The Milwaukee Bucks are currently 8th in the Eastern Conference, yet they have beat the Miami Heat twice already this season. The Bucks aren’t a better team than the Heat, they just do the right thing to beat them. For now, it is just a bump in the road, but if Miami is a number one or two seed and Milwaukee stays in the top 8 of the Eastern Conference, it could end up being a problem.
If the Heat want to beat them next time they play on February 13th, they need to figure out a way to stop Brandon Jennings. In 2 games against the Heat this year, Jennings is averaging 27 points, 7 assists, 3 steals and .5 turnovers! Those numbers are almost LeBron like and the Heat can’t let that happen if they want to win.
The Bucks have played well in the paint both games too. Even without Andrew Bogut, they outscored the Heat in the paint last night, 44-30. Because the Heat have been playing poorly in the paint, it has opened up the perimeter, and because of that, the Bucks made 10 threes last night. Last night, Milwaukee didn’t outrebound Miami, but they scored when they were in the point and had more offensive rebounds.
The thing that kills the Heat is the turnover statistic. Last night, they lost the turnover battle 17-12 and in the first game 21-14. The Heat’s point guards (and LeBron James) need to hold onto the ball. Brandon Jennings and Beno Udrih has only one turnover combined last night compared to Mario Chalmers and Norris Cole’s 7. Add that to LeBron’s 7 and you have 14, which was more than the entire Bucks team combined. The longer the Heat have the ball, the better shots the will be.
It remains to be seen whether or not the Heat are just playing down to their opponent’s level, but for right now the Bucks are playing the Heat perfectly. They’re beating them up in the paint, not turning the ball over, and Brandon Jennings is playing out of his mind. The next time the Heat play Milwaukee, they will probably have a chip on their shoulder, but they can’t keep losing to inferior teams. Miami needs to start playing every game like it is a playoff game and build that warrior mentality. The Bucks have exposed the Heat’s flaws and now Miami needs to learn from and fix them.