Gameplan for Milwaukee Bucks to Pull Upset for the Ages Against Miami Heat

Jesse DorseyCorrespondent IMarch 27, 2017

MIAMI, FL - NOVEMBER 21:  LeBron James #6 of the Miami Heat posts up Tobias Harris #15 of the Milwaukee Bucks during a game  at AmericanAirlines Arena on November 21, 2012 in Miami, Florida.  (Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images)
Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images

The Milwaukee Bucks have drawn the short straw, locked in to take on the Miami Heat in the first round of the playoffs, which kick off Saturday.

That's it, right? Just pack an overnight bag, expect the worst, and don't plan for a return trip back to Miami to finish the series off in more than four or five games.

Well yes, that's probably the case.

However, there's a glimmer of a glimpse of a smidgen of hope that something happens to give them a chance to win the series, as improbable as it sounds.

LeBron James could retire and go play croquet professionally, Dwyane Wade could accidentally sleep through four different games, or the Bucks could just play out of their minds. 

Right now the Bucks are playing the role of Lloyd from Dumb and Dumber, and they should react the same way.

Of course, they can't just go into the game with the thought that they have a chance to win, only coming in to play the same old way they've been playing since mid-March (they're 5-14 since March 12th).

For the most part, Milwaukee has actually played Miami very well throughout the course of the season. Their 1-3 record may not reflect the solid effort, but when you look more closely at what they've done in each game, there's a hint at what they're capable of.

They're losing by an average of just three points, 96.8 to 99.8 after four games against each other.

It seems that, for the most part, Milwaukee is incredibly night-and-day when you compare the way they play in wins and losses. They average 106.4 points per 100 possessions in wins and just 96.1 in losses, while giving up just 97.4 points per 100 possessions in wins, compared to 106.8 points per 100 in losses.

Basically, there's a huge discrepancy in a good game from the Bucks and a bad game.

Obviously they'll have to focus on the old basics of good basketball. Force more turnovers than you commit, take good shots, move the ball, and (if you want my honest John Madden-style analysis) score more points than your opponents.

If Milwaukee is going to have any chance of making the Heat feel the--well heat, they're going to have to focus on their strength, while simultaneously keying in on Miami's strength.

The biggest advantage Milwaukee has over Miami is that they're a much better offensive rebounding team, coming in at 11th in the league in offensive rebounding rate, compared to Miami at 26th.

As far as second chances go, Miami gives up an average of 1.3 more second chances than they have themselves, while Milwaukee sits near the top of the league, gaining 2.5 extra second chances.

That's where Milwaukee needs to make their move, and they need to do it early, often and efficiently.

Offensive rebounding is the one chink in Miami's armor, it's the single weakness in the Miami Death Star.

When you look at MIlwaukee's strengths, nothing shines through more than their overall efficiency, leading the league with an effective field-goal percentage with a rate just over 55.1 percent. Milwaukee is 24th in the league at 47.6 percent.

At some point, Milwaukee is going to have to mud up this game, turn it into a dirty slop-fest where Miami is begging for chances closer to the rim, but can't find them with Larry Sanders and the rest of the Milwaukee bigs giving them a hard go around.

It's going to be nearly impossible, especially because of this LeBron James guy that Miami has on its squad, but the key word in that statement is nearly.

The only thing that matters for Milwaukee is to keep believing that there's a chance.