Miami Heat: 5 Keys To Beating Milwaukee Bucks In 2013 NBA Playoffs
What Do Miami Heat Need To Do To Beat Milwaukee Bucks?
Miami Heat will be going into the first round of the 2013 NBA playoffs as the overwhelming favorites against the Milwaukee Bucks. While an upset seems highly unlikely, the Bucks will not simply admit defeat before the series has even started. Despite having all the tools to sweep Milwaukee, Miami still has to come out and execute.
The Bucks have generally matched up well against the Heat this year, but still lost the season series 3-1. Miami have done well to neutralize the Bucks' primary weapons, and will need to continue to do so in the opening series of what is likely to be a long postseason run.
LeBron James has clearly been the catalyst for Miami's success this year, putting together another spectacular season which will inevitably land him his fourth MVP award.
While James has been spectacular, the Heat have truly clicked as a cohesive unit this season. The additions of Ray Allen, Rashard Lewis and Chris Andersen have contributed greatly to Miami's several winning streaks. Everyone has embraced their role, which has allowed the team to score in a very efficient way.
When you look at the numbers, it is clear why Miami is such a huge favorite to send the Bucks home early. The Heat rank first in field goal percentage, collectively shooting at a sizzling 49.6 percent from the field. Their incredible efficiency is reflected in another stat - Miami takes the least field goal attempts in the league.
On the other hand, the Bucks are led by Brandon Jennings and Monta Ellis, who are not shy with putting up shots. Thanks to the trigger-happy backcourt, Milwaukee leads the league in field goal attempts, but rank 28th in field goal percentage.
The numbers are clearly in Miami's favor here, but what do they need to do to ensure that they start off the playoffs the right way?
Vytis is a Miami Heat and NBA columnist for RantSports. You can follow him on Twitter here: @VytisLasaitis
Shut Down Monta Ellis
The Heat have done a great job limiting Ellis this season. In four games, Ellis is putting up just 9.5 points per game on 30.3 percent shooting. Despite his poor shooting, he still took 13.2 field goal attempts per game. You can bet that he will continue to shoot, and it is up to Miami's defense to make sure he is detrimental to his own team.
Get Mike Miller Involved
Mike Miller has been somewhat of a pleasant revelation towards the end of the regular season. He didn't see many minutes throughout the year, but stayed ready and got his chance when the stars were resting. His three-point shooting has lifted Miami as of late, and he has led the Heat in the final moments of the 2012-13 campaign.
Get Out In Transition
Miami ranks first in the league in points per play in transition. When the Heat get out in the open court and earn easy points in transition, they are simply unstoppable. The Bucks are often lazy getting back to their own basket, and it is something Miami has to exploit.
Continue Domination on the Boards
Miami is the worst rebounding team in the league, but has done very well in that department against Milwaukee. On the season, the Heat grab just 38.6 rebounds per game, but have killed the Bucks on the glass this season with 48.8 per game.
Share the Basketball
The Heat are the best spot-up shooting team in the NBA. For the team’s half-court offense to function well, everyone needs to be ready to make the extra pass, which has not been a problem this year. This season, the Heat are 50-2 when they dish out more assists than their opponents.