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

2 – Brook Lopez

This week, we learned that Brook Lopez finished second in the Defensive Player of the Year Award voting, but that still shows how great a year he has had. Sunday’s performance from Lopez was a quiet one, scoring just 10 points and grabbing four rebounds. Defensively, he still had a steal and three blocks, but Bam Adebayo of the Heat had 22 points on 55.6 percent shooting, so this is another matter of a player stepping up to slow down one of the Heat’s top performers.

As a team, the Bucks did not shoot well, making just 11 of their 45 attempts from 3-point land (24.4 percent). Lopez has shot 37.4 percent from deep this season but missed all three of his attempts in Game 1.

His ability to stretch the floor also scares the opposition; if he knocks down a couple of threes early on, Adebayo or someone else will have to stay out on the perimeter to guard him, creating better opportunities for offensive rebounds or drives to the basket. To completely counter this, we did not see much of him down low with his back to the basket, a strength of his throughout his career.

When these two teams last met in the playoffs in 2021, Lopez allowed Adebayo to shoot jumpers, and he really struggled. However he knocked them down on Sunday, so I am not saying Lopez should go touch-tight, but he needs to provide more resistance to make those shots more difficult.

If the Bucks can get Lopez involved more offensively and he takes care of the defensive side as he has done all season, the Heat will have problems.