has gotten worse because of a couple of hard falls.
Jrue Holiday is +88 in this series, the highest on the Bucks by far.
Jimmy Butler is -68 in this series, the lowest on the Heat by far. pic.twitter.com/eLBp0oGQBa
— StatMuse (@statmuse) May 28, 2021
Goran Dragic has been the team’s leading scorer, and the only Heat player who has appeared in all three games and has made more than 50 percent of his shots is center Dewayne Dedmon, who should not be surprised if he finds himself starting Game 4, allowing Bam Adebayo to become the primary defender on Giannis Antetokounmpo.
Dragic started Game 3, but the Heat were down 26-14 after one quarter, and Duncan Robinson finished 1-for-6, including 0-for-4 from 3-point range. So do not be surprised if Spoelstra makes another change and goes with Kendrick Nunn alongside Dragic to see if a two-point guard alignment can confound the Bucks. Nothing else has.
“[Giannis, Khris and Jrue] have been phenomenal.”
Coach Bud’s ASL Postgame Press Conference: pic.twitter.com/OrSs464jx5
— Milwaukee Bucks (@Bucks) May 28, 2021
What Is the Secret Sauce for Miami In Game 4?
That one is easy: They live and die by the 3-pointer, and if Robinson and Dragic and Nunn and Butler and Herro are not hitting them, they do not have much of a chance.
As it stands, the Heat have shot just 33.6 percent from long distance. Trevor Ariza is at 18 percent, Nunn and Andre Iguodala are at 25 percent, Butler is at 30.8 percent, Dragic is at 38 percent and Robinson is at 39 percent. The only 50 percent 3-point shooters are Nemanja Bjelica and third-string point guard Gabe Vincent.
Miami Heat Team photo
(left to right: Jimmy Butler, Bam Adebayo, Duncan Robinson, Tyler Herro) pic.twitter.com/8q115wycCE
— Steady Eddy (@SteadyE69) May 28, 2021
Among the 16 playoff teams, nobody is shooting worse overall than Miami at 38 percent. The next closest is the Boston Celtics at .398. (Dallas is shooting a ridiculous .544 in two games against the Los Angeles Clippers, another “get swept” candidate.)
Spoelstra did not coach with a sense of desperation in last year’s finals when he was down 3-1 against the Lakers, and his team bowed out meekly. They were too inexperienced and not hungry enough. Does that change this year? It’s their only hope as they play in front of more than 17,000 fans who had been sitting on the sidelines throughout the regular season.
Ready to work in front of 17K#UnitedInBlack // @ATT pic.twitter.com/Awtn3j0JSu
— Miami HEAT (@MiamiHEAT) May 27, 2021
Who Else Might Come to the Rescue for the Heat?
That is a tough one, because they traded one of their best 3-point shooters and veterans, Kelly Olynyk, to the Houston Rockets in order to acquire Victor Oladipo, who has a torn quad and is not expected to play again until November.
The Heat usually hit on midseason trades, but they missed on this one. Olynyk, who has accepted an invitation to join the Canadian National Team for the Olympics, averaged 19 points in 27 games for the Houston Rockets after the trade, shooting a blistering 54.5 percent.
📞🤣 Hello 📞🤣Miami Heat? 📞🤣 Houston Rocketes here 📞🤣 Thanks for Olynyk 📞🤣 ABOUT VICTOR OLADIPO… NO REFUND, OK? 📞🤣 bye 😂😘
— Christian Wood Brasil 🇧🇷 (@brasil_wood) May 28, 2021
Trends and Best Bet
From a trend standpoint, the Bucks have gone “over” in 19 of 36 road games, and Miami has gone “over” in 20 of 36 home games.
Milwaukee is 14-20-0 ATS on the road and has failed to cover in six of its last 10 games (with one push). The Bucks are clearly the superior team, but there is a tendency to relax when cruising, and Spoelstra’s teams never relax. The 5 points seem like a gift from the gambling gods.
Chris Sheridan has been covering sports gambling since 2018 when PASPA was overturned. a veteran journalist with 30+ years experience covering sports for the Associated Press, ESPN, SheridanHoops and BasketballNews.com, he has been at the forefront of sports gambling coverage since it was legalized.