Bucks’ Need More Than Bravado To Beat Heat

MIAMI — Brandon Jennings is fearless. The Milwaukee Bucks’ point guard always has been and probably always will be. And it’s hard not to admire that trait in him.

You don’t skip college for pro ball in Italy, declare yourself better than than international teen sensation Ricky Rubio and then back that claim up with four fantastic NBA seasons and have an ounce of fear in you.

But that fearlessness alone won’t be enough to propel the Bucks in their first round playoff series against the Miami Heat. They’ll need All-Star work out of Jennings and equal doses of fearlessness and spectacular play from the entire roster just to make this thing as interesting on the court as it has been in the build up to Game 1 here tonight at AmericanAirlines Arena. (On TNT, 7 p.m. ET)

Thursday night at the Wisconsin Sports Award ceremony, where he was picking up an award for his work in the community, Jennings uttered these famous words: “I’m real confident. I’m sure everybody is writing us off but I see us winning the series in six.”

That’s a playoff guarantee even Rasheed Wallace could appreciate. And while Jennings said later that he was making that prediction after joking about it with Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers, his words took on a life of their own. If he was attempting to put the pressure on the Heat instead of him and Monta Ellis or Bucks coach Jim Boylan, it’s not clear whether that mission has been accomplished just yet.

There is, however, recent evidence that a No. 8 can actually pull this off.

Two of the five instances in league history when a No. 1 seed has been upset by a No. 8 have come in the past two seasons. The Philadelphia 76ers did it last year against the Chicago Bulls, but only after Bulls All-Star Derrick Rose tore his ACL in Game 1. And the Memphis Grizzlies stunned the San Antonio Spurs the year before that.

This Heat team, however, is a far superior outfit to either of those aforementioned upset victims. They won 66-games this season, including that monster 27-game win streak, and have been vetted like few other great teams when you consider all that has gone on with this Heat crew the past three seasons.

“We don’t feel we can be beat in a series,” Heat center Chris Bosh said. “We say that in the most humble manner possible. We’ve been humbled already. I think before, all those other teams [upset], they were either injured or just caught slipping or they were in a five-game series. We’re not in that predicament so it’s a little different.”

The Bucks also have to contend with a rested and hungry LeBron James and Dwyane Wade, two stars who have welcomed all challenges since joining forces with Bosh here in Miami.

Jennings might very well have the advantage in his individual matchup against Mario Chalmers, though the ultra-confident Chalmers would love to argue that. And the Bucks have the same fighting chance any No. 8 seed does before the games actually begin. But it’s not like the Heat don’t see the challenge coming. They’ve been on guard for three years running now.

That would explain the reaction of Bosh, Wade and the rest of the Heat. They’ve seen and heard it all before (you remember the Indiana series from last year or the Celtics in the Eastern Conference finals last year?). All that’s left is to play the games.

“We’ve been in every situation where it’s happened,” Heat coach Erik Spoelstra said. “We’ve been up in a series and it’s happened. We’ve been down in a series and it’s happened. It’s happened, so what? [Sunday] night, bring it. That’s the only thing we can control.”

It’s going to take more than a healthy dose of bravado for the Bucks, or anyone else for that matter, to beat the Heat.


  1. Ballin for life says:

    Cry much?

  2. Jack says:

    hey let us be realistic here, Jennings did not wish to win this series, he is declaring his team will win in 6!! c’mon with that record 38-44 is not playoff record, they should thank the organization with this setup coz Mavs and other West teams have better record than them, so that means they are more qualified, well many of the comments here like the attitude of Jennings being positive, how about the big 3 who does not do the talking, but their game speaks to it, dont you like that attitude?..im asking and plese do not knock on wood as you were saying that injured thing, please do not wish this kind of thing to anyone, its not good,..

