The Eastern Conference playoff matchups are set. NBA fans will get at least four more Jimmy Butler vs TJ Warren matchups after Miami’s final seeding game on Friday.
The Miami Heat, no matter the result of Friday’s game vs Indiana, will face the Pacers in the first round of the 2020 NBA playoffs. However, fighting for home court in the two teams final meeting won’t be a priority because of the unusual circumstance of the NBA bubble. The rest of the first round series are as follows:
(1) Milwaukee Bucks vs (8) Orlando Magic
(2) Toronto Raptors vs (7) Brooklyn Nets
(3) Boston Celtics vs (6) Philadelphia 76ers
The Heat and Pacers will be plenty familiar by the time one gets sent home from Orlando. On top of playing each other twice in the seeding games, the two will gear up for a best-of-seven series which could possibly mean playing each other nine out of the last ten games.
Despite the dramatic story line of another potential seven matchups between Jimmy Butler and TJ Warren, it would be difficult to not look at who lies beyond the first round for MIami. Should the Heat get past Indiana, it would be a safe bet to expect the Giannis Antetokounmpo led Milwaukee Bucks to be waiting for them in the second round.
Although the Bucks have the NBA’s best overall record at 56-16 and are led by the 2019 MVP, several NBA writers and even former NBA players believe Miami has the pieces to contend with the best in the East.
After Miami beat the Bucks back in March making them the only team in the NBA to beat Milwaukee more than once, ESPN’s Kendrick Perkins made it clear he sees the Heat as a true threat to the Bucks.
“I think the Miami Heat have the Milwaukee Bucks number, said Perkins. “I looked in Giannis’ face and I saw fear.”
NBC Sports NBA writer, Dan Feldman, doesn’t think Miami is a better team than Milwaukee but he still thinks Miami has a chance against the Bucks and credits their “interesting” matchups.
Bam Adebayo, Feldman believes, is “the type of player, if anybody, who can defend Giannis Antetokounmpo.”
On top of having the long, athletic center that has shown to be a defensive threat on the perimeter, it’s Miami’s perimeter shooting that stands out to Feldman.
“The Heat are also a good three-point shooting team. That is what the Bucks give up on defense. If the Heat get hot beyond the arch, they have a chance.”
Listen to Dan Feldman discuss the Heat’s matchup vs Indiana and his thoughts on a series vs the Bucks below: