Originally posted on isportsweb.com  |  Last updated 4/19/13
The defending champs will take on the Milwaukee Bucks in the first round of the playoffs.  At first thought, this won’t be much of a challenge for them.  At second thought, it still won’t be much of a challenge for them.  Milwaukee clearly doesn’t have the tools to compete with the Heat. What Miami needs to do to win: Nothing special.  They just need to play their game and treat each game one at a time.  This series should really just be a preparation for the second round.  The East isn’t nearly as deep as the West which means the lower-seeded opponents are weaker. What Milwaukee needs to do to win: Take out both of LeBron’s legs at the beginning of Game 1.  Sorry, Milwaukee.  There is very minimal hope of an NCAA Tournament-type upset here. Key Matchups: Dwyane Wade vs. Monta Ellis: Wade is clearly the more effective all-around player, but Ellis does have a tremendous scoring ability.  If Ellis can make Wade work on defense, that could wear Wade down a bit.  Even if Ellis does outplay Wade, Miami has too many other advantages. LeBron James vs. Larry Sanders’ Post Defense: Without Larry Sanders, the Bucks may not be a playoff team.  Sanders is, without a doubt, the team’s best defensive player.  He specializes at stopping players from finishing at the rim.  But stopping King James at the rim may be an overwhelmingly difficult task to handle. Prediction: Heat in Four Games

This article first appeared on isportsweb.com and was syndicated with permission.

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