Dog of the Day: Heat are too tough and talented to get swept by Bucks

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Being down 0-2 in an NBA series isn't a death sentence, but close. Being down 0-3 is a death sentence. 

Teams that go down 0-2 in the NBA end up being eliminated 93.7 percent of the time. That moves to 100 percent for teams that are down 0-3. No NBA team has ever come back from 0-3 to win a series, though three teams have forced a Game 7. 

The Miami Heat are well aware of the history. And they're too good to not take at least one game from the Milwaukee Bucks. Miami is a 2-point underdog at BetMGM for Game 3, and +110 on the moneyline. 

The Heat are a tough, experienced team that went to the NBA Finals last season. During that run, they dominated the Bucks in the Eastern Conference semifinals. They lost Game 1 of this year's playoff series when Khris Middleton hit a great shot with less than a second left in overtime. The Heat could have easily won that game despite Jimmy Butler going 4-of-22 from the field. 

Game 2 was a blowout, but it's not like the Bucks will hit 10 3-pointers in the first quarter again like they did Monday night. It was a bad game for the Heat all around, but not indicative of how good they are. 

The Heat were 40-32 during the regular season, but 33-19 when Butler played. That mark was about as good as the Bucks (.639 regular-season winning percentage for Milwaukee, .635 for Miami with Butler). That's not entirely fair — Giannis Antetokounmpo missed games in the regular season too and the Bucks were just 6-5 without him — but it's a way of showing the Heat are better than most No. 6 seeds. 

Game 1 was indicative of how close the teams are. It was a tight game throughout and it could have gone either way. The Bucks were terrible from three in that game, but Butler was terrible period. Neither was going to continue indefinitely, and the Bucks' 3-point shooting rebounded first. 

It's hard to believe that the Heat, defending Eastern Conference champs, will go out quietly in the first round this season. Even if the Bucks eventually take the series, this will be the Heat's maximum effort. That is worth taking the Heat at least with the points, and it's not a bad idea to grab them on the moneyline as well. 

Bam Adebayo of the Miami Heat knocks the ball away from Giannis Antetokounmpo of the Milwaukee Bucks. (Photo by Quinn Harris/Getty Images)
Bam Adebayo of the Miami Heat knocks the ball away from Giannis Antetokounmpo of the Milwaukee Bucks. (Photo by Quinn Harris/Getty Images)

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