Caleb Martin says Miami Heat expected to be up 2-1 on Milwaukee Bucks: ‘We think we can compete with anybody’'
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Not many folks probably had the Miami Heat ahead of the Milwaukee Bucks at this point in their first-round matchup, but the Heat currently have a 2-1 advantage, and Caleb Martin says they expected to be in the driver’s seat in the series.

Entering the playoffs as the No. 8 seed, Miami was written off by a lot of pundits. It was understandable, considering the team was slated to face off against one of the NBA’s best squads in the first round. However, the Heat have put up a strong fight so far.

Miami drew first blood after defeating the Bucks on the road in Game 1. Jimmy Butler was a man on a mission then, as he put up 35 points and 11 assists on 15-for-27 shooting.

The Heat also caught a break in the form of a Giannis Antetokounmpo injury, which forced the two-time MVP out of the game after just 11 minutes of playing time. Some people may argue that Antetokounmpo’s absence was the key reason for Miami’s victory in the series opener.

But it should be noted that Milwaukee was outscored by nine points when its superstar was on the court. Moreover, the Heat also endured an injury to a key player of their own, losing Tyler Herro.

Game 2 saw an inspired Antetokounmpo-less Bucks squad outscore Miami 138-122, thanks to three players eclipsing the 20-point mark and the team making it rain from beyond the arc. Milwaukee shot 25-for-49 from long distance in that contest.

However, the Heat made sure to put the clamps on their opponents in the third bout. They prevented the Bucks from reaching 100 points, winning Game 3 by a score of 121-99. Of course, it helped again that Antetokounmpo wasn’t in the lineup.

Time will tell if the Heat can defend their home court again on Monday.

It might prove to be a difficult task, however, as the team’s injury report is growing. Already without Herro, Miami might be without Victor Oladipo going forward after he endured a devastating injury late in Game 3.

Fortunately, the squad is not lacking in confidence, as evidenced by Martin’s statement. So far, the forward’s performance has backed up his words, as he is averaging 14.0 points per game on a 60.9 percent shooting clip in the series.

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Orel writes all day, everyday. During the day, he writes and does research to complete his master's degree in education. During the night, he writes about the league he has loved since the '90s: the NBA.