  3. Johnny Blaze says:

    Jennings backed up everything he said (other than the W), he was toasting Mario chalmers and norris cole with a flurry of driving layups, step back three pointers, floaters and pull up jumpers. Scoring 26 points in his playoff return Brandon used his speed and killer crossover to break ankles and get to the rim at will. This kid loves the big stage and is super confident. too bad He has little help other than Monta Ellis. The Bucks might win one game if and only if he and Monta Combine for at least 60. ha good luck with that… GO BUCKS!

    “Here’s Johnny”

  4. Strawhat says:

    Its all about winning thats it.. That y this big 3 are playing together..and besides even james bosh and wade are playing together if thers no chemistry! Miami heat wont win a championship just like what happen to the lakers.. And pls stop comparing james to jordan..michael jordan is michael jordan james is james.. I watch nba when i was a kid bcause of mj and now i have interest of nba bcause of lbj.. All i can say is lebron is one frickin nature he is arguably the best player in the planet.. And bucks wont stand a chance not even close maybe jennings is dreaming or having a nightmare i should say he just help motivate the heat to sweep them.. the heat will win 16 games in the playoff

  5. seanyew says:

    Can NBA.com have a poll on whether LeBron James will ever record a quadruabe double in his playing career? 0? 1-4? 5 and above? Appretiate that!!!

  6. OC says:

    i think Brandon Jennings meant that the Heat will win in 6.

  7. Devinn says:

    What the Bucks need is LeBron James

  8. lakers gaza says:

    fire mike dumtoni an get better shooters!

  9. cesar says:

    The bucks have a chance of winning 1 game.. if one of the big three got injured….

  10. King4Life says:

    That would be amazing if the Bucks pulled an upset on the Heat but realistically speaking, as much as I hate the Heat, they will easily advance to the Conference Finals. I would love to see NY vs MIA in the Conf. Finals and that’s a tough prediction.

  11. Soltero32 says:

    4-0 or 4-1 if they decide to sleep one night. The Bucks dont have any chance here.

  12. Kamote says:

    Jenning’s attitude is really good being the leader of his team. I just hope the rest of the Bucks have that same sentiment. And even though they have that confidence, winning against the top team/reigning champs is easier said than done. But yeah, got to give this guy props for at least saying that they (or at least he) will give a good fight.

    • Chris says:

      so far it looks like Jennings is playing like he could back the words up. Aside from Ellis rest of the team didn’t get the memo

      • Be Realistic says:

        Heat beat the Bucks by 27 lol I dont think he backed up his words… Do you? Lmao

      • Chris says:

        There’s only so much one man can do. You entirely missed the point. Its a team effort. He played well enough individually

  13. chandler says:

    What i want. bucks win 4-3

    What will happen heat 4-0

    • holyspectator says:

      it be one thing if the nba playoffs were like the nfl playoffs, only one game per round, win or go home, but even then heat would absolutely make sure to bring out their best in that 1 game and so would bucks…but nba has made it so teams have a max of 7 games to compete…and using their home court during some games and vica versa…with all that being said lets realistically ask ourselves this question without bringing up your like or dislike about these two teams…can bucks actually beat miami heat in a 7 game series? is that possible? its not…now could they win 1 game? that seems more possible..heat could have an off night it could happen but the idea that bucks could win the series? lol absolutely impossible..and im not sayin this cuz im a heat fan im just being very realistic. ..someone mentioned the knicks beatin the heat…dont think so neither however out of all the teams miami will be facing in the east during this years playoffs…ny knicks have the best shot at beating them in a series…apart from them no one in the east has a chance and the west, forget about it…tho it would be entertaining to see nuggets go against the heat…spurs/grizz maybe but i dont wanna see okc or clips in the finals…thatd be too easy for miami

