Why Milwaukee's Road Test Against the Heat Means Something

The Bucks have surpassed all expectations this season, but a win in Miami over the Heat would be extra sweet

  • The Milwaukee Bucks are 25-5 (17-12 ATS) on the road. 

  • Milwaukee is on pace to crack the 70-win barrier. 

  • The Miami Heat are 25-4 (19-9 ATS) at home.

  • The Bucks have swept every back-to-back they’ve played in this season.

Utter Domination

The Milwaukee Bucks are having a ridiculous season. After all, they’ve won 86.7% of their games. If they continue along at this pace over their last 22 games, they will finish 71-11, which would make them only the third team in NBA history to win 70 or more games.

When you win 86.7% of your games, you’re winning everywhere – home, road, it doesn’t matter. To be exact, the Bucks are 27-3 at home and 25-5 on the road. They are 17-12 against the spread on the road as well. The Bucks have passed just about every major road test so far this year and they have another one coming up Monday in Miami. This one is fraught with an extra degree of difficulty, so a win here would really send a message to the rest of the league that the Bucks are the clear team to beat.

Facing Miami At Home = Trouble

As mentioned, this is a tough test for the Bucks because they are playing a dangerous Miami team that is really good at home. The Heat are fourth in the Eastern Conference at 38-22 overall but at home they are 25-4, which is third-best mark in the NBA behind the Sixers (28-2) and the Bucks (27-3). Their home losses have come to the likes of the Lakers, Clippers, Celtics, and Timberwolves. One of these things is not like the other, but three of the home losses are against top-five teams in the NBA.

Also, the Heat are one of only three teams to beat the Bucks in Milwaukee this year. They topped the Bucks 131-126 in overtime way back on October 26, their second game of the season. The Heat present an interesting matchup because they rank second in three-point shooting percentage and the Bucks are 18th in three-point shooting defense. The Heat also have an ability to defend opponents on the perimeter, something that is necessary to slow down the high-scoring Bucks.

The Heat also do a good job of keeping opponents off the boards, as they rank second in rebounds against at 42.1 per game. They will need to do that here as the Bucks are first in overall rebounding with 52.0 per game. When they met in October, the Heat out-rebounded the Bucks 54-47.

No Issues On Back-to-Backs

Here is another reason why this is a tough spot for the Bucks: they are playing the second night of a road back-to-back after winning at Charlotte on Sunday by the score of 93-85. The Bucks have played seven back-to-backs this year and won them all. They’ve only played one back-to-back on the road and that was last week at Washington and Toronto. But this one is potentially tougher considering the Heat’s stellar home record.

Also, something to watch is the status of Bucks All-Star Khris Middleton, who’s averaging 21.1 points per game. He’s missed the last two games with neck soreness. Middleton will probably play Monday but check the injury report before game time to be sure.

The Bucks have passed every test that’s been thrown at them during this historically-dominant regular season run. There’s no reason to doubt that they will do it again. A win in Miami will just put the league on further notice that the Bucks are on another level.