Article written by Jovan Alford
Jimmy Butler and the Miami Heat will wrap up their three-game road trip tonight against Giannis Antetokounmpo, Damian Lillard, and the Milwaukee Bucks at Fiserv Forum.
The Heat are coming off a 17-point loss to the Minnesota Timberwolves on Saturday as they did not have Butler, who was out for rest. Meanwhile, the Bucks suffered a 17-point loss at home to Trae Young and the Atlanta Hawks on Sunday.
Tonight’s game is a rematch of last season’s Eastern Conference first-round playoff matchup, where the Heat defeated the Bucks in six games. Can the Bucks get some revenge on the Heat? Or will Miami still hold the upper hand on the Eastern Conference favorite?
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Heat vs. Bucks odds, spread and total
Heat vs. Bucks how to watch
- Date: Monday, Oct. 30
- Game Time: 8:00 p.m. EST
- Venue: Fiserv Forum
- How to Watch (TV): NBA League Pass
- Heat Record: 1-2
- Bucks Record: 1-1
Heat vs. Bucks injury reports
Miami Heat injury report
- Bam Adebayo (questionable, hip)
- Caleb Martin (doubtful, knee)
- Josh Richardson (questionable, heel)
- Kevin Love (probable, shoulder)
- Haywood Highsmith (out, knee)
- Jaime Jaquez Jr. (available, groin)
- Duncan Robinson (available, foot)
Milwaukee Bucks injury report
- Khris Middleton (day-to-day, knee)
Heat vs. Bucks key players to watch
Jimmy Butler: The Heat will have a well-rested Butler ready for tonight’s game in Milwaukee. The veteran wing struggled in the regular season opener against the Celtics, scoring 14 points on 3-of-11 shooting from the field. Butler also had five rebounds and three assists in the eight-point loss.
However, the Bucks remember what Jimmy Buckets did to them in the playoffs last season, as he scored 37.6 points per game, including a historic 56-point performance in Game 4.
Tyler Herro: Herro will be leaned on a lot tonight to be one of Miami’s top scorers, especially with Adebayo being downgraded to questionable. The former Kentucky standout is a streaky shooter, as indicated by his shooting splits to start the season (37.9% from the field and 37.9% from 3-point range).
Miami hopes Herro can have a similar statline tonight as he did against the Celtics last week, where he scored 28 points on an efficient 50% from the field and 41.7% from three-point range.
Damian Lillard: There was a ton of smoke this offseason about Lillard possibly ending up with the Heat, but that never happened as the Bucks swooped in and acquired the star point guard from the Portland Trail Blazers.
Lillard had an outstanding debut against the Sixers, scoring a game-high 39 points (14 in the fourth quarter) as he went to the free-throw line 17 times. The 33-year-old struggled against the Hawks on Sunday night, scoring six points (2-12 FG, 2-8 3pt) in 29 minutes of action. However, it would not be surprising to see Lillard bounce back and go off against the Heat.
Giannis Antetokounmpo: Antetokounmpo will look to get back at the Heat after his postseason was derailed by a back injury. The superstar forward played in three games in the first round but still found a way to average 23.3 points, 11 rebounds, and 5.3 assists per game.
Through the first two games of this season, the former two-time league MVP has played well alongside Damian Lillard and could have a monster game if Adebayo doesn’t play for Miami.
Heat vs. Bucks prediction and pick
Both the Heat and Bucks are coming off of bad losses against teams that they should’ve beaten and will have the opportunity to make a statement one way or another tonight.
Miami is dealing with a few injuries heading into tonight’s game, but knowing that Butler will be playing is an added boost and should help both ends of the ball. The Heat are ranked 28th in pace (96.9) and points per game (101.3), which isn’t ideal as the Bucks are ranked ninth in pace (102.7) and 10th in scoring (114 points per game).
However, the Heat are the better defensive team, statistically speaking, so that might help them in this matchup.
Last season, Miami was 17-15 against the spread as a road underdog despite having a record of 13-19. If Adebayo wasn’t questionable, I would lean Miami’s way, as he anchors the backend of their defense.
That said, I see the Bucks bouncing back in a big way in front of their home crowd, as there will be too much offense between Lillard and Antetokounmpo.
Pick: Bucks -6.5
Game odds refresh periodically and are subject to change.