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Highlights: Heat vs. Bucks
(2:30)

The Milwaukee Bucks started the second round of the playoffs similar to the first — with a shocking loss to a team they should beat. The Miami Heat played stout defense all night against Milwaukee, and Jimmy Butler looked like the best player on the floor after turning out a 40-point performance. Miami kept reigning MVP Giannis Antetokounmpo in check, as he was held to just 18 points despite nearly finishing with a triple-double (18-10-9). 

Miami came into this game — and series — as underdogs, but brought the fight to the Bucks, who will need Giannis to lead this team to victory Wednesday to avoid a 2-0 series deficit. Here’s everything you need to know about Game 2 of the Bucks- Heat series. 

Viewing information

  • Date: Wednesday, Sept. 2 | Time: 6:30 p.m. ET
  • Location: Disney Wide World of Sports — Orlando, Florida
  • TV: ESPN | Stream: fuboTV (try for free)
  • Odds: Bucks -4.5 | Over/Under: 221 (via William Hill Sportsbook)

Storylines

Bucks: While Giannis finished with a near-triple-double against the Heat, it wasn’t nearly enough to lift Milwaukee to a win, especially considering he went a dreadful 4 of 12 from the free throw line. As the leader of the Bucks, Antetokounmpo’s energy on both ends of the floor ignites his teammates, and when he’s struggling it has a ripple effect throughout the rest of the team. Even though Khris Middleton and Brooke Lopez did great in assisting Giannis on an off-night for him, his performance is absolutely crucial to Milwaukee’s success. Credit Miami for playing him incredibly well defensively, something that the Heat also accomplished in their regular-season meetings, but Giannis will have to break out sooner rather than later in this series. Otherwise the Bucks could be in some serious trouble.

Heat: If there was a performance to show just how perfect Butler and Miami go together, Game 1 of this series was it. Late in the game, Butler absolutely took over, and afterward he revealed that he told his teammates he “probably wasn’t going to pass the ball.” This is the exact situation Butler’s been searching for throughout his career, and from the support of his teammates and coaches, he was able to go out and show the Bulls, Timberwolves and 76ers that he can certainly lead a team to success. While Butler played phenomenally, though, Miami will need more offensively out of Duncan Robinson, who was sensational in the Heat’s first round. Robinson finished the game with just four points on 1 of 4 from 3-point range. The Bucks are going to pressure Butler more in Game 2, and Miami will need to rely on the help around him in order to pull out another win against the top-seeded Bucks.

Prediction

Just as the Bucks responded incredibly well after dropping Game 1 in the first round to the Orlando Magic, I expect the same thing to happen in Game 2 to the Heat. Giannis will be locked in and ready to prove that his Game 1 performance isn’t going to happen often. Pick: Bucks -4.5

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