As if we needed another reason to believe the top-seeded Miami Heat will take care of the No. 8 seed Milwaukee Bucks in the first round of the Eastern Conference playoffs, the Heat won the season series between the two teams 3-1, including a win over the Bucks just last week without Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh.
Miami took the opening game of the season series back on November 21, but it was a tough game for the defending champions, even at home. LeBron James had to put on his Superman cape, scoring 28 points and adding 10 rebounds and eight assists to lead the Heat to a 113-106 overtime win over Milwaukee. Wade added 28 points of his own, while Bosh chipped in with 24 points and 18 rebounds as the Heat's Big Three carried Miami to a win that pushed them to 9-3 on the season.
Milwaukee got revenge the next time the two teams met, though, and they did it in a big way by absolutely pasting Miami, 104-85, at the Bradley Center. Wade missed the Heat's previous game through suspension, but his return didn't help Miami one bit because Brandon Jennings dropped 25 points and Mike Dunleavy scored 13 of his 18 points in the fourth quarter. It was that final period that made all the difference as the Bucks outscored the Heat 35-14 in the final 12 minutes to keep Miami's road woes going as they slumped to 6-6 away from American Airlines Arena.
From that point on, the Heat's road issues became a mere memory and that was never more evident than when they ran off 27 straight wins in February and March, 13 of which came away from home. Milwaukee was one of Miami's many victims during that streak, falling to the Heat 107-94 on March 15. The Bucks got 26 points and 17 rebounds from Ersan Ilyasova, exploiting Miami's weakness inside, but Jennings shot just 6-of-15 from the field and Monta Ellis managed just seven points. With James going for another 28-point, 10 rebound night, Bosh adding 28 of his own and Wade going for 20 points, Milwaukee never had a shot without a white hot Jennings and Ellis as the Heat notched their 21st straight win.
James wasn't done dropping 28 points on the Bucks either. When Milwaukee visited Miami on April 9, they had real hope they could pull out a win because Wade and Bosh were both out, but James wouldn't get it happen. He scored 28 more points and added seven rebound and seven assists as the Heat downed the Bucks 94-83 with just one-third of the Big Three on hand. He also threw the ball off the backboard to himself, which just about sums up how the game went.
It was a remarkable win, considering the Heat missed 15 straight three-point attempts and the Bucks scored 22 points off of turnovers, but Milwaukee struggled for points outside of Jennings, who scored 30 points. No other Bucks player scored in double digits and the Heat cruised to the series win.
Miami is the top seed for a reason and Milwaukee is the No. 8 seed for a reason, but every one in a while, a No. 1 seed might get a bad matchup that makes things interesting. But if the regular season was any indication, this won't be one of those times.