Miami did not do much to help its cause for the second seed in the Eastern Conference tonight by losing to the Milwaukee Bucks. Turnovers killed the Heat in the first half, committing 11 turnovers compared to Milwaukee’s 2.
Mike Bibby and Lebron James simply were not on the same page tonight on the pick-and-rolls/pops. Too many miscues between those two led to too many unnecessary turnovers during crucial stretches in the game.
Mike Miller played hard minutes against the Bucks, grabbing 12 rebounds in 26 minutes of action. It would have been better if Miller was a bit more aggressive offensively.
With Dwyane Wade sidelined nursing an injury, Miller should have looked for his shot more. Instead, he only shot the ball 7 times, 2 of those attempts came in the final seconds of the game. Miami needed his offense in the 4th quarter.
James Jones started in place of Wade, who is not quite certain when he will be back in the lineup. Jones did not have a very good night. Shooting only 1/5 from the field, and 1/4 from three for the three-point champ. Significantly less production than what Miami is accustomed to from the shooting guard position.
Mario Chalmers played 17 minutes against Milwaukee and managed to have more shot attempts than both Miller and Jones. Unfortunately Chalmers was terrible, shooting 1/9 from the field.
Chris Bosh did not exactly pick up the slack without Wade either. While he had 18 points, he was only 6/15 shooting and had a very tough time defending Luc Richard Mbah a Moute.
In fact, Miami was very poor in the painted area against Milwaukee. Scoring only 26 points in the pain, compared to 42 for the Bucks. You can understand losing some production inside due to Andrew Bogut, but getting outscored by 16 inside hurts. Especially when you’re turning the ball over at a high rate as Miami was.
Scoring did not come easy to the Miami Heat tonight. Milwaukee does play very good defense, but Miami could not hit shots down the stretch of the 4th quarter to take advantage, while the Bucks did.
The Bucks were cold all night from three, until the end of the game when it mattered. Both Keyon Dooling and Carlos Delfino hit three pointers in the 4th quarter to seal a victory over Miami.
The loss stings the Heat because they are in a race with Boston for the second seed in the Eastern Conference. Miami now falls to a half game behind Boston. The Heat will have to play host to the Charlotte Bobcats first on Friday. It can not afford to be looking ahead to Sunday’s match-up because another loss will all but concede home court to the Celtics in the second round.