Miami Heat vs. Milwaukee Bucks Pick & Prediction NOVEMBER 28th 2023

The Miami Heat will play host to the Milwaukee Bucks on Tuesday night in their last group-stage game of the NBA’s in-season tournament.

Milwaukee (3-0 in the tournament) would win the East Group B with a victory on Tuesday. If Miami (2-1) wins and the New York Knicks (2-1) defeat the Charlotte Hornets, it would come down to point differential over the four games.

The Bucks are coming off a 108-102 win over visiting Portland. Milwaukee rallied from a 26-point deficit – the Bucks’ biggest comeback in more than a decade.

Bucks star Giannis Antetokounmpo posted 33 points, 16 rebounds and six assists. He also had the tie-breaking tip-in with 18.5 seconds left.

“He’s one of the greatest players to play the game,” Bucks coach Adrian Griffin said. “We were dead in the water, searching.”

Antetokounmpo ended that search, and now he will try to get the Bucks to advance in the tournament.

One problem for the Bucks is the absence of three-time All-Star forward Khris Middleton due to tendinitis in his left foot. He missed the Portland game, and he is listed as questionable for the Miami game.

“No timeline,” Griffin said of Middleton on Sunday. “We’ll see how he responds to treatment. I think things are promising.”

With Middleton out on Sunday, Milwaukee started Andre Jackson Jr., and the rookie second-rounder went scoreless in 12 minutes.

Of course, the Bucks usually have plenty of scoring with their pair of seven-time All-Stars Damian Lillard and Antetokounmpo.

In addition, center Brook Lopez – even at the advanced NBA age of 35 – can still produce in a big way. He proved that on Friday, when he matched his career high with 39 points in a win over Washington.

“I’m lucky,” Lopez said. “I play with great players from Giannis to ‘Dame’ (Lillard) and all the way down.”

Miami also has outstanding players, particularly Jimmy Butler, Bam Adebayo and Tyler Herro.

However, in a 112-97 loss to the Brooklyn Nets on Saturday, none of them played. Butler (ankle) and Adebayo (hip) were rested, and Herro has an ankle injury.

Shooter Duncan Robinson – who has a thumb injury – also missed the Nets game.

Those are Miami’s four leading scorers, averaging a combined 80.8 points per game.

Despite the loss to the Nets, Heat coach Erik Spoelstra said he was pleased with his squad’s effort.

“There was definitely a competitive spirit,” Spoelstra said. “I commend our guys for making that fight.”

Of the remaining Heat players, the leading scorer is 22-year-old rookie Jaime Jaquez Jr., who is averaging 11.2 points.

A first-round pick out of UCLA, Jaquez hasn’t been shy, ranking fifth on the team in shots per game. He is shooting 50.7 percent from the floor, 40 percent on 3-pointers and 82.4 percent on free throws.

Still, without Butler, Adebayo, Herro and Robinson, it’s hard to imagine Miami snapping its two-game losing streak that includes a 100-98 loss at the New York Knicks on Friday. In that game, Miami blew a 21-point lead.

Now, after a 2-3 road trip, Miami is back home, where the Heat are 4-1 this season.

The Bucks are 4-4 on the road.

–Field Level Media