Two of the best teams not just in the Eastern Conference but in the entire league are set to battle this Thursday, as the Miami Heat and the Milwaukee Bucks face off for the fourth time this season.
Catch this game live on Thursday, March 3, at 9 AM, Manila time.
Away: Miami Heat (41-21/20-14 on the road)
Projected Starting Five:
- PG: Gabe Vincent
- SG: Duncan Robinson
- SF: Jimmy Butler
- PF: PJ Tucker
- C: Bam Adebayo
The East-leading Heat proved their legitimacy as title contenders again, as they added another win to their ongoing undefeated streak by beating the Chicago Bulls at home last Tuesday, 112-99. And you wouldn’t guess who led Miami in that game. Gabe Vincent, starting in lieu of the absent Kyle Lowry, top-scored for the Heat with 20 points. Tyler Herro also had 20 points coming off the bench, while Jimmy Butler and Bam Adebayo had 15 apiece. Lowry has already been ruled out for the Milwaukee game due to personal reasons, but given that the Heat have been having success despite the veteran guard going in and out of the lineup, Miami should just be fine against the Bucks.
After all, they have already defeated Milwaukee twice in three meetings this season. The last time these teams met, which was in December 2021 in South Beach, the Heat leaned on another guy you’d struggle to remember 10 years from now, with Caleb Martin stepping up and dropping 28 points on 9/12 shooting in a 113-104 win for the home team. The Heat didn’t even have Butler and Adebayo in that game, but Miami’s defense and bench were enough to startle the Bucks. Milwaukee is averaging 112.9 points per 100 possessions this season with a 54.1 eFG%, but has only averaged 106.3 points per 100 possessions and recorded just a 49.7 eFG% in three games versus Miami.
Home: Milwaukee Bucks (37-25/21-12 at home)
Projected Starting Five:
- PG: Jrue Holiday
- SG: Grayson Allen
- SF: Khris Middleton
- PF: Giannis Antetokounmpo
- C: Bobby Portis
Milwaukee scored its first win post-All-Star break when they defeated the Charlotte Hornets at home last Tuesday, 130-106. Prior to that, the Bucks got upset by the Brookly Nets, 126-123 at Fiserv Forum. Giannis Antetokounmpo had a monster double-double of 26 points and 16 rebounds versus the Hornets, while Khris Middleton came up with 19 points, albeit in 5/16 shooting from the floor. Although Miami’s defense presents a big challenge for Milwaukee, the Bucks have been on a rampage offensively since late in the first half of the season. The Bucks have averaged 121.0 points on 48.9 FG% and 37.2 3FG% in their last four games.
Their outside shooting was on point in the Charlotte game, with the Bucks going 18/45 from deep. When they defeated the Heat at home last December, 124-102, the Bucks connected on 18 of 50 attempts from behind the arc, with Patt Connaughton going off with seven triples on 13 tries. Antetokounmpo was not around in that game due to a calf issue, but he’ll surely be on the floor this Thursday to help the Bucks, who are second in the league this season with 14.5 threes per contest. Also watch out for Bobby Portis in this game. The former Arkansas Razorbacks star has averaged 18.5 points on 53.8 FG% in two appearances versus the Heat this season.
Spread: As mentioned earlier, some of the Bucks’ key offensive numbers are significantly lower in games against Miami compared to their season outputs. With the way the Heat are playing right now and the fact that this team is 20-13-1 ATS in road games this season, it’s not quite a bold move to pick them to cover +4.5 this Thursday.
Over/Under: After getting showered with points in its previous two games, Milwaukee put the shackles on the NBA’s highest-scoring team in the win against Charlotte. Miami, meanwhile, tamed DeMar DeRozan and the Bulls. Taking the Under (227.0) here.