Reaction to the Bucks drawing Heat in the first round of 2023 Playoffs

MILWAUKEE, WISCONSIN - FEBRUARY 24 (Photo by John Fisher/Getty Images)
MILWAUKEE, WISCONSIN - FEBRUARY 24 (Photo by John Fisher/Getty Images) /

After several days of waiting, the Milwaukee Bucks finally know who their opponent will be in the first round of the 2023 NBA Playoffs.

The Miami Heat defeated the Chicago Bulls 102-91 to punch their ticket to the postseason with a first round matchup against the Bucks. There has undoubtedly been no shortage of recent playoff history between the Bucks and Heat, with the teams having met in consecutive years in 2020 and 2021 with different results. After losing to the Heat in 2020, the Bucks bounced back in a big way in 2021, having welcomed a matchup versus Miami in round one, which led to a clean sweep.

After taking last year off, they will now meet once again.

Reaction to the Bucks drawing Heat in the first round of 2023 Playoffs

Due to those previous matchups, the Bucks and Heat have a quality feel for one another, and this matchup should be an intriguing one. Miami will be a good test for Milwaukee right out of the gate.

Just like they did in 2021, the Bucks will look to turn up their intensity defensively right away and never look back. Milwaukee’s defenders did an excellent job of defending Miami’s two main stars in Jimmy Butler and Bam Adebayo, and they must do so once again. The veteran-oriented trio of Jae Crowder, Wesley Matthews, and Jrue Holiday will likely spend most of their minutes on Butler while Giannis Antetokounmpo, Brook Lopez, and Bobby Portis look to slow down Adebayo inside.

The coaching between Mike Budenholzer and Erik Spoelstra will also be worth monitoring, as they are among the best coaches in the game today. Spoelstra won the duel in the 2020 Playoffs, while Budenholzer did an excellent job in 2021, so it will be compelling to see what they have in store for each other as it pertains to tricks up their sleeves in this exciting third matchup.

Plenty of former Heat players turned Bucks, including Crowder, Goran Dragic, and Meyers Leonard, will all have an opportunity to face their former team in the first round. Those three are going to be motivated to take this series against their former squad. Not that they need more motivation, but the eagerness from those three could very well spread to the rest of this Milwaukee team and give them some added juice leading up to this series.

This should be a tremendous first round matchup between two of the last three East Champions.

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Stay tuned for more Milwaukee Bucks analysis leading up to this series, which is set to kick off on Sunday at Fiserv Forum.