Miami Heat: Will They Use The Same Defensive Strategy In Bucks Series?

Milwaukee Bucks forward Giannis Antetokounmpo (34) moves to the basket against the defense of Miami Heat forward Bam Adebayo (13) forward Jae Crowder (99) and guard Kendrick Nunn (25)(Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports)
Milwaukee Bucks forward Giannis Antetokounmpo (34) moves to the basket against the defense of Miami Heat forward Bam Adebayo (13) forward Jae Crowder (99) and guard Kendrick Nunn (25)(Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports) /
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The Miami Heat get their 2021 NBA Playoffs started on Saturday afternoon. With a Game One matchup against the Milwaukee Bucks, the Miami Heat should be locked in.

While teams have traditionally gotten by the Milwaukee Bucks, when they could, by deploying one specific defensive strategy, is it time to try something else? To remind of that strategy, the Miami Heat actually took advantage of it during last season’s NBA Bubble Playoffs.

Like a few other teams before them and when it came to Giannis Antetokounmpo, the Miami Heat chose to build the wall. When you keep Giannis as far away from the basket as possible, forcing him to take outside shots, he becomes just that much more ineffective.

Also and up until this season, the other guy was Eric Bledsoe to go along with The Freak and Khris Middleton. Well, now they have Jrue Holiday.

Where Bledsoe wouldn’t necessarily make teams pay for shifting all of their coverage towards Antetokounmpo, Holiday can and will. That leads to an interesting question though.

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The Miami Heat have been here before, so, should they attempt to defend Giannis Antetokounmpo with what has worked for them?

Should the Miami Heat flip-flop their strategy and attempt to do the opposite? Should they allow Giannis Antetokounmpo to do what he does at a high level, while trying to shut everyone else down?

The answer is a simple one. No.

This is one of those situations where you don’t get too cute. If you are Erik Spoelstra and the Miami Heat, you go with what has worked for you in the past.

Here’s the gist of it all. Traditionally, Middleton and Holiday can’t beat you.

They can make a game really tough, but neither of them can get the big buckets, alone, that Antetokounmpo can. Also, there is this.

Giannis gets it done in the paint and at the rim, where those other two guys are perimeter guys. Their shots are, naturally, tougher than anything that Antetokounmpo takes.

That’s another key reason. By nature of their games, they are already less likely to kill you if you’re Miami.

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So, when it comes to the Heat versus the Bucks to open the playoffs, they should go with what has worked for them before. Heck, it’s worked for a few teams and hopefully, it’s successful again here.