The Heat win, Anteto trembles

Choral exhibition of the Heat, who were complicated in the end but got the game out. Spoelstra puts his chest out against Budenholzer and endangers the 'Anteto project'.


There will be those who think in Milwaukee that they are better off a scapegoat when they are eliminated from the playoffs than Anteto and that it serves to satisfy them. Above all, so that he himself does not feed those rumors that place him outside the only franchise in which he has been since he landed in the NBA, back in 2013. Since then, the Greek has been adding All Stars, individual awards and even an MVP who can repeat this year, but it seems that the ring is still far from his reach. And all, despite the fact that last year they were 2-0 in the Eastern finals, just two games away from that tie in which the title is at stake. And yet, as close as they were, no one ever took the Bucks seriously. The same thing that happened this season, where they even fantasized that they could reach 70 victories without very few counting on them as the main contenders for a championship that right now seems like a chimera for a city with a small market and whose biggest moment of glory dates back to the 70s. You know, with Jabbar (then Lew Alcindor), Robertson and co.

There will also be those who think in Milwaukee that that scapegoat may be Mike Budenholzer. And, being early to anticipate events, it seems that the shots may go around in a franchise that already suffered last year a tactical lesson from Nick Nurse in the Eastern finals, much more accused now with an Erik Spoelstra who is one of the most talented coaches in the current NBA. Budenholzer is a good uncle, a formative and didactic man who can grow a franchise and improve its stars, but who always stumbles on the same stone, the playoffs. What happened to the Hawks has also happened to the Bucks, something almost traditional in the coaches raised in the Popovich school (Mike Brown, Brett Brown ...) and who have suffered all but Popovich himself. With a single plan, he is shipwrecked in the playoffs, and in the face of tactical approaches that slightly depart from the established order of the regular season, where there is less time and more rush to prepare the games in contrast to the playoffs, the Bucks suffer a lot.

And today they have been about to force the extension after a game in which they were neither there nor expected. The Heat have commanded throughout the game without the need this time of the exploits of Jimmy Butler, who appeared when everyone already took overtime for granted. It was after Miami complicated the final minutes between free throw failures and rival triples, leading to a conclusion that they had resolved to a chance for the Bucks to tie the game from the triple. A capricious lack of an extraordinary Dragic all the clash (23 + 5 + 4) gave three free throws to Middleton, who tied from the personnel. But a subsequent foul by Anteto, also very controversial, gave Butler two shots from the personnel field with time that the Heat star would not miss. The anguish of the NBA's best team during the regular season was palpable, with Budenholzer throwing his hands at his head and realizing that a semifinal elimination could cost him his job. Especially if it occurs as it is, with a latent inability to cope with a team that had a plan for the small change that the Bucks were making in their limited repertoire.

And all, without letting Anteto run more than he should and forcing the Bucks to shoot from the outside in an uncomfortable way. In the end, 7 of 25 from the triple (28%) by 17 of 45 (almost 38) of the Heat, to whom the Greek star, an example of a one-dimensional basketball player who (for now) only knows how to play in one way, he could only put baskets from the area. 29 + 14 + 3 at the end for him, a lot of bland statistics, nothing transferred to the team's game, and that he was not very much given the final result. Take nothing for granted, but this does not look good for Anteto, who can make a final decision about his future if an early elimination comes. And the Heat? All his players scored, seven of them over ten, and Adebayo has been confirmed as an all-rounder that can last a decade (bless Pat Riley) and the best anti-Anteto in the league right now. And they are two wins away from their first conference finals since 2014, when LeBron was walking around Florida winning rings and making history. We'll see how the story ends, but things are looking good for the Heat and bad for the Bucks, a team that no one has come to fully count on. It would be for a reason.

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