Miami Heat's Jimmy Butler (22) dunks the ball after getting past Milwaukee Bucks' Donte DiVincenzo (0) during the second half of an NBA basketball conference semifinal playoff game, Monday, Aug. 31, 2020, in Lake Buena Vista, Fla.
Miami Heat's Jimmy Butler (22) dunks the ball after getting past Milwaukee Bucks' Donte DiVincenzo (0) during the second half of an NBA basketball conference semifinal playoff game, Monday, Aug. 31, 2020, in Lake Buena Vista, Fla. |Mark J. Terrill | Associated Press
NBA

NBA Playoffs: Greg Frank picks Heat vs Bucks — Can Giannis Antetokounmpo even up the series?

Tip-off is 6:30 pm

Greg Frank

Greg Frank

Heat (+5.5) @ Bucks (221.5)

Pick: Bucks -5.5

Jimmy Butler was the talk of the NBA on Monday night as Miami upset Milwaukee in Game 1 of the second round matchup behind Butler’s 40 points. The Heat are rolling after a sweep of Indiana in the opening round and Monday should have served as a message to the rest of the NBA that Miami is a legitimate title contender this year. However, I’m expecting a response from the Bucks on Wednesday. Milwaukee is 11-7 against the spread off a loss this season including a 111-96 victory in Game 2 against Orlando after the Magic won the series opener in the last round. There’s no doubt the Bucks are going to have to raise their level in this series. The Heat won three of the four quarters in Game 1 and their victory was by no means a fluke. But, there has been no adjustment from the oddsmakers as the Bucks are a 5.5-point favorite tonight after closing as five-point chalk on Monday. Is this a mistake or are the bookmakers wise in anticipating a better version of the Bucks tonight? I tend to side with the latter. While Giannis Antetokounmpo flirted with a triple-double in Game 1, his 18 points certainly weren’t enough. He’ll be the best player on the floor tonight and Milwaukee gets even.

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