Milwaukee Bucks: Bam Adebayo’s confidence in Heat is no big deal

MILWAUKEE, WISCONSIN - OCTOBER 26: (Photo by Dylan Buell/Getty Images)
MILWAUKEE, WISCONSIN - OCTOBER 26: (Photo by Dylan Buell/Getty Images) /

Miami Heat big man Bam  Adebayo’s prediction of beating Milwaukee Bucks is to be expected, and would likely be made to look foolish if the season resumes.

If any kind of rivalry exists between the Milwaukee Bucks and Miami Heat, it would have to be centered around a now shared history of outlandish predictions.

Brandon Jennings‘ 2013 prediction is so well-documented at this point that…er…some guys even named a podcast after it.

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With the Bucks facing the prospect of going toe-to-toe with the juggernaut LeBron James-led Miami Heat in the first round, Jennings, then the Bucks’ starting point guard had the following, now infamous, interaction:

"Jennings: “So we’re just going to go out there, and play basketball, and win.Interviewer: “And win?”Jennings: “Yeah. We’re gonna win in 6.”"

Fast forward seven years, and now the Bucks are the No. 1 seed, led by the league MVP, and it’s a Miami Heat player making the predictions.

Speaking to Chris Sheridan of Forbes, Miami’s All-Star big man Bam Adebayo laid out the case for why he believes the Heat would prevail in a series with the Bucks.

"“In regards to the Bucks, Adebayo made the argument that Miami was the only Eastern team that had an unbeaten record against them, ‘and that gives us more confidence going into that boxing match.’‘I’m not saying they can’t beat us, but we like our chances.'”"

The scenarios aren’t quite like for like, in terms of comparing Jennings and Adebayo’s statements. The Heat are currently a much better team than the Bucks were back in 2013, but on the other side of the coin, the Heat have yet to even earn their way into a potential matchup with the Bucks.

Fourth in the East when the season came to a halt, the Heat would have to get the better of the Pacers to even have a chance of playing the Bucks in the first place.

Given Miami’s middle of the road defense and not always convincing range of offensive options, that in its own right isn’t a prospect they could afford to take for granted.

There’s no disputing the Heat’s record against the Bucks so far this year, but nor does it essentially hold up to scrutiny as any kind of definitive indicator of how a matchup between the teams would play out.

It’s easy to forget given the near historic rate of victories that followed, but the Bucks actually stumbled out of the gate to start the season. The Heat inflicted Milwaukee’s first loss of the season as the Bucks stumbled out of the gate to a 2-2 start, looking very much out of sorts in the process.

The Heat deserve a lot of credit for that win, particularly as they were without Jimmy Butler, but even with Giannis Antetokounmpo, George Hill, Khris Middleton, and Eric Bledsoe plagued by foul trouble, with the former two fouling out, Miami still required overtime to steal away from Fiserv Forum with a victory.

Miami’s second win of the year over the Bucks was much more comprehensive, defeating Milwaukee by 16 points on their sole visit to South Beach prior to the stoppage.

That does clearly mean the Bucks have something that they themselves would need to prove against Miami, but it doesn’t suggest it’s not something they could figure out quite routinely over the course of a playoff series either.

The Bucks have been a picture of consistency for the majority of the 2019-20 season, where the Heat have shown themselves to be prone to their share of ups and downs.

There’s no guarantee that they wouldn’t become even more inconsistent under the bright lights and pressure of the postseason either, given the unproven and largely unheralded nature of key players such as Derrick Jones Jr., Duncan Robinson, and Kendrick Nunn.

There’s real cause to question whether Miami would have sufficient fire power to overcome any of the East’s top teams in a series, while their less than lockdown defense for the season as a whole raises question marks too.

When Jennings was pressed years later by BTBP alumni Ti Windisch about the nature of his prediction, he was happy to break down his simple reasoning:

"“What else was I supposed to say? We’re going to lose and we’re gonna get swept? You’re supposed to go into the playoffs with confidence, especially when we were playing the Miami Heat, the No.1 team in the East.”"

Something similar would likely apply for Adebayo. Sure, the Heat have a perfect record against the Bucks this season, but only playoff naivety could lead a player to putting any real weight in that over the bigger picture involving the two teams.

After all, the Bucks have won six of their last seven regular season games against the Toronto Raptors, but it’s the Raptors who are able to lay claim to the victories that really matter between the two in that span.

Next. 3 things Giannis can learn from The Last Dance. dark

Adebayo’s comments may not have been the most incendiary, but he may still live to regret them if the Bucks and Heat do get to face off in a playoff series.