Just like that, the Miami Heat’s season is over. A year after losing to the Heat in the semi-finals, the Milwaukee Bucks got their revenge by sweeping the Heat. Miami got off to a good start and even led by double-digits. However, the Bucks took the lead in the third period and never looked back. Milwaukee will now advance to the second round of the NBA playoffs. They’ll face either the Boston Celtics or the Brooklyn Nets in the next round.
Here are my takeaways from Saturday’s loss to the Bucks.
Everything seemed to be going well for the Heat during the first half. Miami was hitting their shots and kept Giannis Antetokoumpo in check. Khris Middleton was also struggling from the field. However, things fell apart in the third period. Even though the Bucks missed shots early in the third period, they were able to cut the deficit at the free-throw line and never looked back. Milwaukee ended the third period with a 91-85 lead.
For all the talk about Bam Adebayo being passive, the Heat’s top scorer Jimmy Butler was just as passive. Butler did not attempt his third shot until there were four minutes left in the first half. He did, however, fill up the other parts of the stat sheets. Butler finished the first half with eight assists and five rebounds. Still, the fact that he wasn’t making a statement in the scoring column hurt the team. It’s been an issue all series long and it’s one of the reasons why their season ended on Saturday. Butler finished the series averaging 14.5 points per game on 29.7 percent shooting.
Rebounding Struggles Continue
Pat Riley once said, “No rebounds, no rings.” In this series, it was no rebounds no win. Miami’s rebounding struggles continued in Game 4. Miami was unable to finish some of their great defensive sequences with a rebound. Each time the Bucks made them pay with either a tip-in or a wide-open three. The Bucks finished the game with 15 offensive rebounds. Milwaukee outrebounded the Heat 56-40 in Game 4. 31 of those rebounds came from Giannis, Middleton, and Brook Lopez.
Follow Jacari McRae on Twitter @JMcRae23