The Bucks may have lost two-time MVP Giannis Antetokounmpo to a back injury in Game 1 of the Eastern Conference playoffs. Still, the Miami Heat, which pulled a shocker with a 130-117 victory as the eighth seed, sustained a significant loss as well. Tyler Herro, who has been a premier sixth man before moving into the starting lineup, broke his hand and won’t be available for the rest of the series.
Admittedly, Herro is not known as a top defensive stopper. But for a team that ranked 25th in the NBA in Offensive Rating, his presence is critical as a third scoring threat, as he averaged 20.0 points per game. Now Miami will have to worry about somebody getting hot who is NOT named Jimmy Butler or Bam Adebayo.
So who’s that going to be? Well, it’s a good question.
In the NBA playoff betting odds that have been posted on this game by the folks at BetOnline, the Bucks are laying quite a few points:
Milwaukee Bucks -8
Miami Heat +8
Over 219.5 Points -115
Under 219.5 Points -105
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Before we go any further, let’s say that it looks as if Giannis will play. He suffered a back contusion, and we don’t know what they’re doing to get him ready, but if he is functional, he’s a guy who presents a challenge to the Heat on both offense and defense.
And speaking of that, in replacing Herro, Miami head coach Erik Spoelstra is facing a challenge in putting guys out there who can play at both ends of the floor. Duncan Robinson will get a lot of minutes, but the problem is that he can’t guard anyone. So he’s a guy the Heat has to “hide” a little on defense. Kevin Love had 18 points and eight rebounds in Game 1. And the game announcers were shocked that Miami was calling plays for the guy. But Love will be upfront, and he doesn’t defend in the lane or at the rim.
Kyle Lowry can step up his offensive game after just two points on Sunday, but he is historically a hot-and-cold shooter, and if he teams with Gabe Vincent in the backcourt, that makes the team smaller. That tandem, when together, was outscored slightly by the opposition this season. As for other guys, they’ve got Caleb Martin and Victor Oladipo, but they have to worry about scoring points against a Bucks team that can put three All-Defensive team members on the court at any given time.
And what is important about that is that the Bucks can hassle any of the Miami offensive weapons with the likes of Giannis, Brook Lopez, and Jrue Holiday.
We were thinking about how this analysis worked to attack the total, but we weren’t certain what kind of effect we’d see. But the operative factors tell us that the Bucks can make adjustments, get something meaningful out of Giannis, and maybe run away with this one.
BetOnline brings the NBA playoffs to life with its sharp odds and an array of game props. As it’s a marathon rather than a sprint, you’re welcome to join the excitement. It’s worth noting that opening an account can be done using a credit card or various cryptocurrency options, such as Bitcoin.