Miami Heat: Surviving weird season & Playoff rematch against Milwaukee

Miami Heat center Bam Adebayo (13) guards Milwaukee Bucks guard Jrue Holiday (21)(Michael McLoone-USA TODAY Sports)
Miami Heat center Bam Adebayo (13) guards Milwaukee Bucks guard Jrue Holiday (21)(Michael McLoone-USA TODAY Sports) /
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Miami Heat
Milwaukee Bucks forward Giannis Antetokounmpo (34) puts up a three point shot against the Miami Heat(Michael McLoone-USA TODAY Sports) /

The Miami Heat are the underdogs heading into their first-round series, but here’s how they can pull it off.

Vegas betting odds have listed Milwaukee as a strong favorite to advance past Miami. For reference, the Bucks odds of advancing are the exact same odds for the Los Angeles Clippers advancing against the Dallas Mavericks.

As previously mentioned, the Bucks were significant favorites to win the series against the Heat last year, so what needs to happen to ‘buck’ the odds again? First and foremost, we need Butler to continue his excellent play.

Even though the case for JIMVP never made real noise, Butler played fantastic in the regular season. The Heat’s record with Butler playing was 33-19 and 7-13 when he didn’t.

And per 100 possessions, Miami was 11 points better with Butler on the floor (+5) than they were with him off (-6). Bam Adebayo needs to continue being a terror on defense.

In order for the Miami Heat to have a shot, they need to make life hard for Giannis Antetokounmpo at every turn and Adebayo is one of the few players in the league that has the physical ability to slow him down. Tyler Herro missed significant time this year (18 games) and at times, seemed bothered by minor injuries while he played.

Maybe I am giving him the benefit of the doubt by partly blaming his sophomore struggles on injury but either way, we need him and Duncan Robinson to shoot well. Last year in the bubble, the Heat got hot at the right time and took advantage of Milwaukee being weak at guarding the three.

Taking advantage of Milwaukee’s weakness was a brilliant strategy by Miami Coach Erik Spoelstra and was a major reason why we won the series last year. Coach Spo will have to win the chess match against Coach Mike Budenholzer again this year.

Next. Miami Heat First Round Playoff Preview. dark

I can’t wait to see his game to game adjustments and his excellent leadership as the team gets ready for another playoff run. Things are about to get really fun.