NBA Playoffs Picks: #8 Milwaukee Bucks at #1 Miami Heat
2013 NBA Playoffs – Eastern Conference Quarterfinals Game #2
#8 Milwaukee Bucks at #1 Miami Heat
Heat Lead Best of Seven Series 1-0
Tuesday, April 23, 2013, 7:30 pm Eastern, TV: NBA TV
American Airlines Arena – Miami, Florida
Opening Line: Heat -13 1/2
Current Line: Heat -14 1/2
Opening Total: 197 1/2
Current Total: 197
Opening Money Line: Heat -2000 / Bucks +1200
Current Money Line: Heat -2500 / Bucks +1450
The Miami Heat finished the regular season with 66 wins. That was 6 more than any other team in the league and 12 more than any team in the Eastern Conference. Miami began the playoffs Sunday with a 110-87 rout over the #8 seeded Milwaukee Bucks. The Heat started off the game on a 21-8 run and looked like they would run the Bucks out of the building. However, Milwaukee came back though and were only down 26-24 at the end of the first. Miami would go up 52-45 at the half. In the second half, Milwaukee opened with a three pointer from guard Monta Ellis to pull within 4. Miami then went on an 11-1 run and would never be threatened again. The really scary thing is Miami had 19 turnovers and struggled from 3 point range making only 7 of 23 from beyond the arc. The heat still won by 23 points.
Miami forward LeBron James almost had a triple double. He led all scorers with 27 points despite attempting only 11 field goals for the entire game. He also added 10 rebounds and 8 assists, both game highs as well. Ray Allen added 20 points off the bench. Dwyane Wade added 16 points and Chris Bosh added 15 points. Forward Chris Andersen scored 10 points off the bench.
Milwaukee guard Brandon Jennings made headlines earlier in the week when he predicted the Bucks would win in 6 games. He scored 26 points and Ellis scored 22. The problem was they didn’t get help from their teammates as no other Buck scored more than 6 points. Milwaukee was outrebounded 46-31.
This was the fourth win in five games this season for Miami against Milwaukee. Sunday’s game was the largest margin of victory for the Heat this season against the Bucks as the other 3 wins were by 13 or less. Miami has won 9 straight games overall and has gone 38-2 in their last 40 games this season.
Milwaukee is coached by interim coach Jim Boylan, who took over for Scott Skiles after Skiles was fired in mid-season. The Bucks are 37-46 ATS and the total is 39-41-3 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. He is probable with an ankle injury. Forward Ersan Ilyasova averages 13.2 points, 7.1 rebounds, and 1.6 assists per game. He is probable with a wrist injury. 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. He is probable with a back injury.
Miami is coached by Eric Spoelstra. The Heat are 47-36 ATS this season and the total is 42-39-2. 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. 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. Norris Cole, Rashard Lewis, Udonis Haslem, Mike Miller, and Chris Andersen make up the rest of the rotation.
Milwaukee is 5-2 ATS after failing to cover, 9-4 in Tuesday games, 8-17 after a straight up loss, 7-15 overall, 19-42 against teams with winning records, 5-13 on one day rest, 4-11-1 in conference quarterfinal games, 2-6 in road games against teams with winning home records, 6-21 against Eastern Conference teams, 1-4 after a straight up loss of 10 points or more, 2-9 in road games, and 2-12 against Southeast Division teams. The under is 11-5-1 ATS in this series overall and 8-2-1 in the last 11 in Miami.
Miami is 10-0 ATS against teams with losing records, 5-0 after a straight up win of 10 points or more, 4-0 after a straight up win, overall, against Eastern Conference teams, and against Central Division teams, 8-1 overall, and against Eastern Conference teams, 7-1 after a straight up win, 6-1 after a cover, 5-1 at home, in conference quarterfinal games, against teams with losing road records, and after scoring 100 points or more, and 4-1 after the opponent allows more than 100 points.
Both Jennings and Ellis did a lot of talking this week. Ellis said he is just as good as Wade except for the 2 championship rings. Ellis and Jennings backed up their talk with good games in game #1. However, they need to get some help from the rest of the Bucks or this will be a very short series. I think it will be anyway, as Milwaukee’s chirping has served to motivate the Heat, when otherwise they might have treated this series almost like a first round bye. Milwaukee might have taken a game or two but now I see Miami wanting to sweep them. If Miami shoots better from 3 point range and cuts down on turnovers I don’t see Milwaukee even in game #2. Always be careful with such a large spread though because the possibility of a late garbage time cover exists.
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