Regular season matchups
at Miami (11/21): Heat 113, Bucks 106 (OT). James: 28 points, 10 rebounds, 8 assists; Bosh: 24 points, 18 rebounds; Jennings and Ellis: 28 points on 13-of-41 shooting; John Henson: 17 points, 18 rebounds.
at Milwaukee (12/29): Bucks 104, Heat 85. James: 26 points, 7 assists, 6 rebounds; Wade: 24 points, 6 rebounds, 4 assists; Jennings: 25 points, 7 assists, 4 steals; Bucks 35-14 in fourth quarter.
at Milwaukee (3/15): Heat 107, Bucks 94. James: 28 points, 10 rebounds, 7 assists; Bosh: 28 points, 7 rebounds; Ersan Ilyasova: 26 points, 17 rebounds; Jennings: 21 points, 6 assists, 5 rebounds.
at Miami (4/9): Heat 94, Bucks 83. James: 28 points, 7 rebounds, 7 assists; Heat 24-13 in third quarter; Jennings: 30 points on 10-of-16 shooting; Nobody else scored in double-figures on Bucks
LeBron James will be defended by Marquis Daniels.
Thank you and good night.
What? Does there need to be more analysis? The Bucks are going to be throwing Marquis Daniels into the lion's den by having him defend the future league MVP. In case you haven't seen James' numbers against Milwaukee this season, they're gaudy.
In Miami's recent win against Milwaukee, one that featured the Heat without Wade and Bosh, the Bucks sent Daniels, Luc Richard Mbah a Moute and Larry Sanders to take a stab at defending the undefendable. Obviously if you look at the numbers (28 points on 16 shots in 30 minutes), there wasn't much resistance.
Outside of Jennings, no member of the Bucks has seen anything near sustained success against the Heat this season, including Monta Ellis. The player who once attempted to compare himself to Dwyane Wade has scored under ten points in three of four meetings with Miami this season.
My guess is that Wade didn't take too kindly to such a comparison, thus why Ellis hasn't scored more than 14 points in a game against Miami this season. He's averaging 9.5 points on 30 percent shooting when playing Miami.
Meanwhile, Wade is averaging 24 points on 51 percent shooting to go along with six assists and five boards per game in three games against Milwaukee.
The Bucks will need more than Jennings' ability to hit low-percentage jumpers if they're going to want to even begin considering an upset. They'll need a tremendous amount of help from their frontcourt, which may not occur with center Larry Sanders dealing with a sore back.
Ilyasova, with the exception of the 26 points and 17 rebounds he had in the third meeting, has struggled mightily, recording six or less points and five or less rebounds in the other three contests.
The Heat are averaging five more boards than the Bucks in their four contests this season. Bosh has had two of his best rebounding performances of the year when matched against Milwaukee.
Former coach Scott Skiles could have continued to make Milwaukee a nuisance to Miami (he was the coach in the 19-point win in late December), but his job has since been taken by a coach who has been a part of Miami's two double-digit wins against the Bucks this year.
It will be a surprise to everyone if the Bucks even steal a game from the Heat. Milwaukee has looked incredibly vulnerable in their past two meetings with the Heat and have been restricted to either relying on offensive rebounds from Ilyasova or isolations from Jennings.
Jennings has taken more three-pointers against the Heat than he has against any other team this season. Miami's got him exactly where they want him, even if he is averaging 24 points on 45 percent shooting against the Heat.
It's all a part of Miami's plan to make their opponents take jumpers. Jumpers, like the ones Brandon Jennings takes, don't fall in the playoffs, especially when matched up against a defense like Miami's.
A great deal of this series is going to fall on Larry Sanders, one of the league's top shot-blockers garnering 3.7 blocks per 36 minutes. In four games against the Heat, however, Sanders only has seven blocks and is averaging less than eight points and eight rebounds per game.
He's averaging 9.8 points and 9.5 rebounds on the season. He's only playing in 24 minutes worth of action per when playing against Miami, and could see that number drop if the Bucks are seriously considering having him defend LeBron.
It's either him or Mike Dunleavy. Milwaukee will throw Daniels and Mbah a Moute at James, but Sanders could be the designated third option if neither of those two are up to the task.
Per SynergySports, Sanders ranks 211th when defending spot-ups. Good luck having him defend Chris Bosh.
Miami's going to be expected to sweep, and they will.