The NBA Playoffs move into round two. The number of teams is down to eight. Two of these teams are the Miami Heat and Billy Donovan’s Oklahoma City Thunder.
Another Florida Team for the Bucks
The Miami Heat will face the Milwaukee Bucks in the second round of the playoffs. While Miami’s counterpart in the Orlando Magic could not stop Giannis and the Bucks after Game 1, the Heat are poised to be a greater challenge.
First off, while the Magic were an eigth-seed team that stumbled in the bubble, the Heat have been highly competitive. The Heat also swept their last-round opponent in the Indiana Pacers.
The stats between Miami and Milwaukee are close to even, and the odds for the game are close as well. Milwaukee is favored by five points in Game 1. But at that point, it could go either way. The key to success for Miami: Stop Giannis. Giannis Antetokoumnpo leads the NBA playoffs in rebounds per game (16.0). On the offensive side, he is sixth in points per game (30.6) and ninth in assists per game (6.0).
The Heat can combat Giannis on defense with Jimmy Butler, who leads the playoffs in steals per game (2.5) and is averaging 5.25 rebounds per game.
The Heat and Bucks are in action at 6:30 p.m.
Thunder Look to Stay Alive
Not every team is out of the first round yet. The Heat managed to wrap up their series before the NBA stopped play for two days to protest the shooting of Jacob Blake. This was not the case for the Thunder-Rockets series. Their series went on hold. The Thunder, at the helm of Gator great Billy Donovan, look to force a Game 7 against the Houston Rockets.
After fighting to knot up the series at 2-2, the Rockets blew out the Thunder 114-80 to take back the series lead at 3-2. Donovan, OKC’s Head Coach, said the Thunder need to play a faster game.
Donovan said as well that the team needs to get off to each half on the right foot.
Tip-off between the Thunder and Rockets is set for 8 p.m.