The Bucks were aided by six Miami turnovers in the first eight minutes of the game. They were also aided by the strong play early by Ersan Ilyasova, who went right at Udonis Haslem from the opening tip, scoring 12 first-quarter points. Miami still managed to overcome the Bucks hot start to take a 25-23 first-quarter lead.
The Heat started the second quarter on an 8-0 run, sparked by the hustle of Andersen. The Bucks weathered that storm and were able to take a two point lead briefly. Miami went on a 14-8 run to take a 47-43 lead heading into second half. LeBron James leads all scorers with 15 points.
Before the game, Satchel Price broke down three points that would need to swing the Bucks way for them to pull off the upset.
1. Can the Bucks compete on the boards?
Compete? Yes, but they didn't dominate the boards. However, early on it didn't matter thanks to some hot shooting. Milwaukee's field goal percentage hovered in the high 50's and low 60's in the first quarter. An 8-0 Heat run early in the second quarter was sparked in part by a couple of offensive rebounds by Dwyane Wade and Andersen. The two teams ended the first half with 16 rebounds apiece.
2. How can Milwaukee's bench get involved?
Poorly for the most part. Ekpe Udoh was the first guy off the bench, subbing in for Larry Sanders six minutes in to the game after Sanders picked up his second foul. Udoh played decent defense on Bosh but was also on the court when Miami went on that 8-0 run to start the second quarter. The bad news is J.J. Redick continues to be a non-factor, scoring just two points in the first half. Marquis Daniels was a bright spot, scoring eight points.
3. Could a Jennings/Monta scoring explosion be enough?
To be determined. The good news is the Bucks weathered an awful first from both (one point combined), thanks to Ilyasova's 14 point explosion. When he was on the floor, Sanders also did a good job contributing, scoring eight points in 13 minutes.