Revenge is a dish best served cold. If that’s the case, then Milwaukee Bucks owner Marc Lasry has a freezer ready to defrost on the Miami Heat this weekend.
Lasry admitted that he instructed the franchise to play their starters last weekend to ensure Milwaukee would draw Miami in the first round. He knew a victory over the Heat last Saturday would go a long way in setting up a Bucks-Heat rematch. Which it did. They won 122-108 with Giannis Antetokounmpo seeing 34 minutes and Khris Middleton playing 32 minutes. Meanwhile, Miami held out Jimmy Butler due to lower back tightness.
“No, no, no, we did,” Lasry said when asked if he wanted Miami in the first round (via CBS Sports). “And you can see we did and the reason why is because when we played the Heat we played our guys. We didn’t do what a lot of other teams have done, which is sit all their guys. We played our guys to make sure — we wanted to send a message. I think that message has been received. I think it’ll be a great matchup for us.”
Here we are again, 8 months later. Changes have been made on both sides and the pressure is on https://t.co/pvlI4Uklt0
— x – Miami HEAT (@MiamiHEAT) May 20, 2021
The Bucks won the season series 2-1 over the Heat, with Butler missing all three games. The two teams renew their rivalry on Saturday in Game 1 at 2 p.m. Here is the full first-round schedule for the Bucks-Heat series:
Saturday, May 22: Heat at Bucks, 2 p.m. | ESPN
Monday, May 24: Heat at Bucks, 7:30 p.m. | TNT
Thursday, May 27: Bucks at Heat, 7:30 p.m | TNT
Saturday, May 29: Bucks at Heat, 1:30 p.m. | TNT
Tuesday, June 1: Heat at Bucks, TBD | TBD
Thursday, June 3: Bucks at Heat, TBD | TBD
Saturday, June 5: Heat at Bucks, TBD | TBD
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Players Downplay Bucks-Heat Rivalry
If the Bucks owner was looking for revenge, his players didn’t seem to care all that much. None of the players on either side do. They understand the rosters are different this time around, plus the Heat’s so-called “bubble magic” from 2020 has (maybe?) vanished.
“Last year was different,” Heat center Bam Adebayo said. “I mean you can’t even put last year in a regular conversation. Being in a bubble was different. But it feels like it’s getting back to normal. So it’s going to feel different.”
Adebayo is a candidate for NBA Defensive Player of the Year. He’s ready to go. And so is Butler — the MVP during that magical bubble journey — as he was back at practice. He has missed 20 games this season, including the final two with a back injury. He’s not expected to miss the playoffs.
Heat Wearing ‘Trophy Gold’ in Game 1
The Heat shared a little bit of uniform news earlier this week when the team announced it would be sporting their “Trophy Gold” look in Game 1. The jerseys received some criticism when they were first unveiled for their “mustard” hue but that has subsided.
In fact, Heat Nation pointed out on Twitter that the franchise might be doing a bit of a “flex” by wearing the championship-inspired uniforms. Remember, the Milwaukee Bucks haven’t hoisted the Larry O’Brien Trophy since 1971.
— x – Miami HEAT (@MiamiHEAT) May 18, 2021