A pair of conference rivals face off on Friday, March 15 as the Heat (32-35, 16-19 home) host the Bucks (51-17, 24-12 away) at 8:00 p.m. EST at American Airlines Arena.
These two clubs have tangled two times this year, with the Bucks winning once. The last time they faced off on January 16th, 2019, Milwaukee won 124-86 behind 17 points from Eric Bledsoe.
The Bucks began the day as 4.5-point favorites for this match up, with a projected point total of 220. That’s a big point spread, so think twice if you’re thinking of letting it all ride on the Bucks. Milwaukee is 40-25-3 against the spread this season and 34-34-0 over/under. Miami, meanwhile, is 36-31-0 ATS and 35-32-0 over/under.
The game will feature two of the league’s elite defenses. The Bucks rank ninth in fewest points allowed at 108.4 points per game, and are holding opponents to just 45.0% from the floor and 36.0% from deep.
Milwaukee uses its size and length to force 13 turnovers per game and is first in the league in rebounding at 49.3 per contest. Their ability to shut down opponents makes them one of the hardest outs in the NBA.
The Heat haven’t been too shabby on defense themselves. They rank third in fewest points allowed at 106.1 points per game, and are limiting opponents to 45.0% from the field and 36.0% from beyond the arc. Miami forces14.1 turnovers per game and is eighth in the league in rebounding.
Both teams have been busy lately. The Heat are coming off of a 74-108 win against the Pistons in Detroit in which they were 11 for 28 from deep and won the war on the glass 57-49.
The Bucks, meanwhile, are fresh off a 130-113 win against the Pelicans in New Orleans in which they dished out 27 assists and had five steals. Giannis Antetokounmpo torched the Pelicans for 24 points.
All told, the Bucks have won seven of their last ten games and are first in the Eastern Conference, while the Heat have have come out on the losing end of four of their previous ten and are eighth in the Eastern Conference.