Game 1: Saturday, April 20, at New York, 3:00 p.m. on ABC
Game 2: Tuesday, April 23, at New York, 8:00 p.m. on TNT
Game 3: Friday, April 26, at Boston, 1:00 p.m. on ESPN
Game 4: Sunday, April 28, at Boston, ABC
Game 5: Wednesday, May 1, at New York, TBD (if necessary)
Game 6: Friday, May 3, at Boston, TBD (if necessary)
Game 7: Sunday, May 5, at New York, TBD (if necessary)
Miami Heat (66-16, Southeast Division Champions) vs Milwaukee Bucks (38-44, third in Central Division)
Season Series – Miami Heat 3-1
November 21, 2012 (113-106 for Miami)
December 29, 2012 (104-85 for Milwaukee)
March 15, 2013 (107-94 for Miami)
April 9, 2013 (94-83 for Miami)
LeBron James vs Bucks interior defense
Points: Heat – LeBron James (26.8), Monta Ellis (19.5)
Rebounds: Heat – LeBron James (8.0), Larry Sanders (9.5)
Assists: Heat- LeBron James – 7.3, Brandon Jennings (6.5)
Over the four games Milwaukee played Miami this season, forward Larry Sanders averaged at least one technical foul every 24 minutes.
Why the Miami Heat will win this series:
Since January 15, the Heat have lost just four measly games. To think they’ll lose four games in a matter of (maximum) two weeks would be pretty asinine. LeBron James, the heavy favorite to repeat as MVP this season, has averaged 27.5 points, 8.3 rebounds and 7.3 assists against the Bucks this season. Milwaukee has no one on the perimeter that can defend James man-to-man, which is the case for a lot of teams around the league, I suppose. If the Heat are motivated enough to sweep the Bucks, then that they shall.
How the Milwaukee Bucks can pull off the upset:
Milwaukee is going to need a miracle and a half to take this series from the champs. In their only victory over the Heat this season, the Bucks outscored Miami 35 to 14 in the fourth quarter. The Heat can have those stretches of games where they become lazy and uninterested. If that happens in this series, the Bucks will need to strike and strike fast. Even if they were to steal a game, perhaps on their home court, I’m positive coach Spoelstra and those Heat players would make the necessary adjustments. Solid shooting, avoiding turnovers and near perfect games from key players Brandon Jennings and Monta Ellis could make things interesting, but even that might not be enough, nor do I think it will be.
Final Prediction: Miami Heat in four