3 Adjustments the Milwaukee Bucks must make in Game 2 vs. Miami Heat

MILWAUKEE, WISCONSIN - APRIL 16 (Photo by Stacy Revere/Getty Images)
MILWAUKEE, WISCONSIN - APRIL 16 (Photo by Stacy Revere/Getty Images) /
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Milwaukee Bucks: Brook Lopez, Miami Heat: Gabe Vincent
MILWAUKEE, WISCONSIN – APRIL 16 (Photo by Stacy Revere/Getty Images) /

2 – Get Brook Lopez more involved on both sides of the basketball

Brook Lopez’s importance in this series was highlighted from the moment it was announced that the Bucks would be playing the Heat. His two-way impact could not be understated, but it was not on display whatsoever in Game 1. Lopez finished with 10 points on seven shot attempts and failed to slow down Miami’s Bam Adebayo – 22 points on 55.6 percent shooting – at all. The Bucks need to tweak the way Lopez was being used in that opening contest.

Offensively, the Bucks should utilize Lopez closer to the hoop at times. Four shot attempts from inside the arc in a game where Antetokounmpo played fewer than 11 minutes is not going to cut it. While it looks like Antetokounmpo will be back for Game 2, the Bucks can still have Lopez make an effort to attack the hoop offensively at times rather than consistently have him camp out on the perimeter, as that remains his ultimate strength. Lopez is the leading scorer in Brooklyn Nets history while making just 137 triples in nine seasons for a reason.

Defensively, the Bucks will have to emphasize making things more difficult with Adebayo, which starts with Lopez. In their 2021 playoff matchup, Lopez allowed Adebayo to shoot jumpers from start to finish, and the center had a tough time hitting them. In Game 1, he had no such issue as the center knocked them down time and time again. While the Bucks would rather have Adebayo shoot jumpers than attack right at the hoop, they have to provide at least some resistance, or else the much-improved Adebayo will continue to feast offensively.