Despite the Miami Heat taking a surprising 1-0 lead against the Milwaukee Bucks, the story of the series has been injuries.
With Tyler Herro breaking his right hand and Giannis Antetokounmpo suffering a lower back injury early in Game 1, the status of two of the top players in the series could determine who moves on to the second round.
Herro will undergo surgery on Friday and be out for four-to-six weeks. The Heat will need to figure out how to replace him, both in the starting lineup and in terms of his shot-creation. Meanwhile, Antetokounmpo has been upgraded on the injury report from doubtful to questionable with what the team is calling a lower back contusion. Things are trending in the direction that he will play.
Projected Heat starting lineup vs Bucks
- Gabe Vincent
- Duncan Robinson
- Jimmy Butler
- Max Strus
- Bam Adebayo
After Herro left the game, Heat coach Erik Spoelstra went with Duncan Robinson in the starting lineup to begin the second half of Game 1. Robinson played just more than six minutes, making a 3-pointer in his time, but did not play much after that. Still, the belief here is that Spoelstra goes with Robinson to start the game again, hoping his 3-point shooting and chemistry with Bam Adebayo can elevate the Heat offense.
Other options to start include Kevin Love, Caleb Martin and Kyle Lowry, but Spoelstra has preferred to bring those three off the bench to anchor what has been a helpful second unit.
Projected Bucks starting lineup vs Heat
- Jrue Holiday
- Grayson Allen
- Khris Middleton
- Giannis Antetokounmpo
- Brook Lopez
If Antetokounmpo doesn’t play, forward Jae Crowder will get the start in his place. But most around the Bucks are optimistic that Antetokounmpo will be able to go. The MVP candidate is Milwaukee’s most important player and provides problems for the Heat when healthy, but it will be interesting to see how well he’s moving even if he does play in tonight’s game.
Game 2 begins at 9 p.m. ET and will be broadcast nationally on NBA TV and locally on Bally Sports Florida.