While Game 1 was a nail-biter overtime loss, the Heat lost 132-98 in Game 2, suffered an embarrassing 113-84 loss in Game 3.
Playing at home in Miami at the AmericanAirlines Arena for Game 4, the Heat owned a lead over the Bucks for the first time in the entire series during the first half. However, Miami ultimately went down 120 -103. This was the second time in franchise history the Heat were swept in the playoffs.
Prior to tipoff on May 29, Bleacher Report called out All-Star Jimmy Butler and Bam Adebayo in Dan Favale’s “Biggest Surprises and Disappointments 1 Week into NBA Playoffs.”
Favale wrote, “What’s actually transpired for the Heat verges on unimaginable. They trail the Bucks 3-0, the equivalent of a playoff death sentence… Less predictable, and more unsettling, are the performances from their two superstars.”
Jimmy Butler’s increased three-point volume has not diversified the offense. He is shooting 30.6 percent from behind the rainbow and 30.8 percent inside the arc. His free-throw volume has been slashed, and he is shooting just 42.9 percent at the basket (6-of-14), down from 67.4 percent during the regular season.
Bam Adebayo looks even more out of sorts. His attack mode continues to come and go, and he has not generated the same number of quality opportunities. Just 27.5 percent of his looks are coming at the basket, a far cry from his 41.9 percent share in the regular season. He is 1-of-7 (16.7 percent) on twos outside the paint and 10-of-29 overall (34.5 percent) on twos outside the restricted area.
Miami Now Turns Their Focus to Obtaining a Big Superstar for Next Season
Following a sweep, Heat president Pat Riley will not wait to start making moves to put this rollercoaster season behind them and focus on next year. While Victor Oladipo wasn’t able to provide the All-Star boost Riley was looking for, the Heat already have their eyes on numerous big names to sign this summer.
Favale wrote, “If they don’t bag Kyle Lowry or Kawhi Leonard — both of whom may require the Heat to chisel out more cap space—they’ll be left with virtually no splashy avenues. They could use team options on Dragic and Andre Iguodala as salary ballast for a trade headlined by Herro, but a down sophomore campaign from the former likely caps his outbound value.”
Money and cap space will be a huge deciding factor in balancing incoming talent and which current Heat players they’ll resign in free agency. “What that entails is complicated,” Favale noted.
“The Heat have two tent-pole stars in Butler and Adebayo, plus a path to more than $20 million of cap space while carrying restricted-free-agent holds for Kendrick Nunn and Duncan Robinson… They are now heading into this summer with a roster overrun by one-way players beyond their stars, and wiggle room they can’t use as intended.”