Apr 12, 2013; Miami, FL, USA; Miami Heat small forward LeBron James (6) points during the second half against the Boston Celtics at American Airlines Arena. Mandatory Credit: Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports

NBA Eastern Conference Playoff Predictions: #1 Miami Heat v. #8 Milwaukee Bucks

Wade, Bosh, Haslem and Norris Cole are the only players to average at least 15 minutes a game this year and shoot less than 40% from 3. Just for a bit of reference, the Wolves had one player who shot above 33%, J.J. Barea.

Miami is 28th in offensive rebounds but led the league in field goal percentage at 50% while taking the 6th most 3s in the league and shooting the crap out of them at 39.6% — good for 2nd behind Golden State.

In almost a complete contrast, The Milwaukee Bucks were 27th in the league in field goal percentage and 11th in 3-point attempts while being a hair above average at making them — 14th out of the 30 teams, at 36%. This shooting alone would spell doom for the 38-44 Bucks if they weren’t also tied for the league lead in offensive rebounds, tying the Denver Nuggets at 13 a game.

Heat probable starting lineup:

PG Mario Chalmers

SG Dwyane Wade

SF LeBron James

PF Udonis Haslem

C Chris Bosh

Chalmers shots over 40% from 3 this year. So did LeBron. Ray Allen shots over 42%. Shane Battier, 43%. Should Mike Miller deign it the correct time to hoist an attempt, he shot over 41% from 3. Even the Birdman, Chris Anderson made 2 of 3. It’s not hard to see how things work for Miami.

Bucks probable starting lineup:

PG Brandon Jennings

SG Monta Ellis

SF Mike Dunleavy

PF Ersan Ilyasova


It’s nice that Milwaukee gets to play a round of the playoffs. Maybe Jennings will show a hot streak of shooting and be the player he thinks he is for a quarter against Chalmers or Cole. Monta will flash some supreme athleticism and Golden State Warriors fans will get angry, but he’ll still be (maybe) the 2nd most athletic guy on the floor.

Don’t get me wrong — I’m glad Ilyasova made it to this season after Scott Skiles walked away. And LARRY F’ING SANDERS!!! is one of my favorite stories of this season. But, unless Milwaukee beats Miami at their own game with J.J. Redick and Dunleavy spreading the floor and Monta or Jennings drawing and kicking and the Bucks barrage of bigs, SANDERS, Samuel Dalembert, Ilyasova, John Henson and Gustavo Ayon — take it to Miami and kill them on the boards — the Heat would still have to suffer some sort of calamity to Wade (possible) or LeBron (not so likely) and at least 3 of the Heat shooters would have to forget what they do. It’s just too much for the Bucks — or anyone out East — to hope for.

Prediction: Heat in 4.

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Tags: Brandon Jennings Chris Bosh Dwyane Wade Eastern Conference Playoffs Ersan Ilyasova Larry Sanders LeBron James Miami Heat Milwaukee Bucks Monta Ellis Nba Playoff Predictions Nba Playoffs

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