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2023 NBA playoffs first round: No. 1 Bucks vs. No. 8 Heat preview

Here’s everything you need to know about the Bucks taking on the Heat in the first round of the 2023 NBA playoffs.

Milwaukee Bucks v Washington Wizards
Giannis Antetokounmpo of the Milwaukee Bucks looks on from the bench against the Washington Wizards in the first half at Capital One Arena on April 04, 2023 in Washington, DC.
Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images

The Milwaukee Bucks will face the Miami Heat in the first round of the 2023 NBA playoffs. The Bucks stormed to the No. 1 seed in the Eastern Conference, while the Heat had to make a big run in the second play-in game to secure the No. 8 spot in the playoffs. Here’s a look at how the teams match up.

No. 1 Bucks vs. No. 8 Heat

Head-to-head record: Tied 2-2
Overall record: Bucks 58-24, Heat 44-38
Leading scorer on Bucks: Giannis Antetokounmpo
Leading scorer on Heat: Jimmy Butler

Odds to win series: Bucks -1000, Heat +650

The Bucks were chasing the Celtics for much of the season in the standings before ripping off a 16-game winning streak starting in late January. Milwaukee has the star trio of Giannis Antetokounmpo, Khris Middleton and Jrue Holiday to lean on but the role players have also stepped up when one or more of those guys are unavailable. Middleton’s lingering knee soreness is concerning, but everyone else should be ready to go for Milwaukee as the chase for a second title begins.

The Heat were unable to win the first play-in game, but stormed back in the fourth quarter to take down the Bulls in Friday’s do-or-die contest. Miami now gets another playoff series with the Bucks, a team it has faced twice in the previous three postseasons. The Heat haven’t been a consistent force, but Jimmy Butler, Bam Adebayo and Tyler Herro possess enough talent to put a scare into Milwaukee.