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5 Most Anticipated Miami Heat Postseason Player Matchups

With the NBA set to return on July 30th, there’s a lot to look forward to. The race to a final playoff spot, the climb to a higher seed, and different matchups your team may face. Miami Heat player matchups could be among the most intriguing.

Not only the team that’ll be your first round match-up, but also player rivalries. Many great battles have occurred throughout the season thus far, and will be even more intense in a playoff setting.

Here are some of the most anticipated matchups for the Miami Heat that fans would love to see…

Miami Heat Player Matchups 1 – Bam Adebayo  vs Giannis Antetokounmpo

Giannis Antetokounmpo has been pretty close to unstoppable this season putting up MVP types of numbers. But only one guy has seemed to slow him down. Bam Adebayo. They faced off twice during this season and Bam came away with the win in both. This title officially was given to Bam when they faced off in early March. The Heat got a blowout win against the Bucks and Bam held Giannis to 13 points in the game, which tied the lowest points he scored all season. This match-up would be amazing not only for fans, but also to be the icing on the cake for a potential 2021 signing.

Miami Heat Player Matchups 2 – Jimmy Butler vs TJ Warren

NBA fans were robbed of this post-altercation match-up since the NBA was shut down shortly before. Everyone had this game circled on their calendar, including Jimmy Butler. This match-up is anticipated for a much different reason than the last. Jimmy Butler and TJ Warren got in a scuffle during a game in early January. Lots of words were said and kisses were blown, but fans want to see them in action on the court. And Jimmy does too…

Miami Heat Player Matchups 3 – Adebayo vs Pascal Siakam

This is another match-up that Bam Adebayo seems to embrace. The Heat played the Raptors twice this season as well which ended in two wins. These big wins were lead by Bam’s major defensive versatilities against Toronto’s star Pascal Siakam. His outstanding perimeter defense held Siakam to only 15 points in the game with a subpar field goal percentage. This was the beginning of another rivalry that Bam seemed to constantly come out on top with. And lets not forget another battle that Bam beat Siakam…

 Player Matchups 4 – Butler vs Jayson Tatum

This is a match-up that does not get talked about much, but should. For starters, the Celtics got the best of Jimmy Butler and the Heat in both games this season, which does not sit well with Jimmy. That is something that sticks in the back of players heads, especially a player that his the mindset of Jimmy Butler. Jimmy also had one of his best games of the season in the first game against Boston in which he scored 37 points. He also held Jayson Tatum to 19 points and forced him to shoot 2/12 from three in Boston. This is a match-up that could heat up if they were to face off in a playoff series.

Player Matchups 5 – Adebayo vs Joel Embiid

The Miami Heat and Philadelphia 76ers always seem to bring an immense amount of intensity when they face off. There are many intriguing match-ups between these teams due to the trade that sent Josh Richardson to Philadelphia and Jimmy Butler to Miami. There may be more of a rivalry with Jimmy and some guys, but it doesn’t seem to be as closely watched as when Bam Adebayo faces Joel Embiid. (If it wasn’t player on player match-ups, Jimmy Butler vs Brett Brown would be the best rivalry between these teams.) This is the only match-up that it seems Bam hasn’t fully stopped. They’ve had their battles back and forth with toughness and offensive showings, but Bam has yet to fully stop Embiid himself with his defense. This might be because the 76ers seem to be easily stopped by strategy, like a zone defense, and also tend to stop themselves at times with their inability to fit together. Either way, this match-up will be closely watched for both sides to see if Bam can fully dethrone the best center in the NBA or if Embiid can overpower him with his size and skill set.

Heat should seek second round with the Bucks

As it stands right now, the Miami Heat would face the Indiana Pacers in the first round of the NBA playoffs. As the 4-seed, the Heat find themselves in the same half of the bracket as the Bucks and defending MVP Giannis Antetokounmpo. While some may say that’s not ideal, the Heat should seek that second-round match up with Milwaukee.

 

Miami is one of two teams this season (Denver the other) to have multiple wins over the 53-12 Bucks. The Heat were one of three teams to win in Wisconsin, doing so without Jimmy Butler. Then, in Miami, the Heat held Milwaukee to a season-low 89 points en route to snapping a six-game Bucks winning streak.

