User ID
Password
  Forgot User ID
or Register Today!
VegasInsider.com
Follow Us on Facebook Follow Us on Twitter Follow Us on Google+ VI Mobile Scores and Betting Odds
Home
NFL
NBA
NHL
MLB
NCAA FB
NCAA BK
Golf
Auto Racing
Horses
Boxing/MMA
More
Betting Tools
 
Preview: Bucks (15-67) at Heat (54-28)
BT Movements  ·  Line Movements
Date: April 23, 2013 7:30 PM EDT
  

MIAMI (AP) - Long after just about every Miami Heat player left the practice court on Monday, LeBron James stayed behind for a 3-point shooting contest against Ray Allen and Mario Chalmers.

He yelled. He trash-talked.

And he won, getting to watch his teammates do 20 push-ups as his reward.

There is a certain irony in James staying on the court after practice to work on his shooting, especially since there are nights he controls games without looking to score. When he took 11 shots in an NBA Finals game two years ago, he became a lightning rod for criticism.

These days, an 11-shot game from James - like what he had Sunday when the Heat won Game 1 of their Eastern Conference first-round series against Milwaukee - gets celebrated for effective brilliance. He's controlling the game in any number of ways, and will try to continue doing so when the Heat and Bucks meet in Game 2 of the best-of-seven matchup on Tuesday night in Miami.

Advertisement

``The narrative has changed about him, about our team,' Heat forward Shane Battier said. ``A championship changes that. I don't think LeBron's changed. That's who LeBron is. LeBron's going to make the smart basketball play. He's going to make the right play. If that entails him taking 11 shots and we win, he's going to do it. If it entails him taking 30 shots, he's going to do it.'

James will likely be named as the NBA's MVP for the fourth time in five seasons sometime in the not-too-distant future, and with each season, he still seems to be getting better.

He made 9 of 11 shots on Sunday in Miami's 110-87 win, finishing with 27 points and two assists shy of a triple-double. In his first seven-plus seasons, James never shot better than 75 percent in any game in which he took more than 10 shots. Since April 2011, he's done it 11 times, including Sunday, and the Heat are 11-0 in those games.

``We don't take his talent for granted because he does whatever it takes to help you win,' Heat coach Erik Spoelstra said.

When the Bucks broke down film after Game 1, coach Jim Boylan paid particular attention to the way his team defended James, a job that fell largely onto the shoulders of Luc Richard Mbah a Moute.

Boylan raved about Mbah a Moute's effort after seeing that film. James was just too good in Game 1.

``It's hard to say, `You didn't do this, you didn't do that' because Luc was into him the whole time,' Boylan said. ``LeBron just had a great game.'

So now the trick for the Bucks - who are 1-4 against Miami this season - is finding ways to get Brandon Jennings and Monta Ellis some help on the offensive end. Jennings and Ellis combined for 48 points in Game 1; their teammates chipped in only 39 more.

If that becomes a trend, the Bucks know they'll be on vacation by early next week.

``No one's in a panic,' Boylan said. ``We've played one game. It's time for us to take a look and see what we can do and figure out how we can help those guys.'

There were some encouraging signs for the Bucks on Monday.

Center Larry Sanders, who has battled back pain in recent weeks and was marred by foul trouble that kept him from finding anything close to a rhythm in Game 1, said he felt as good Monday - 80 percent right was his estimation - as he has in a while. And Boylan said Ersan Ilyasova, who has dealt with a wrist problem, shouldn't still be adversely affected by that issue.

``For us, I don't think we look at it as it's a seven-game series and we've got to win four out of seven,' Bucks forward Mike Dunleavy said. ``We've got to win one game. When we win one game, then we'll say, `Hey, we've got to win another one game.' To look at it as a whole and say we've got to beat these guys four times out of seven when they haven't lost four times out of 50, it's monumental.'

That team that Dunleavy said hasn't lost four times out of 50 - actually, the Heat are 43-4 in their last 47 games - looked at itself with very critical eyes on Monday.

The videotape session that Spoelstra arranged for the Heat at the start of practice Monday lasted an hour, and the clips were not ones the team particularly enjoyed seeing. A night loaded with mistakes were on display in high-definition. Some, including Dwyane Wade, said the scene had a day-after-a-loss feel.

And remember, it was actually after a 23-point win.

``That's one thing Coach Spo does a great job of,' Wade said. ``He's always making sure that we move on and we move into the new moment. That moment has passed. That's one thing he's been very consistent at.'

One area where the Heat struggled in Game 1 was 3-point shooting, where they went 7 for 23. So maybe that was why James lured Allen and Chalmers into that post-practice contest.

He would yell at his shots, pleading with them to ``Get up' or ``Sit down.' When Chalmers or Allen would miss, James would shout ``That's what I needed.' And when he took his final attempt, the one that clinched the game, James knew he'd won when the ball was still in flight, saying ``Game time' just before the shot went down.

``I've got to stay ready, I guess,' James said. ``I've got to stay ready.'

AP NEWS
The Associated Press News Service

Copyright 2014
The Associated Press
All Rights Reserved

 SERIES AT A GLANCE
GAME 1
Bucks at Heat
Sun, Apr 21 Final 87 to 110
 Recaps
GAME 2
Bucks at Heat
Tue, Apr 23 Final 86 to 98
 Recaps
GAME 3
Heat at Bucks
Thu, Apr 25 Final 104 to 91
 Recaps
GAME 4
Heat at Bucks
Sun, Apr 28 Final 88 to 77
 Recaps

 CURRENT LAS VEGAS LINE
 Team  ML   SPR   O/U 
 MIL  +1500   +14   197 
 MIA  -3000   -14   
LAS VEGAS LINE MOVEMENTS

 CURRENT SPORTSBOOK LINE
 Team  ML   SPR   O/U 
 MIL  +1300   +14.5   197 
 MIA  -2700   -14.5   
OFFSHORE LINE MOVEMENTS

 BETTING TRENDS
 Team  ML   SPR   O/U 
 MIL  69%   45%   53% 
 MIA  31%   55%   47% 
BT MOVEMENTS

 NBA HEAD TO HEAD
 Apr 21, 2013  Score  ATS Results 
 MIL 87 Push: 197 
 MIA 110 Cover: 9.5 
 Tools:   Recaps
 Apr 9, 2013  Score  ATS Results 
 MIL 83 Under: 177 
 MIA 94 Cover: 4.5 
 Tools:   Recaps
 Mar 15, 2013  Score  ATS Results 
 MIA 107 Cover: 7.5 
 MIL 94 Under: 201 
 Tools:   Recaps
 Dec 29, 2012  Score  ATS Results 
 MIA 85 Under: 189 
 MIL 104 Cover: 23.5 
 Tools:   Recaps
 Nov 21, 2012  Score  ATS Results 
 MIL 106 Cover: 2.5 
 MIA 113 Over: 219 
 Tools:   Recaps

 NBA PREVIEWS
 Tuesday, Apr 23
 
    Bucks at Heat
7:35 PM EDT
    Celtics at Knicks
8:05 PM EDT
    Warriors at Nuggets
10:40 PM EDT
 
 
 
  
corner graphic
With a VI Gold Membership, you can SAVE 10% off a Live Odds subscription, SAVE 20% off Daily Pick packages, and receive access to up to 1,000 Member Plays each month!