What can the Milwaukee Bucks improve after Game 1 loss to the Heat?

Apr 16, 2023; Milwaukee, Wisconsin, USA; Mandatory Credit: Michael McLoone-USA TODAY Sports
Apr 16, 2023; Milwaukee, Wisconsin, USA; Mandatory Credit: Michael McLoone-USA TODAY Sports /
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Milwaukee Bucks: Bobby Portis, Miami Heat: Tyler Herro, Max Strus
Apr 16, 2023; Milwaukee, Wisconsin, USA: Michael McLoone-USA TODAY Sports /

What the Milwaukee Bucks can improve after Game 1 loss: Defending the three

There are several things I’d like to address when it comes to the Miami Heat’s 3-point shooting. First, the likelihood that the Miami Heat will shoot 15-out-of-25, 60 percent, from behind the 3-point line again is extremely unlikely. The Heat were the 27th-ranked team in 3-point percentage in the regular season. So if anything, it’s arguable that the Milwaukee Bucks were daring the Heat to beat the Bucks by succeeding at what they’re not good at, which they did, tip the cap.

The second thing I want to address is the regression of members of the Milwaukee Bucks’ fanbase bringing up that because the Bucks’ opponent shot the 3-point shot well that defending the 3-point line is always a problem for the Bucks. Defending the three has been an Achilles’ heel in the past, yes. However, defending the 3-point line was a point of emphasis for Mike Budenholzer and the coaching staff this season. The numbers reflect it and one game does not change that fact.

During the 2021-22 season, including the playoffs, the Milwaukee Bucks were 18th in opponent 3-point percentage. The Milwaukee Bucks made it a point of emphasis for the 2022-23 season and at the end of the regular season found themselves with the ninth-best opponent 3-point percentage.

So the 82-game sample size strongly suggests that the Bucks are a better 3-point shot-defending team than in years past and that the Miami Heat had an outlier shooting game. Fans need to relax on weighing a single playoff game against the entire body of work that got the Bucks to where they are.