Bucks, Warmth meet in potential playoff preview

The Milwaukee Bucks, the highest-scoring staff within the NBA and tied for the league lead in rebounds, will play host to the Miami Warmth on Saturday night time.

Milwaukee (45-25), which is presently on a 10-3 run, sits in third place within the Japanese Convention whereas scoring 120.2 factors per sport and grabbing 48.2 rebounds, tied with the Utah Jazz.

Miami (39-31) is in fifth place within the East, and it is doable the Warmth will play Milwaukee in a 3-6 first-round playoff matchup subsequent week, particularly if the Bucks prevail on Saturday.

It stays to be seen, nonetheless, if Bucks star Giannis Antetokounmpo will dial again his minutes on Saturday in anticipation of the beginning of the playoffs. Antetokounmpo performed 35 minutes Thursday in a 142-133 victory over the Indiana Pacers, scoring 40 factors with 15 rebounds and 6 assists.

Antetokounmpo, the NBA’s two-time MVP, admitted fatigue is setting in as Milwaukee gears up for its remaining two regular-season video games of the season, together with Sunday’s go to to the Chicago Bulls.

“I am attempting to save lots of as a lot vitality as I can,” he stated after Thursday’s victory, throughout which he made 14 of 18 photographs from the ground, together with six dunks.

For the season, Antetokounmpo is averaging 28.4 factors, 11.0 rebounds, 5.9 assists, 1.2 steals and 1.2 blocks.

The Bucks have additionally gotten scoring assist from Khris Middleton (20.4 factors per sport) and Jrue Vacation (17.7).

Milwaukee has break up two matchups with the Warmth this season, though each of these video games had been in Miami on consecutive nights, again when the season was younger on Dec. 29-30.

Nonetheless, within the second spherical of the 2020 playoffs, the Warmth eradicated the Bucks in 5 video games.

The Warmth will enter Saturday’s sport on a four-game win streak. Going again additional, the Warmth has gained 11 of its previous 14 video games, a sizzling stretch that has allowed them to not solely clinch a spot within the playoffs but additionally keep away from the play-in spherical.

Warmth star Jimmy Butler leads the staff in scoring (21.5), assists (7.1) and steals (2.1), serving to give the Warmth an id as a troublesome staff that can play bodily ball.

Final yr the Warmth made all of it the way in which to the NBA Finals earlier than shedding to the Los Angeles Lakers. The Warmth have struggled at instances this season with two shedding streaks of at the least 5 video games. However Miami appears to be peaking simply because the playoffs are set to start out, and the staff confirmed its toughness in Thursday’s 106-94 win over NBA heavyweight Philadelphia.

There have been at the least two participant skirmishes in that sport, however the Warmth stood tall and bought the victory.

“Nobody intimidates us,” Butler stated.

Butler scored 21 factors on Thursday and beat the scouting report by capturing 4 of 4 from 3-point vary. For the season, Butler is capturing simply 24.5 % from 3-point vary, up from 21.4 % previous to Thursday’s sport.

The Bucks have not been held under 100 factors since a 102-96 loss to the New York Knicks on March 27. Actually, the Bucks have had solely 4 sub-100 video games all season. Earlier than Friday’s NBA motion started, the Bucks ranked third within the league in field-goal share (48.8), tied for second in 3-point share (39.0) and third in scoring margin (plus 5.9 per sport).

Miami is simply twenty fifth within the league in scoring. The Warmth assault the rim extra, nonetheless, which explains why they’re tenth within the league in fouls drawn whereas Milwaukee is twenty fourth.

–Subject Degree Media


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