Just over six months ago, the Miami Heat stormed their way through the Eastern Conference, which included a 4-1 series win over the No. 1 seed Milwaukee Bucks. Giannis Antetokounmpo avenged the postseason exit by sweeping the six-seed Heat on Saturday.
That’s right – Miami’s 2021 postseason has already come to an end. It concluded in stunning fashion, too.
Jimmy “Buckets” Butler and his Heat teammates didn’t put up much of a fight throughout the series. Youngsters Tyler Herro and Duncan Robinson were just shells of themselves compared to how they played during last year’s postseason.
The Bucks, meanwhile, are much improved this season. Khris Middleton has upped his game, and one can’t overlook the addition of veteran Jrue Holiday. Milwaukee stormed to a 120-103 victory on Saturday to sweep the Heat and bounce them out of the playoffs.
— Milwaukee Bucks (@Bucks) May 29, 2021
So what happened to the Miami Heat we saw during the 2020 playoffs? Well, for starters, Jimmy Butler wasn’t himself.
The veteran small forward was simply dominant last year, but may have ran out of gas this season. He averaged just 14.5 points, 7.5 rebounds and 7 assists per game while shooting 29 percent from the field during the Milwaukee series.
Jimmy Butler in the Milwaukee series:
-21 +/- pic.twitter.com/Ny7zp7mllm
— Hoop Central (@TheHoopCentral) May 29, 2021
Even worse than Butler’s production was Miami’s lack of defense. The Heat allowed 118.5 points per game to the Milwaukee Bucks in the four-game sweep.
Breaking news: Giannis and the Bucks sweep the Heat 📰 pic.twitter.com/22xlBUC2Py
— Bleacher Report (@BleacherReport) May 29, 2021
We expect to see the Heat back in contention next season. But there’s no other way to put it: Miami’s postseason performance and exit is massively disappointing, especially after last year’s special run.