Apr 25, 2013, 11:02 PM EST
This was just a better team taking care of business.
You knew the Milwaukee Bucks would come out with a lot of fire in front of the home crowd and they did, leading by as many as 10 in the first half. But for the Heat this was a professional outing, like a game in the dog days of February. They kept their composure, they upped their defensive pressure, they got LeBron James (22 points) and Ray Allen (23) to step up. Miami just walked Milwaukee down.
The result was a 104-91 Miami win that has the Bucks up 3-0 in the first round series. The only question is can the Bucks win a game or does this end in four on Sunday? Smart money bets on Sunday.
This was the best effort and game from the Bucks yet, they are just overmatched.
In front of the home fans Milwaukee came out and played with passion. In the first quarter the Bucks shot 57.1 percent overall and hit 5-of-10 from three (J.J. Redick was 2-of-2 from three, Ersan Ilyasova 3-of-4 for 7 points.) and the result was them up nine at the end of the quarter. T
The Bucks did a good job upping the tempo and getting good looks early in the clock following bad Heat possessions — LeBron was 4-of-6 for 11 points in the quarter, the rest of Heat shot 5-of-17 (29.4 percent).
Finally in this game Bucks coach Jim Boylan went to his strongest lineups, when Redick is on the floor with either Monta Ellis or Brandon Jennings — there is much better floor spacing with a slasher and a shooter and the defense has to respect that. It led to balance with six Bucks in double figures.
Not that it really mattered. The Bucks are overmatched.
Miami’s defense picked up and the quality of shots for the Bucks went down as the game wore on. Milwaukee shot 40 percent in the second (1-of-6 from three), then 28.6 percent in the third. Everything was contested, passing lanes seemed shut off.
Meanwhile the Heat shot 63.2 percent in the third, they moved the ball around and got the shots they wanted. It wasn’t just LeBron taking over (he had 9 in the quarter), it was making passes so Udonis Haslem was getting looks and he went 3-of-3 for 8 points in the third.
In the fourth, the Heat continued to pull away as the Bucks continued to rely on difficult shots. The Bucks got a nice 16-points out of Ersan Ilyasova on the night, but in the end it didn’t matter.
The other thing of note from this game was Allen becoming the NBA’s all-time leader in playoff three pointers made (he has 322 now). Well, it might be of note that Dwyane Wade‘s knee is clearly bothering him and he shot 1-of-12 on the night. That might worry the Heat more if it didn’t look like they were about to get a lot of rest between series.
If the Heat give a professional effort again on Sunday afternoon like they did Thursday that rest will begin Sunday night. The Bucks will try but they can’t prevent it, they are in over their heads.
Serge Ibaka blocks Joakim Noah twice on same possession, leads to a transition three from Durant (VIDEO)
Dec 20, 2013, 10:14 AM EST
These are the kinds of plays that are absolute back-breakers for teams playing on the road, because it gets the crowd involved and swings all of the momentum in the home team’s favor. Serge Ibaka comes up with two blocks on Joakim Noah on the same possession, which is highlight-worthy by itself. But the fact…
Jeff Van Gundy says it would be ‘ludicrous’ for Knicks to fire Mike Woodson after timeout failure vs. Wizards
Dec 20, 2013, 9:31 AM EST
After the Knicks lost to the Wizards earlier this week by coming undone on the game’s final two possessions, there were some observers that believed Mike Woodson should finally take the fall for his role in not only that particular loss, but also how his team had underachieved to this point in the season. New…
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Dec 20, 2013, 8:00 AM EST
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Dec 20, 2013, 4:47 AM EST
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Dec 20, 2013, 2:55 AM EST
When the Spurs rest Tim Duncan, Tony Parker and Manu Ginobili they still are pretty darn good. Ask the Heat — last year Gregg Popovich and the Spurs were fined $250,000 by the league for late notice resting the big three for a Thursday night showcase game in Miami. What people forget is the Spurs…
Dec 20, 2013, 2:22 AM EST