  14. MF says:

    “This Heat team, however, is a far superior outfit to either of those aforementioned upset victims. They won 66-games this season, including that monster 27-game win streak, and have been vetted like few other great teams when you consider all that has gone on with this Heat crew the past three seasons.”
    While I don’t expect the Bucks to put up too much resistance for the surging Heat, I disagree that the ’13 Heat are “far superior” to the upset ’11 Spurs team who, by the way, went 61-21 that year. Yes, the Heat have been very dominant and yes, right now they look better than anyone else in the leauge. But the same could be said of the ’12 Spurs who managed to hold it together until the WConf Finals when they finally went from immortal to beaten. I don’t think the Heat are going to choke in any of the playoff rounds but it’s hubristic to think it can’t happen. Of course, most commentators had all but awarded the Spurs a championship last year until you had to scramble off the bandwagon for the final round.

  15. JC says:

    The Bucks chances of winning this series are very, very low, but they still have a chance. Its out there, they just have to work hard for it and want it. Confidence in yourself and your team is the first step. Next is to take it out on the court. Heat in 4 or 5, I say, but who knows.

  16. Look out for the bleh bleh bleh says:

    38-44! Bucks record is 38-44! More losses than wins this season. They didn’t “make” the playoffs. They were put in the playoffs.

  17. Oh wow says:

    Lbj is gonna do the same to Jennings that he did to Terry. No way Bucks can win against Heat.

  18. Chris says:

    Well no one ever won a championship without believing they could actually win it all. I’m not saying the bucks will win, but they are a professional NBA team, and anything can happen in the NBA. Play your heart out Jennings, even if you don’t win

  19. mee(a)t says:

    thats some nice confidence…

  20. Byrd says:

    The Heats gonna burn the Bucks in 4 and get time to rest for Brooklyn who will get there in 6

  21. Faruque Khan says:

    Man love the confidence. No matter what give it your all. Its obvious Heat are the better team by a wide margin. This is such a lopsided series but that does not mean you give up. You try your best to win. Nothing is certain in a game. But at the end of the day see the Heat win in 4 barring some injuries.

  22. REG Menace says:

    The Heat’s bench will be the difference in all their series. Lebron knows he can win the big one now. Only in basketball does doing anything before count as much as it does here. The Heat will get to the big game, but they will be challenged every step of the way. I’d like to see if Ray Allen can come off the bench and bring his A-game. Cuz if they fire on all cylinders, the Heat will be unbeatable in the east.

  23. Lmfaoooo @l Lola if u think the bucks even have a slight chance of beating the heats…. Lebron and wade is relentless on both ends of the floor so oh yah good luck to teams unless lbj stops playing….,,

    • Chris says:

      Id knock on wood if I were you. Anything can happen, that anything being injuries lol. David lee already went down for the season in the warriors first playoff game. Gallinari went down pretty close to the nuggets playoff start. No one ever said it’d be a legit win ;P

  24. W/E says:

    The Bucks should just quit and go home before the playoffs start,weak team with a losing record, they are gunna get swept and humiliated really ugly by the HEAT, the Bucks players wont even know where to hide when the HEAT totally destroy them, they might even disband the team,probably they might request to play for the D-league next year cause of the huge humilation they are gunna suffer.

  25. ali says:

    You all r wrong!!! the heat r gonna lose cause my homie carmelo anthony is more hungrier then before.. fear the knicks… melo can go off anytime!!

  26. Lola says:

    I love what Jennings is saying, who the heck knows if they can pull it off or not. I mean if you don’t have confidence in yourself, then why they hell even play the game. Everyone is saying it will be OKC and the heat in the finals again, and who knows maybe it might be. There could possibly be an upset or two throughout the playoffs. Just because people are suppose to win, does not mean they will wind. Lebron talking about no one respects the heat, I mean why should they? Everyone is trying to beat every team out there that they play, respect or no respect. The heat say they respect teams they play and Bosh talking about he says what he says humbling, but I do get that. I mean when the heat get mad that things are not going their way I feel like they start playing dirty. Either way, what I’m trying to say is, you CANNOT count any team in these playoffs, you never know what will happen. Best of luck to every team who made it and play your hearts out!

