3 reasons Bucks will beat Heat in 2023 NBA Playoffs

The Milwaukee Bucks finished the 2022-23 regular season with the best record in the NBA, which also earned them the top seed in the Eastern Conference. With the 2023 Play-In Tournament in the rearview mirror, the Bucks now know their first-round opponent, as they will be gearing up for a first-round battle with the Miami Heat.

The Bucks and Heat are familiar opponents, as this will be their third playoff matchup in the past four years. The Heat got the better of the Bucks in the 2020 Eastern Conference semifinals on their way to the NBA Finals, while the Bucks returned the favor in 2021 by quickly getting rid of the Heat in the first-round in 2021. They will be looking for more of the same in this meeting with the Heat.

This will be an interesting meeting between one of the top title contenders in the Bucks, and one of the more dangerous lower seeds in the entire playoff bracket. Miami may be the eight seed in the East, but Milwaukee cannot afford to take them lightly. Still, this is a series the Bucks should win, so let’s take a look at three reasons why that’s the case.

3. The Bucks are well-rested

Well, let’s start with the obvious here; the Bucks have had quite a bit of time to rest after a taxing regular season. Milwaukee wrapped up the top seed in the East with a few games to spare, and had begun resting some of their starters prior to that. Having a week or so off could play a huge role in allowing the Bucks to go on a deep playoff run this postseason.

On the other hand, the Heat have been battling almost nonstop just to make it into the playoffs. They were trying to find a way into the postseason as the number six seed in the East, failed to do that, and then gave themselves an extra Play-In game when they unexpectedly lost to the Atlanta Hawks in their initial 7-8 seed game.

The Bucks may have a bit of rust to shake off, but once they get back in the feel of things, the Heat won’t have any sort of advantage over them in this department. Fatigue may not play too much of a role in this series as it will later on in the playoffs, but the Bucks will be as rested as they have been all season long, and that could spell trouble for Miami.

2. The Heat struggled in the Play-In Tournament

Sometimes it’s not about your team, but rather the team you find yourself playing against. In this case, the Heat are a team that are struggling to play good basketball. They have regressed pretty drastically since last season, when they made it all the way to the Eastern Conference Finals, and they were a fourth quarter rally against the Chicago Bulls away from seeing their season coming to an end.

Even though Miami made it through the Play-In Tournament, there are still reasons for concern. In both games, they missed tons of wide open shots in the paint, and needed huge games from supporting cast players just to remain close. Kyle Lowry had 33 points in a losing effort against the Hawks, and Max Strus had 31 in a game where Miami won with just 102 total points.

Jimmy Butler hasn’t looked great in either of these games (even though he had 31 against Chicago) and Bam Adebayo shot just 1-9 against the Bulls too. Things aren’t going to be getting any easier for the Heat now that they are going up against the Bucks, and if they aren’t firing on all cylinders, chances are Milwaukee will make easy work of them.

1. The Bucks are arguably the deepest team in the NBA

While the Heat aren’t playing inspired basketball, it may not have mattered had they been anyways. The Bucks have been a machine for much of the season, managing to overcome a slew of injuries to coast through the East for much of the season, and on paper, the Heat just don’t appear to be a good matchup for Milwaukee.

What has made Miami so good during their recent run of success is finding a way to get the best out of extremely underrated players, and strong defensive integrity all over the court. But the Heat didn’t make any big additions over the previous offseason, and it’s showed up this season. They have top end talent in Butler and Adebayo, but against the Bucks, that’s not going to be enough.

Milwaukee has the depth to constantly make life difficult for the Heat’s best players, and that is what will likely win them this series. Unless Butler, Adebayo, and a third guy like Tyler Herro step up and absolutely dominate the Bucks throughout this series, this likely won’t be close. There are a lot of things working for the Bucks, but their overload of depth is what will push them over the top in this one.

The post 3 reasons Bucks will beat Heat in 2023 NBA Playoffs appeared first on ClutchPoints.

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