Miami Heat vs. Milwaukee Bucks: Postgame Grades and Analysis
After a frisky first half by the Milwaukee Bucks, the Miami Heat had little trouble dispatching them 104-91 at the buzzer.
The Heat win puts them up 3-0 in the opening-round series and the Bucks' hopes for any sort of upset on life support.
Ray Allen was the top dog in Game 3, surpassing Reggie Miller with playoff three-pointer No. 321 and 322. His five treys and 23 points were tops in the game.
For Milwaukee, six players reached double figures, but it wasn't nearly enough. Larry Sanders was a bright spot, going for 16 points and 11 rebounds.
The Heat will look to complete a four-game sweep of the Bucks in Milwaukee on Sunday afternoon.
Let's hit the Bleacher Report classroom to see how everyone graded out in another blowout win for the Heat.
Brandon Jennings, MIL PG: C+
One of the best parts of this series is that there are two breath-taking fast-break duos in each game. Jennings was a great leader of the Milwaukee transition game in the first half but was unable to get any offense going later.
When things get stagnant like Miami forced upon Milwaukee on Thursday, Jennings can revert back to his meaningless gunner mentality and start taking bad shots. He finished just 5-of-15, including missing six of seven threes.
Jennings worked himself to 16 points and eight assists, to go along with five rebounds and five steals. That proves he was trying throughout the game, but the execution just wasn't there as a cohesive unit. That responsibility falls on the point guard.
Mario Chalmers, MIA PG: C
It was just an overall disappointing game from the backcourts of the Miami Heat and Milwaukee Bucks.
Mario Chalmers did little to dispel that. Miami's point guard was just 2-of-6 from the field and missed half of his six free throws. That gave him just seven points on the night.
The lone bright spot for Chalmers was his eight assists, which came up big in the Heat's second-half ball movement.
Dwyane Wade, MIA SG: C
Dwyane Wade had about as good a game as a player who shot 1-of-12 from the field can have.
Somehow Wade wound up with six offensive boards and nine overall. That, coupled with 11 assists and five steals, resulted in an interesting performance.
Those 11 missed shots and six turnovers can't be erased by some nice hustle plays and teammates hitting shots. Wade was subpar in Game 3 but was lucky enough to have Ray Allen backing him up.
Monta Ellis, MIL SG: D
Monta Ellis is the other half of the Bucks' fantastic fast-break attack. However, in Game 3 he did little to earn that respect.
Ellis has choked in the postseason before, and it appears that is what we are seeing again. Game 2 saw Ellis go for just seven points and six assists. He was just 2-of-9 from the field, including 1-of-6 from beyond the arc.
Instead of trying to attack the basket, Ellis settled for jumper after jumper. That isn't how a team with this much athleticism is going to challenge the Miami Heat.
LeBron James, MIA SF: A
LeBron James was thrown off his game early. While his teammates continued to miss the open looks he gave them, things got a little hairy. He knew he had to take over but wanted to continue facilitating as much as possible this early in the playoffs.
When it became apparent the Bucks might actually be able to steal Game 3, James transformed the Heat offense. He put together a nine-point third quarter and went on from there.
James finished with 22 points on 9-of-14 shooting. He racked up six assists as well, but there should have been more.
This game proved that James is capable of taking over a quarter and having that be effective enough to win a game against a mediocre opponent.
Ersan Ilyasova, MIL SF: B
Ilyasova was on point with his shooting and also provided the Bucks with excellent interior passing. Not many wings have the size to be able to post up against James, and Ilyasova used that to his advantage.
Defensively, he used his length to jump passing lanes and make things miserable in the mid-range for the Heat. He came up with three steals, a block and eight rebounds doing that.
Ilyasova posted 15 points and four assists on the night.
Udonis Haslem, MIA PF: B+
In comparison to normal production, Udonis Haslem was a revelation for the Miami Heat in Game 3.
In just 16 minutes, the Heat forward had scored 12 points on 5-of-6 shooting and grabbed three boards.
Ultimately there is little more to analyze about Haslem's game, as he wasn't on the floor long enough. However, whenever he is efficient from the floor, it is a major surprise advantage for Miami.
Luc Richard Mbah a Moute, MIL PF: C
Luc Richard Mbah a Moute's spot in the starting lineup is still a bit of a mystery.
Despite a decent night of 12 points and six rebounds, Mbah a Moute racked up a minus-17 mark in 33 minutes. The Bucks seem to be much better going fully with small ball or giving their two reserve shooters, J.J. Redick and Mike Dunleavy Jr., a lot more run.
One spot to credit Mbah a Moute was how hard he seemed to work. After the Heat took a small lead in the third quarter, he led the charge to push the Bucks back in front. In the half court, he used his size and athleticism to get to the line. He earned seven free throws in the third quarter alone.
Chris Bosh, MIA C: B
Nobody took advantage of garbage time like Chris Bosh did in Game 3.
He holds an impressive final line of 16 points and 14 rebounds. However, that 7-of-14 shooting mark was inflated by meaningless buckets at the end of the blowout. Same goes for the rebounds. He was also a slightly worrisome 2-of-5 from the charity stripe.
With that being said, Bosh found a way to be productive in a game he was struggling with.
He had a couple of nice moments defensively, using deceptive speed to close gaps and alter shots.
Larry Sanders, MIL C: B
Returning to familiar territory, Larry Sanders was finally able to exploit one of the Heat's main weaknesses.
Sanders hit the glass early and often. He was able to use his superior athleticism to outmaneuver the Miami frontcourt for numerous offensive rebounds. He finished with 11 rebounds, four coming off the offensive glass.
The overwhelming majority of Sanders' 16 points came in transition, including a coast-to-coast dunk. That became a problem for the Bucks, once the Heat were able to get the game moving at their chosen pace.
Milwaukee cannot score from the interior in the half court.
Ray Allen, MIA SG: A
It was a big night for the NBA's three-point king.
On top of having an excellent night scoring the basketball for his team, Allen broke Reggie Miller's record of 320 playoff three-pointers. His five treys in Game 3 give him 322 total in his postseason career.
Allen was far more talented than any of the Bucks reserves, using simple moves to get open and finding some luck with open corner threes.
Allen finished with a game-high 23 points on 8-of-14 shooting.
J.J. Redick, MIL SG: B
J.J. Redick hasn't played in Milwaukee long, but he sure enjoyed the home court in Game 3.
Redick provided the Bucks with a great spark early on. Like much of the team, he went in the tank after the first half.
His three treys at the start of the game looked to be setting him up for something special, but then he was cut short. Playing only 17 minutes didn't help him continue to explore his rhythm.
Redick scored 11 points in the time he was awarded.
Miami Heat Bench: B
Chris Andersen once again played a massive role in the Heat game plan. It was a relatively light night for a few of the starters, and Andersen stepped up in a big way.
The Heat's reserve center posted 11 points on perfect 5-of-5 shooting and collected six rebounds in just 14 minutes.
Norris Cole was nearly perfect as well, going 3-of-4 for seven points.
Shane Battier was a non-factor in his 27 minutes.
Milwaukee Bucks Bench: C-
Outside of J.J. Redick's first half, the Bucks bench was a major disappointment.
Mike Dunleavy Jr. finished with 11 points but had only three until mop-up duty began.
Neither Samuel Dalembert nor Marquis Daniels played to any consequence.