3 Milwaukee Bucks who need to step up 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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The Milwaukee Bucks’ playoff run got off to a bad start, but they have plenty of time to make amends. A 130-117 loss to the Miami Heat was overshadowed by Giannis Anteokounmpo leaving early on with a lower back injury.

The Atheltic’s Eric Nehm confirmed on Tuesday that Giannis did not participate in practice, which may suggest he will also miss Game 2. Without him, the Bucks struggled to contain the Heat, who put up a franchise record for most points scored in a playoff game.

Whether Giannis plays or not in game 2, the Bucks have a lot to improve on, and Head Coach Mike Budenholzer will be looking to other players to step up in an attempt to fill the void. With that said, here are my three Bucks players who need to step up in Game 2.

1 – Jae Crowder

One of the Bucks’ biggest issues was allowing Jimmy Butler to get off to a hot start and not slowing him down. The forward finished the game with 35 points, 11 assists, and five rebounds. Per Basketball-Reference, Butler has only amassed 10 or more assists on two occasions in the regular season and 35 or more points on five occasions.

Jae Crowder played just 11 minutes and 46 seconds on Sunday, so expect him to see a much bigger increase in Game 2, especially with Wesley Matthews out. He played alongside Butler at Marquette, and the two did exchange words during the game, but Butler had the last laugh. The Bucks gave up five second-round picks to acquire Crowder for these exact moments, so hopefully we can see him take Butler for a sustained period of time.

Offensively, he also needs to provide that shooting that we have seen from him so far in a Bucks jersey. During his time in Milwaukee, he has shot 43.6 percent from deep and 47.9 percent from the field, compared to his one for five on Sunday, which saw him miss all four of his 3-point shots.

If Crowder can give the Milwaukee Bucks around eight points on good efficiency and stifle Butler so he doesn’t have a repeat performance, then the Bucks will stand a great chance of coming out as victors.