It was a bit of a choppy game for both the Heat and the Bucks throughout, but Miami rallied through to get the win, 116-114. A couple of late game foul calls, resulted in two free throws for Jimmy Butler to win the game. Here are five takeaways from the game…
#1: Once again, Goran Dragic too much for Milwaukee back-court.
It’s pretty clear that you have to mention Goran Dragic after every one of these games, since he truly hasn’t had a bad game. Some talked about Goran possibly having a tougher time with Eric Bledsoe matched up with him, but that was not the case. He pretty much did whatever he wanted to do on the court, since he was an absolute threat from deep, and also got to the basket at will using his usual backboard floater. Goran is the piece on this team that is looked to during tough stretches, since he always delivers. Hopefully he’s on these takeaway pieces for many games to come, and I have a feeling he will be.
#2: Heat’s bench group comes up big throughout, as they did in regular season.
The Miami Heat’s bench group struggled a bit shooting the ball in game one, which is very unusual. But, this wasn’t the case today since Tyler Herro, Kendrick Nunn, and Kelly Olynyk made huge contributions offensively. This is what I mentioned previously about this team. The team does not run on the fact of Jimmy Butler’s scoring, it runs on the shooting of their supporting cast. Tyler Herro’s outstanding ability to score the ball during tough stretches was on full effect tonight. If the bench can continue to take the offensive load off of Jimmy, this will consequently make a much more effective Jimmy Butler.
#3: Jimmy reverts back to his usual role.
Jimmy Butler got a bit of a wrap, after game one against Milwaukee, that he is an unstoppable scorer. And well, that’s exactly what Jimmy wants people to think. He definitely has the ability to step up as a scorer for this team late, but he truly wants to be a facilitator that can get his teammates going. As he said before the game, “I hope it’s Goran tonight, I hope it’s Tyler, I hope it’s Duncan.” The reason he says that is because he knows the key to winning these games is to get those types of guys going, which is what he did. Jimmy also likes to let everyone know that he has his teammates back, when he pushed Wesley Matthews after a hard foul on Bam in the third quarter. That was and will always be Jimmy’s role, especially on this current Heat team.
#4: Miami slows down Giannis Antetokounmpo, but he powered through with the help of the officials.
It’s clear Giannis Antetokounmpo can not be fully stopped, since he’s an absolute offensive force. But, he can definitely be slowed down. He may get his points, but he has to work for them majorly. And by work for them, I mean running through the lane to constantly draw a foul. The officials were definitely generous for Giannis Antetokounmpo and others throughout, since there was zero leeway for Miami defenders to be physical. Giannis was able to thrive a bit more in the fourth quarter once Derrick Jones Jr entered the game for an injured Andre Iguodala. DJJ clearly isn’t big enough to guard Giannis, but made some scrappy plays which is what he usually does. If Miami is able to be a bit more physical with Giannis the rest of the series, it definitely favors the Heat. The officials ended up giving one call back to Jimmy Butler and the Miami Heat, which resulted in Jimmy Butler’s game winning free throws.
#5: Bam Adebayo’s impacted the game off the ball as much as he possibly could.
Bam Adebayo was such a presence throughout this game around the rim. On both sides of the ball, he was as scrappy as ever with his rebounding efforts. This may have a little something to do with the fact that he has been watching film and working on his rebounding with Heat’s veteran Udonis Haslem. But that’s not the only part of his game that he made an impact on. He was an outstanding screen setter throughout, as he usually is, but his ability to get guys free against this drop scheme proved to be very essential. It would be great for this Heat team if he’d be aggressive with the ball in his hands throughout, but Spo constantly reiterates that he wants Bam to play to his strengths instead.