The Miami Heat will take on the Milwaukee Bucks Wednesday afternoon at 4 p.m. in what will be both team’s fourth “seeding” game of the NBA Restart.
With a victory, the Bucks would clinch the No. 1 seed the Eastern Conference, while a Heat win would move them within 1.5 games of the Boston Celtics for the third spot and increase their margin over the Indiana Pacers for the fourth seed in the East.
Unlike the usual, Miami won’t be utilizing its common lineup Wednesday. Regardless, here’s how the Heat can sweep the season series (3-0) versus Milwaukee.
Replace Missing Players’ Production
Heat forward Jimmy Butler and veteran guard Goran Dragic will miss Thursday’s game, Butler because of a sore right foot and Dragic with a sprained left ankle.
Miami will be also without Gabe Vincent, because of right knee soreness and KZ Okpala, with personal reasons.
Similar to the Heat’s Tuesday victory against the Celtics, they’ll miss Butler, who Miami managed to replace his production, using strong performances from Bam Adebayo (21), Duncan Robinson (21) and Goran Dragic (20).
And with Dragic out too, Adebayo and Robinson will have to step it up again if the Heat looks to minimize the impact of not playing with their All-Star guards.
Could we see an expanded role for Tyler Herro with Dragic unable to go? Herro had 11 points off the bench Tuesday’s win, getting more time on the court as Kendrick Nunn continues to underperform at the point guard position since arriving at Disney’s Wide World of Sports Complex. Nunn, who’s averaged 15 points a game this season, has only scored 17 combined points in the Heat’s three “seeding” games since action shifted to the bubble in Orlando.
Get Duncan Robinson His Shot
In the Heat’s recent loss to the Toronto Raptors, Robinson was only able to get off four three-point attempts. In Miami’s wins, he’s shot more three point shots. Against the Denver Nuggets, he shot 3 of 7 from downtown and 5 of 11 versus the Celtics.
The trend says it itself, if Robinson is a threat from downtown and gets up his shot, the Heat get the win.
Keep Up the Bench Production
Since the NBA restart, the Heat’s bench has averaged nearly 48 points a game. Most of the production on the offensive side for that unit has come from the aforementioned Dragic, but Kelly Olynyk and Herro have been doing their part to get buckets as well. Their use of depth has helped the Heat remain successful during their three games in a four-day stretch, including back-to-back’s against Toronto and Boston.
That chain looks to repeat versus Milwaukee.