Heat dump Dollars to reach NBA east’s finals
Jimmy Butler and the Miami Heat are headed to the NBA’s eastern conference finals as Giannis Antetokounmpo might just view the Milwaukee Bucks season pertained to an end.
The fifth-seeded Heat completed off an upset of the NBA’s best regular-season group on Tuesday, topping the Bucks 103-94 in Game 5 of their semi-final series.
Antetokounmpo, the league’s ruling MVP and recently announced defensive player of the year, might not play because of a sprained right ankle.
Butler and Goran Dragic each scored 17 points for the Heat, who won the series 4-1 and will deal with the Boston Celtics or the Toronto Raptors when the NBA’s final four gets underway next week.
It’s Miami’s very first time in the east finals because 2014, and the very first time Butler has reached this phase of the campaign.
Jae Crowder scored 16, Tyler Herro scored 14, Bam Adebayo had 13 and Kelly Olynyk had 12 each for the Heat.
Khris Middleton had 23 points for Milwaukee, who got 15 points and 14 rebounds from Brook Lopez and 17 points from Donte DiVincenzo.
Antetokounmpo did what he could – cheering from the bench throughout, rebounding for teammates during pre-game warmups and once again at halftime, using words during time-outs.
And the Bucks were motivated from the dive.
However the NBA’s No. 1 general seed in these playoffs – a league-best 56-17 in the routine season – just didn’t have enough.
The NBA went to the 16-team play-off format in 1984 and this is only the sixth time in those 37 seasons that the front runner did not make the final in the east.
This is Miami’s seventh journey to the conference finals because 2005, one of the most of any group in the east and matching one of the most of any group in the NBA because span – along with the San Antonio Spurs.