Heat vs. Bucks Game 4, NBA Playoffs 2013: Game time, TV schedule and more


The Milwaukee Bucks host an elimination game as the Miami Heat aim for their sweep -- potentially without guard Dwyane Wade.

The Miami Heat have the broomsticks out, and with Dwyane Wade questionable to play with a sore knee, finishing off the Milwaukee Bucks on Sunday seems all-the-more important.

Wade is a game-time decision because of his ailing knee injury that kept him out of six games heading into the playoffs, according to the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. Milwaukee, meanwhile, is reeling in the locker room and on the court heading to Game 4 in the Bradley Center. It might be the last game of the season for Brandon Jennings, Monta Ellis and midseason acquisition J.J. Redick.

So what will be the difference in Milwaukee living to fight another day and the Heat getting ample time to rest for the second round?

Can the Bucks stop the Heat role players?

It's often a matter of stopping LeBron James, Chris Bosh and Wade, or at the very least one or two of the three. Especially in the case of James, the task is nearly impossible, but Milwaukee showed in Game 3's 104-91 loss that it's not out of the question to slow him down. James may not have needed to take over, but he was limited. Wade struggled from the field, and so did Bosh for at least a half.

But issue that doomed the Bucks was Miami finding more than enough help from the Heat role players. Ray Allen led Miami with 23 points on an efficient 8-for-14 shooting from the floor, and Chris Andersen added 11 points and six rebounds off the bench. In only 16 minutes, forward Udonis Haslem scored 12 points. Combined, those players easily made up for lackluster performances from the Big Three.

Will the Bucks spread the floor?

The question begins with "will" rather than "can" because Milwaukee does have a group of solid shooters. The Bucks can legitimately open up the court for Jennings and Ellis by filling the other spots on the floor with shooters like Mike Dunleavy, Ersan Ilyasova and Redick, but coach Jim Boylan is causing controversy by only rolling with those three players in spot minutes.

Redick is apparently not on speaking terms with Boylan, and he's playing only 13.7 minutes per game over the three games of the first round series. He played only seven minutes in the second half of Game 3 despite scoring 11 points in 10 minutes during the first half. Meanwhile, Dunleavy is playing just over 21 minutes per game, and Ilyasova, a starter, is at 30 minutes per game in the series.

Will Milwaukee avoid a second-half Miami burst?

The Bucks know it's coming, as did every other Miami opponent in the regular season. The Heat have essentially patented their second-half runs that can quickly turn close games into ones where James is riding the bench in the fourth quarter.

In Game 1, Miami used an 11-1 run early in the third quarter and then another 7-0 burst to close the frame to separate. The Heat used a 12-0 run to start the fourth quarter in Game 2's 12-point victory, and then a 23-7 burst to end the third in Game 3. How Milwaukee avoids such a burst is hard to say, but it'll likely be necessary to avoid elimination.

Time: 3:30 p.m. ET


Odds: Miami opened as 9.5-point favorites.

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