 

During those contests, the Heat made Antetokounmpo work for every bucket. Coach Erik Spoelstra rotated multiple defenders at Giannis, and the Heat limited him to just 13 points that night in Miami.

 

Leading into a second-round tilt with Milwaukee will afford Spo more than enough time to sharpen those defensive efforts. Miami will have fully integrated Andre Iguodala and Jae Crowder by then, giving the team even more options for Antetokounmpo beyond just Bam Adebayo.

 

The Heat would ill-afford slipping to the 6-seed, because that would likely signal a first-round tilt with Boston. The Celtics are 2-0 versus Miami this season, including a convincing 19-point drubbing at TD Garden in early December.

 

The Celtics have length on the perimeter to frustrate Miami’s offensive efforts, and the Heat have always struggled to contain shoot-first point guards, ala Kemba Walker. While the Bucks have the reigning MVP, the rest of their roster lacks the potent punch of someone like Walker.

 

Upsetting Milwaukee in the playoffs could also have a Durant-like effect on Antetokounmpo’s free agency decision come 2021.

 

This is not to say that the Heat would have an easy first-round opponent before facing the Bucks. Although Miami is 2-0 versus the Pacers this season, neither game featured Indiana’s best players: Victor Oladipo and Malcolm Brogdon.

 

Miami may also see the 76ers in the first round. The Heat were 3-1 against Philadelphia this year, including a rousing victory 117-116 overtime win in December. Jimmy Butler versus his former team would incite endless intrigue and entertainment, and Adebayo could give Joel Embiid fits.

 

Best case scenario for the Heat is they see an Indiana team that’s still integrating Oladipo and a hobbled Brogdon with Myles Turner and Domantas Sabonis. They’ll be without Jeremy Lamb, too. They’d move on to an upset win over Milwaukee in the second round and face the battered winner of a series between Boston and Philadelphia for a spot in the NBA Finals.

 

Perfect against the Best: Miami Heat maul Milwaukee

The Miami Heat played the best team in the NBA Monday night and got the win in commanding fashion, 105-89.

Here’s what happened…

The Heat came into this game off of back to back wins against Dallas and Brooklyn. With the Heat gaining the confidence that they played with earlier in the season, a win against Milwaukee would help it even more. The Heat were 1-0 with Milwaukee prior to this game.

Nunn and Jimmy came out aggressive to start the first. This is what Miami wants Jimmy to do every night, especially against a team like the Bucks. Nunn and Jimmy each had 8 points on 3/5 shooting. Kelly Olynyk ended the first quarter strong for the Heat going 2 for 2 from three, which lifted the Heat to a 31-26 lead at the end of the first.

The second quarter was more of a defensive battle with the Heat going through a bit of a cold stretch. The only guy who was the complete opposite of cold in the second quarter was Jae Crowder. Crowder hit 4 second quarter threes, and ended the first half with 5. A complete recap of this first half was one word, threes. The Heat scored 33 of their 53 first half points from beyond the arc. The Heat took a 53-52 lead at the half.

After a scoreless first half from Goran Dragic and Duncan Robinson, they started to settle down in the third quarter. They each hit 3 threes in the third quarter for the Heat. This helped Miami take a 81-70 lead over the Bucks, holding them to only 18 in the third.

The fourth quarter was just a recap of all the other quarter, defense and shooting. Bam finally got going in the fourth quarter after having a tough game scoring the basketball. He scored 8 fourth quarter points, while Jimmy and Dragic combined for 16 fourth quarter points. This led Miami to a 105-89 win over Milwaukee to go 2-0 with them on the season.

Miami generally wins games against better teams, most likely since they’re more aggressive against those teams. Being at home also helps our odds in which our defense plays significantly better at home. This proved true while the Heat held Antetokounmpo to only 13 points in the game. He also had a -16 rating while the rest of the Bucks team also had a negative rating. This was big win for the Heat, but it might’ve been a bigger win for the 2021 free agency. This was just a sample of what a polished Miami Heat defense looks like which should be intriguing for a player like Giannis.