Miami Heat takes early advantage over Milwaukee Bucks in NBA Playoffs in an injury-plagued game

Despite an injury to Tyler Herro, the Miami Heat won the first game of the NBA playoffs against the Milwaukee Bucks, 130-117. Giannis Antetokounmpo, the top-seeded team in the playoffs, departed the game with a back contusion, shattering the Bucks’ aspirations of a championship run. Even before his departure, the Bucks appeared rusty, given they had a week off between the end of the regular season and Sunday’s game. Miami’s triumph was largely due to their strong shooting, with 60 percent of field goals and three-point attempts, compared to 50 percent and 24 percent for Milwaukee.

Critical injury for the Bucks

Antetokounmpo is an important player for the Bucks, having won the league’s Most Valuable Player title in both 2019 and 2020. He is also a defensive force for the squad. His injury status is unknown, although coach Mike Budenholzer indicated that his X-rays were “clear.” With the Bucks’ next playoff game set for Wednesday, there is still hope that Antetokounmpo will be able to participate. The team must, however, ready to play without him, and other players must step up.

It was Antetokounmpo’s second injury in the playoffs for Milwaukee. In 2021, he suffered a knee injury that forced him to miss the end of the Eastern Conference Finals, but he returned for the Bucks’ victory in the NBA Championship Series.

Herro was injured in the first half of the game with a broken hand, which could ruin his season. In his absence, his teammates made up for it with an offensive outburst. Khris Middleton of the Milwaukee Bucks returned from a knee injury and scored 33 points, providing a bright spot for the club.

Many NBA analysts projected that Milwaukee would sweep the series, therefore Milwaukee fans hoped for a win in their first game. The team’s loss in the first game shows how unexpected the playoffs can be.

Coach Budenholzer: “They’ll be ready”

To win the following game, the Bucks will need to recover and adjust to the Heat’s style of play. Coach Budenholzer believes his club has a lot of talent, toughness, and competitiveness, so they will be ready regardless of who shows up on Wednesday. The Heat’s victory over the Bucks has set the stage for an action-packed semifinal series.

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