Milwaukee Bucks vs. Miami Heat
The Miami Heat is 10-point home favorites over the Milwaukee Bucks.Â The over/under total for the game is set at 198. Miami has won eight of its last nine games and is battling Boston for the No. 2 playoff seed in the Eastern Conference. Since losing five in a row back in late February/early March, the Heat have gone 11-2. The Heat play twice more before hosting the Celtics in a Sunday showdown.
Chicago point guard Derrick Rose is generating a lot of MVP buzz. However, a strong case can be made for LeBron James. Hes second in scoring next to Kevin Durant averaging 26.6 points a game, 13th in assists at seven per game and 32nd in rebounding at 7.5 per contest. James also is No. 1 in plus/minus minutes when on the court, a category Rose currently ranks 10th. James has scored in double figures in 75 consecutive games for Miami, tying Alonzo Mourning for third best in team history.
The Bucks have the No. 3 defense n the NBA, but havent been able to stop James in losing all three previous meetings to Miami this season. James is averaging 22.6 points, 7.3 rebounds and 6.6 assists against Milwaukee, while also coming up with seven steals. Dealing with injuries the entire season, the Bucks playoff hopes are realistically over trailing Indiana by three games entering Tuesday. Milwaukee lost a huge one-point road game to the Pacers this past Friday. The Bucks, though, came back to defeat Philadelphia, 93-87, at home the next night in overtime as 1-point underdogs. The combined 180 points went der the 186-point total. Milwaukee beat the 76ers despite missing Carlos Delfino, Ersan Ilyasova and Jon Brockman. Star center Andrew Bogut is playing with a painful right elbow and may not last much longer. Drew Gooden and Michael Redd have returned from extended absences for the Bucks, although Redd has been limited to single-digit minutes since returning from a second major knee surgery on March 28.
The der has won in six of the last eight meetings between the two clubs.Â Tonight, I will stick with that trend and also take the under which is set a 198.Â Miamis defense will limit Milwaukee from scoring much.