NBA Playoffs: Miami Heat at Milwaukee Bucks Game #4

2013 NBA Playoffs Eastern Conference Quarterfinals Game #4
#1 Miami Heat at #8 Milwaukee Bucks
Heat Lead Best of Seven Series 3-0
Sunday, April 28, 2013, 3:30 pm Eastern, TV: ABC
BMO Harris Bradley Center – Milwaukee, Wisconsin
Opening Line: Miami -9
Current Line: Miami -8 1/2
Opening Total: 196
Current Total: 195 1/2
Opening Money Line: Heat -475 / Bucks +395
Current Money Line: Heat -475 / Bucks +395

Heat Bucks NBA Playoff Series Preview
The Heat look to close out the Bucks Sunday in game 4. Miami could be without Dwyane Wade who is questionable with a knee injury.

The Miami Heat have gone 40-2 in their last 42 games and have won 11 straight games. The Heat have taken a 3-0  series lead against the #8 seed Milwaukee Bucks and all wins have come by at least 12 points. The Heat look to sweep the Bucks Sunday afternoon in Milwaukee, despite the fact that Miami has yet to play a full game to their capabilities. Miami won game one 110-87 and game two 98-86, both in Miami. Thursday night, Milwaukee jumped out to a 30-21 lead at the end of the first.  Milwaukee would hold the lead until the third quarter. The Bucks were up 61-55 with 7:14 left in the third. Miami would close the quarter on a 23-7 run to make it 78-68 Heat. Milwaukee would never get within single digits in the fourth, and Miami held on for the 104-91 win. Miami is 6-1 this season against Milwaukee.

Miami is coached by Eric Spoelstra. The Heat are 47-37 ATS this season and the total is 42-40-2. Miami is outscoring teams 103-95 this season. The Heat are #5 in scoring and in points allowed. Miami is shooting 49.6% from the field and 39.6% from 3 point range. The Heat lead the league in field goal shooting and are #2 in 3 point shooting. Miami makes 75.4% of their free throws. The Heat are last in the league in rebounding at 38.6 per game, and fourth in rebounds allowed with 40.1. Miami opponents are shooting 44% from the field and 35% from 3 point range. Miami is 11th or better in both categories. The Heat average  23 assists, 8.7 steals, 5.4 blocks, and 13.3 turnovers per game.

Forward LeBron James is averaging 26.8 points, 8.1 rebounds, 7.3 assists, and 1.7 steals per game. He is the prohibitive favorite to win his fourth MVP award. Guard Dwyane Wade averages 21.2 points, 5 rebounds, 5.1 assists, and 1.9 steals per game. He is questionable with a bruised knee. Forward/center Chris Bosh averages 16.6 points, 6.8 rebounds,  1.7 assists, and 1.4 blocks per game. Guard Ray Allen averages 10.9 points, 2.7 rebounds, and 1.7 assists. Point guard Mario Chalmers averages 8.6 points, 2.2 rebounds, 3.5 assists, and 1.3 steals per game. Forward Shane Battier averages 6.6 points and 2.3 rebounds. Battier is probable with a face injury. Norris Cole, Rashard Lewis,  Udonis Haslem, Mike Miller, and Chris Andersen make up the rest of the rotation.

Milwaukee is coached by interim coach Jim Boylan, who took over for Scott Skiles after Skiles was fired in mid-season. The Bucks are 38-46 ATS and the total is 39-42-3 this season. Milwaukee is being outscored 100-99 this season. The Bucks are shooting 43.5% from the field and 36% from 3 point range. The Bucks are #28 in field goal percentage. Milwaukee makes 73.6% of their free throws. The Bucks are #5 in rebounding at 44 per game but last in rebounds allowed at 46.1. Milwaukee opponents are shooting 45.4% from the field and 34.8% from 3 point range. The Bucks are #8 in 3 point defense. Milwaukee averages 22.9 assists, 8.4 steals, 6.7 blocks, and 13.6 turnovers per game.

Point guard Monta Ellis averages 19.2 points, 3.9 rebounds, 6 assists, and 2.1 steals per game. Jennings averages 17.5 points, 3.1 rebounds, 6.5 assists, and 1.6 steals a game. Forward Ersan Ilyasova averages 13.2 points, 7.1 rebounds, and 1.6 assists per game. Guard J.J. Redick was acquired in trade from the Orlando Magic. He averages 12.3 points, 1.9 rebounds and 2.7 assists. Forward Mike Dunleavy averages 10.5 points, 3.9 rebounds, and 1.9 assists. Center Larry Sanders averages 9.8 points, 9.5 rebounds, 1.2 assists, and 2.8 blocks per game.

Miami is 6-2 ATS after a cover, 13-3 against teams with losing records, 6-1 after a straight up win of 10 points or more, after a straight up win, on 2 days rest, and against Central Division teams, overall, and against Eastern Conference teams,  11-3 against teams with winning home records, 20-7 in road games, 6-2 in Conference Quarterfinal games and 5-2 after scoring 100 points or more. The under is 4-0-2 ATS in the last 5 in this series. The Heat have covered 4 of the last 5 against Milwaukee, and were favored in  each of the contests.

Milwaukee is 4-1 ATS after allowing 100 points or more, after failing to cover, and after the opponent scores 100 points or more, 7-3 in Sunday games, 20-43 against teams with winning records, 6-15 at home, 3-8 after a straight up loss of 12 points or more, 6-21 against Eastern Conference teams, 1-4 in conference quarterfinal games, 3-13 against Southeast Division teams, and 0-4 at home against teams with winning road records. The over is 15-6-1 in the last 21 games in this series in Milwaukee.

If Wade doesn’t play there is a chance, Miami lets their foot off the gas and drops this game knowing game #5  is in Miami. I don’t see that happening though. Miami knows they have a very physical series coming up likely against the Chicago Bulls who are up 3-1 in their series against the Brooklyn Nets. Miami will want as much rest as possible especially to give Wade more time to recover from the nagging knee injury that has hampered Wade for the last month. Miami ends this series tonight. But the Bucks will be in good company as the Celtics and Lakers will likely also be swept today.

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