Milwaukee Bucks
48-26
-1.5
+1.5
Miami Heat
40-34
Thu, May 27 - 7:30p ET   |   TNT   |   American Airlines Center
By Landon Smith

Milwaukee Bucks vs Miami Heat NBA Playoffs Preview

Milwaukee Bucks Will Try to Get a Win When Meet Miami Heat from American Airlines Arena, Miami, Florida - NBA Basketball Match Preview and Prediction Game on Thursday, May 27, 2021.

Preview, Prediction and Picks

Jimmy Butler is averaging 13.5 points in two postseason games this year.

Bam Adebayo has an average of 12.5 points.

If the host Miami Heat is to win Game 3 of its first-round playoff series against the Milwaukee Bucks on Thursday night, Butler and Adebayo will likely have to do more. Much more.

Butler has averaged 21.5 points during the regular season. Adebayo finished second in the standings (18.7). Combined, Butler and Adebayo are averaging 14.2 points combined under their regular season numbers.

By contrast, the Bucks, who lead the best of the seven series 2-0, had no problem at the top of their depth chart as their top two players played like stars. NBA double MVP Giannis Antetokounmpo averages 28.5 points, 15.5 rebounds, 5.5 assists and 3.0 steals in this series, and All-Star double Khris Middleton scores 22.0 points per game.

In Miami's 33-year history as an NBA franchise, the Heat once again won a streak after losing 2-0 just once, in the 2006 NBA Finals against the Dallas Mavericks.

Last year, the Heat were only once in a series, losing 4-2 to the Los Angeles Lakers in the NBA Finals.

Meanwhile, the Bucks, who have gone 20-16 on the road this season versus 26-10 at home, can now put their skills to the test on the court in Miami. The Heat, 21-15 at home, did not dominate in Miami this season, although 17,000 fans are expected Thursday, making them the biggest and possibly the most electrifying crowd of the season.

Milwaukee has shown in this series that it can win a close game and a blowout. The Bucks won Saturday's opener 109-107 over Middleton's hotly contested jump with 0.5 seconds remaining in overtime, and Milwaukee defeated the Heat 132-98 in Monday's shocking demolition.

After being beaten by the Heat in the franchise's only two playoff games, in the first round in 2013 and the second round last year, the Bucks appear to be a more determined team this time around.

Antetokounmpo hasn't been shy this series, making a total of 50 shots in both games, or 22. He's also 1 of 10 on three points and 12 of 20 on free throws.

The Bucks not only gained a 2-0 series lead, but they also turned the pressure on, at least for now.

Driver Goran Dragic admitted it when he said this when Milwaukee was at home: "The pressure was on them. They (needed to) win at home."

Now, of course, it's up to the Heat, a franchise with a championship lineage. After Miami's 34-point battle Monday, some members of the Heat community fear a four-game sweep, just a year after reaching the NBA Finals.

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By Landon Smith, on 7:30p ET