The Miami Heat will look to avoid falling behind 0-2 to the Milwaukee Bucks on Monday. (Photo by Schuler/Imago/Icon Sportswire).
- The Miami Heat and Milwaukee Bucks meet in Game 2 of their Playoff series on Monday, May 24th (7:30 pm ET)
- Milwaukee leads the series 1-0 thanks to a clutch shot from Khris Middleton
- Read below for the latest odds, betting preview and picks
The series between the Bucks and Heat is beautifully set up. An epic Game 1 on Saturday has laid the foundation for an awesome series between these two Eastern Conference powerhouses. Milwaukee is favored by 4.5 points for Game 2 on Monday despite only narrowly winning the series opener.
Miami struggled to find offense on Saturday, and Jimmy Butler endured one of his worst performances of the season. The former Sixer still scored the clutch bucket to send it to overtime, and Erik Spoelstra will be confident Butler can regain his scoring touch for Game 2.
Tipping off at 7:30pm ET on Monday May 24th, Game 2 of this series is a massive game for Miami. Check out the odds below at FanDuel.
Heat vs Bucks Odds – Game 2
|Miami Heat||+4.5 (-108)||+166||Over 221.5 (-108)|
|Milwaukee Bucks||-4.5 (-112)||-198||Under 221.5 (-112)|
Odds as of May 23rd.
Winning With No Shooting
Losing Game 1 would have been a psychological blow for the Bucks, but it also wouldn’t have been a surprise. If anything, winning with how they shot the ball should be a massive boost to their postseason confidence.
here’s the referee’s 10-second violation count of Giannis’ free throw. watch his right hand pic.twitter.com/PBHunnVyL7
— Rob Perez (@WorldWideWob) May 22, 2021
The Bucks went 5-for-31 from beyond the arc on Saturday, and shot a shade over 60% from the free throw line, with Giannis Antetokounmpo missing seven attempts from the stripe. While these problems shine a light on suspected issues (poor perimeter shooting and Giannis’ struggles at the line), winning in such circumstances also demonstrates how this Bucks team can find a way. Not many teams in the NBA in 2021 can win when they are at such a three-point shooting deficit.
JIMMY BUCKETS OVER GIANNIS.
OT 🔥 pic.twitter.com/KKMC2JwJ2g
— ESPN (@espn) May 22, 2021
The Heat defense, which ranked among the best in the league during the regular season, deserves some credit for the Bucks’ poor shooting. At the same time, though, the bench combining to go 0-for-6 and Jrue Holiday going 0-for-5 is unlikely to happen again.
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Heat Can Take Positives
Where the Bucks can expect to shoot it better, the Heat can take some positives, too. Butler and Bam Adebayo combined to go 8-for-37 from the field. While Milwaukee defended the All-Star pair well, Spoelstra will reasonably expect more efficient shooting from his two stars.
Duncan Robinson cooking from deep early 🔥⁰⁰(via @NBATV)pic.twitter.com/eEAXMggxuF
— Bleacher Report (@BleacherReport) May 22, 2021
Miami also shot the long ball superbly, going 40% from three as a team. Much of that was on the back of Duncan Robinson and Goran Dragic. Milwaukee’s defense struggled to cover the outside shooters, particularly when the Heat went to their trademark dribble-hand-off game. Robinson caught fire early, scoring all of Miami’s first 9 points. Going 7-for-13 from deep again seems unlikely, yet there’s reason to believe he’ll have a big impact on Monday.
The Heat are 10.8 points per 100 possessions better with Butler on the floor. The five-time All-Star was 4-for-22 in Game 1. Losing by just a couple of points when their two best players are painfully inefficient shooting the ball shows how competitive the Heat can be in this series.
Another Close Game
Game 1 was just a taster of what’s to come. This is going to be a bruising series. Both teams have areas to improve, and each can reflect positively on their Game 1 performances. Where Antetokounmpo threatened to dominate, the Heat kept the game close, and did so with Adebayo and Butler struggling. Milwaukee won a game with Antetokounmpo shooting 37% from the field and 46.2% from the line.
How Jimmy Butler looking at the Bucks right now pic.twitter.com/hNQP46fm23
— Josiah Johnson (@KingJosiah54) May 22, 2021
These defenses are good enough to keep the game close even when their offenses stutter. It’s hard to see an offensive explosion from either team.
A low-scoring, tight game is almost guaranteed. Milwaukee is understandably favored, but no one would be surprised to see the Heat snatch Game 2. The Heat covered in the series opener, and they’re a good bet to do so again on Monday night.
Pick: Miami Heat +4.5 (-108)
Sam Cox is a freelance writer and sports junkie, who has spent the past several years immersed in the online gaming industry. He has worked with 888sport, Oddschecker, and Colossus Bets to name a few. Based in the UK, Sam also runs Franchise Sports with his brother.