The Milwaukee Bucks begin the playoffs Saturday afternoon against the team that ended their 2020 post-season run in the Orlando bubble – the Miami Heat.
The Bucks enter the post-season with a record of 46-26. The Heat finished the regular season 40-32.
A quick search of NBA playoff predictions reveals many so-called experts are picking the Heat to advance once again.
“We don’t pay attention to that, honestly,” Bucks center Brook Lopez tells Wisconsin’s Afternoon News. “I don’t know who is saying what or anything, but we’re coming into this post-season respecting the Heat.”
Milwaukee won the regular season series over Miami 2 games to 1, but Miami played each of those games without heart-and-soul all-star guard, Jimmy Butler.
Meanwhile, the Bucks tinkered their way through the regular season with Head Coach Mike Budenholzer experimenting on offense and defense. Diversity in the Bucks schemes is something Lopez feels will be advantageous in the post-season.
“We’ve been getting better throughout the whole season and getting more used to the new guys,” Lopez continues. “I think the adjustments we made to the offense in the off-season – it’s all really coming together at the right time.”
Bucks General Manager John Horst turned over nearly half the roster from last season. The most significant of additions is guard Jrue Holiday.
In Holiday’s first season with the Bucks, he averaged 17.7 points, 4.5 rebounds and 6.1 assists per game. He’s also an elite defender who should find his way on to an all-NBA defensive team.
“It’s incredibly impressive…so impressive. He adds a whole new dimension to our team, but I can’t say it surprises me.”
Game one of the best-of-seven series will be played Saturday afternoon at Fiserv Forum. Coverage begins at 12:00pm with Bucks Shootaround. Game two will be played Monday night at 6:30.
If it’s possible for a team with the reigning two-time MVP to enter the playoffs being overlooked, the Bucks are in that position…not that they care.