Golden State was the more talented team on the floor Thursday night, but they ended up on losing to a depleted Spurs team. Why? The penultimate possession summed up the game fairly well — tied 102-102 the Spurs got the ball to the guy with the hot hand (Marco Belinelli) and when he missed Boris…
Dec 19, 2013, 11:22 PM EST
Before the season began, an inter-conference matchup between the Thunder and the Bulls seemed like a tasty affair, and one that would be worthy of its mid-December nationally televised time slot. But after Derrick Rose once again went down for the season with an injury, and with Luol Deng missing this one with a sore…
Dec 19, 2013, 10:29 PM EST
Even with Kobe Bryant, the playoffs were a long shot for the Lakers this season — their defense was slipping, and their offense was not going to carry them far enough in a deep Western Conference. Kobe Bryant’s injury — out six weeks now with a fracture of tibial plateau in in his left knee…
Dec 19, 2013, 9:16 PM EST
Reeling from the latest injury to Kobe Bryant and with no healthy point guards able to return to action anytime soon, the Lakers signed a capable initiator of the offense from the D-League to bolster the team’s ever-eroding roster. Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo Sports reports that L.A. has agreed to a deal with Kendall Marshall,…
Dec 19, 2013, 8:33 PM EST
The Pacers had targeted Friday’s nationally televised home contest against the Rockets for Danny Granger to make his season debut, and a week of practice has him on schedule to do just that. Indiana confirmed on Thursday that Granger will be back in the lineup versus Houston, but the team will be easing him in…
Dec 19, 2013, 7:19 PM EST
The news that Kobe Bryant would miss the next six weeks with a fractured bone in his left knee was not only devastating to a team decimated by injuries for the second straight season, but it could have taken an emotional toll on Bryant, as well. The league’s most fiery competitor was sidelined for eight…
Dec 19, 2013, 6:32 PM EST
Ersan Ilyasova has not been himself this season – the guy who averaged 13.2 points a game on 46.2 percent shooting and 44.4 percent from three last season is averaging 8.2 points a game on 38.3 percent shooing this season and 21.6 percent from three. His stats are like that across the board. To use…
Dec 19, 2013, 5:46 PM EST
Not that the Lakers were expecting Steve Nash to return like the cavalry charging over the mountain to save the day, but now we know for sure that is not happening. Steve Nash is going to be out at least another month, he announced to the media on Thursday afternoon. That announcement came at basically…
Dec 19, 2013, 4:32 PM EST
Gregg Popovich is making a habit of tempting fate. First, he confronted Stephen Jackson. Even if that was done in a joking manner – and it was – you can never be certain how Jackson will react. Now, the Spurs coach is challenging another one of the NBA’s most strong-willed figures: David Stern. Both Tim…
Dec 19, 2013, 4:14 PM EST
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Dec 19, 2013, 3:12 PM EST
Derrick Rose is loyal. Don’t believe me? Remember when he said he wanted to roll with with Keith Bogans as his two guard rather than recruit other guys to shake up the roster? It’s just who he is. Then came the report out of the New York Daily News (not a local source) that Rose…
Dec 19, 2013, 2:05 PM EST
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Dec 19, 2013, 1:50 PM EST
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Dec 19, 2013, 1:26 PM EST
Omer Asik may not like it, but he’s staying a Rocket for now. Probably. After weeks of talks — not to mention media and fan speculation — Rockets’ GM Daryl Morey has looked at the trade market for Asik and decided it’s not good enough. The Rockets have pulled out of all Asik trade talks…
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- No stars, no problem: Spurs reserves too much for Warriors in 104-102 win 4
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- Report: Heat have interest in Celtics’ Jordan Crawford (50)
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- Mike D’Antoni to Pau Gasol: “There’s no reason to not play hard” (48)
- LeBron did foul Paul George on final shot but there was no call (VIDEO) (46)