Milwaukee Bucks: Ranking 5 games to circle on 2021-22 schedule

NEW YORK, NEW YORK - JUNE 15 (Photo by Steven Ryan/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NEW YORK - JUNE 15 (Photo by Steven Ryan/Getty Images) /
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Milwaukee Bucks: Giannis Antetokounmpo, Miami Heat: Jimmy Butler
MIAMI, FLORIDA – MAY 27 (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images) /

Game 3 — Milwaukee Bucks vs. Miami Heat, October 21, 2021

The rivalry between the Bucks and Miami Heat is a new one, but it has quickly developed into something captivating.

It began when the Heat embarrassed the Bucks in the 2020 NBA Playoffs with a 4-1 defeat in the bubble. The following season, the Bucks were determined to redeem themselves and made it clear that they wanted to play the Heat in the first round of the playoffs. With the two teams playing in a game with the regular season winding down, the Bucks could have sat their starters and let the Heat win, which would have likely allowed the Heat to jump in the standings and ensure the two would not meet in the postseason. However, Milwaukee played everyone and embraced the task of a postseason meeting with Miami once again.

It ultimately proved to be a good decision as the Bucks would earn redemption by sweeping the Heat, with no game being close aside from the opening Game 1. That contest went down to the final seconds in overtime as Middleton buried a jumper to seal Milwaukee’s win and set the tone for the series moving forward. With each team claiming a postseasons series victory over the past two years, the atmosphere could be tense entering this season with a potential third matchup on the horizon as both teams have their sights set on the top of the East.

Following their early playoff exit, the Heat went all out in the offseason to improve their roster by making a handful of meaningful moves. The biggest was trading for Kyle Lowry, the All-Star point guard who has given the Bucks trouble in the past. They also handed new deals to Jimmy Butler and Duncan Robinson, but the move that stung the most was their signing of P.J. Tucker. After winning the title with the Bucks, it seems like ownership was not keen on bringing the forward back, leading him to sign with one of the team’s biggest rivals.

That signing will add some fuel to this matchup, and be sure to watch when they square off in the second game of the season at 7:00 p.m. CST in Miami.