The Miami Heat got off to a less-than-ideal start to the second half of their season Friday night. Miami took a beating in their February 24 matchup against the Milwaukee Bucks. Milwaukee was able to handedly take care of the Heat, winning each quarter on their way to a 128-99 blowout victory.
Following his team’s dominant performance, Bucks head coach Mike Budenholzer was asked about Bam Adebayo, Miami’s lone All-Star this season.
“I think he’s clearly more aggressive, he’s looking to attack, he’s looking to drive. But, (he takes) a lot of tough twos, a lot of shots around the elbows,” Coach Bud told reporters. “He’s really grown as a scorer, we’ve got to figure out if we can make it harder on him. But, to stay between him and the basket, to keep him off the offensive boards things like that, keep him off the free throw line mostly, those were some positives for defending Adebayo.”
Budenholzer’s Bucks were able to hold the 25-year-old star to just 18 points on 17 shots.
Aside from keying on Adebayo, Milwaukee’s coach explained that fighting through the plethora of screens Miami sets was a point of emphasis for his team.
“There’s so many screens when you play against the Heat, whether it be on-ball or off-ball,” he said. “You’ve got to be committed, you have to be hard to screen, you got to keep coming, you got to be disciplined. You know, overall, a lot of good possessions for the group defensively, and that’s what we have to keep doing.”
Kevin Love Discusses Lackluster Heat Debut
One of the more prominent storylines ahead of the Heat’s return to action, was the debut of Kevin Love. Miami signed Love last week after he was bought out by the Cleveland Cavaliers.
His first game in a Heat uniform didn’t exactly move the needle. Of course, Miami nearly lost by 30. Plus, Love didn’t even score in the loss, missing all four of his attempts.
He did however, pull down 8 rebounds and go without a turnover.
Following his debut, Love spoke to the media, explaining his first game as a member of the Heat felt good despite his performance.
“Obviously it felt good to be back after a month,” Love said via Bally Sport Sun: Heat. “Rhythm, getting my wind back and how the game played out was pretty ugly.”
Love started against the Bucks on Friday and defended Brook Lopez early on. He gave some insight into his role with the team.
“They wanted some of that spacing I bring, especially, at the four position, be able to help Bam on the outside, guard Lopez. Get out and show on the defensive end. I think they wanted to look at more size in there.”
Cody Zeller Speaks On Heat Debut
Love wasn’t the only player making his debut against the Bucks. The matchup also marked the first time Cody Zeller suited up for the Heat.
His performance was solid.
Zeller scored 10 points and grabbed 4 rebounds in 16 minutes on Friday.
He spoke after the game, telling reporters that he felt good.
“Coach has been really clear [about roles],” Zeller said via the Miami Herald. “He knew that I was going to come in and play kind of in short spurts until I get my legs back underneath me…. I felt good individually. Not the result you want as a team.”