The Milwaukee Bucks started their 2023 NBA playoff season with a 130-117 loss to the Miami Heat in Game 1 of the first round. Before Game 2 kicks off, here are some stats, good and bad, that helped define that game.
Bad Stat: In the Mike Budenholzer era (since 2018-19), the Bucks have now lost seven Game 1s, the most in the NBA in that timeframe. Milwaukee is 5-7 since 2018-19 in the first game of a playoff series since 2019, which is a .417 winning percentage.
Good Stat: Khris Middleton led the Bucks in scoring with 33 points. That was the 10th time in his career that he had 30-plus points in a playoff game. His career-high for points in a playoff game is 40; he did that in the NBA Finals against Phoenix on July 14, 2021. Middleton becomes only the third Bucks player to have 10 or more 30-point playoff games, per Stathead (subscription required). Giannis Antetokounmpo tops the list with 32 such games, followed by Kareem Abdul-Jabbar with 30.
Bad Stat: The Bucks gave up 130 points to the Heat. It was the second-most points scored by an opponent in a playoff loss for the Bucks at home.
Good Stat: Jrue Holiday had 16 points and 16 assists in the game. He became only the second Bucks player in team history to have 16 points and 16 assists in a playoff game. The other player to accomplish this was Paul Pressey; he had 23 points and 16 assists in a playoff game versus the 76ers in 1986, which was a Bucks’ win.
Bad Stat: Former Marquette star Jimmy Butler had 35 points for Miami in the game. It was the 38th time a player scored 35 or more points against the Bucks in a playoff game. It was the second time Butler scored 35-plus points against the Bucks in a playoff game. He did it in a 2020 playoff contest when he tallied 40 points for Miami. The Bucks are now 11-27 in playoff games when an opposing player scores 35 or more points.
Bad Stat: The Bucks shot 11-for-45 (.244 percentage) on 3-point attempts in the game. In their last three playoff games, all losses, the Bucks have shot .241, .121, and .244 from the 3-point line. In 61 playoff games since 2019, the Bucks are 22-5 (.815 winning percentage) in games where they shoot .350 or better on threes; they are 16-18 (.471) when they shoot under .350. In playoff games since 2019 games where they shoot under .250 in 3-pointers, the Bucks are 6-7 (.462).
Good Stat: Since Coach Bud took over in 2018-19, the Bucks have played in the most playoff games with 61. They have also won the most playoff games since 2019 with 38. The Bucks also top the league with the most home playoff games (32) and most home playoff wins (21) since 2019.
Game 2 between the Bucks and Heat will be played on Wednesday. Giannis Antetokounmpo’s health will be a big factor in that game and the rest of the series.
Stay tuned for more Milwaukee Bucks analysis.