    • Pakyaw says:

      Heat playing dirty? Since when? If u talking about heat-pacers series last year,well they just giving back the favor,pacer trying ” wanna be tough guy” on those series…and they run their mouth just before the series start(including their coach too)…but I agree, u can’t count any team on the playoffs..

      • GJ says:

        Since Wade dislocated Rondo’s arm in 2010? Since Wade broke Kobe’s nose at the All Star because he couldn’t guard him and Kobe put the moves on him? Since Wade kicked Sessions in the groin, and did not have a foul called against him for it (he did get a 1 game suspension against the Wizards, but if MWP had done the same thing, I bet he would have got 5 games), Since Wade slapped Rondo in the face in game 2 ECF and didn’t get called for it? All the flopping they did in the Pacers and Celtics series’? Yeah. I think its safe to say the cHeat are DIRTY

      • dhk says:

        Not to mention the game where a running wade shoved another player (I forget who) in the back, sending him flying into the stands. All this really just points to Wade. Except the flopping, that’s on Lebron

    • bigwes95 says:

      I agree you can’t count teams out, but it’s getting to the point where it’s like watching MJ, or magic, or bird, or any player/team that gets to the finals every year and only lose to a team that’s better, but this team is more like Chicago because of the talent and chemistry, and you just know when you watch them it’s special. but there are so many haters they don’t see it. it’s only the begging for this team, look how much better they’ve gotten every year. first year: NBA finals. second year: NBA champions. Third year: 27 game winning streak. I just don’t see anyone overcoming them in playoff made, especially if a team tries to rough house them like the Pacers did last year. the pacers only won that much because they were without bosh the whole series basically. Bosh is definitely un-credited for what he does and that really showed.

  27. bon says:

    wade and james did not join bosh in miami , bosh and james joined wade in miami

  28. chenxingyong says:

    Nba all star jerseys Nba all star jerseys , nba snapback hats , nba shorts , nba throwback jerseys

  29. ene be a says:

    Miami heat. 2012-2020 nba champions. I would love to see at least one co op mvp finals in james and wade at least one finals. But I guess james will get it all. He is better than jordan.

    • realist says:

      better than jordan? really? 6 rings to 1 makes him better? and to be able to get a ring he had to join forces with 2 other top 10 players. I didnt see jordan do that.

      • joe says:

        scottie pippen? dennis rodman? hmmm + phil jackson

      • Hater4Life! says:

        Did you even see jordan play? How old are you? Plus, he didn’t have to, his management brought him first, george gervin, and then scottie pippen. I think it’s safe to say cleveland never gave Lebron that.

      • LBJ says:

        yeah cuz jordan had it easy, and already had 2 other top 10 players on his team.

      • GJ says:

        Anyone who knows the NBA knows Jordan DIDNT already have 2 top 10 players on his team. Pippen was a draft pick and work in progress. Pippen was drafted by the Sonics, shipped to the Bulls, and progressed as a member of the Bulls, he wasn’t already an ALL Star in the league. And Rodman didn’t come until AFTER the first 3 peat in a deal with the Spurs for Will Perdue because the Spurs couldn’t handle Rodman’s behavior. Rodman was alreaady 35 when he joined the Bulls team and WELL past his prime. He wasn’t even an offensive threat, but he still hustled and played defense and pulled boards down well. So nice try. LeBrick LEFT his team to team up with two other guys in their primes, two guys who were already captains and had their own teams. It’s far from the same thing. Bosh was the face of the Raptors, Wade was the face of the cHeat, and James was face of Cavs. He bailed on Cavs, Bosh bailed on Raptors, and they joined Wade. Jordan never went to Phoenix to team up with Barkley, never went to Houston to team with Hakeem and Drexler, never went to LA to team with Magic and Kareem, or Seattle to team with Kemp and Payton. GET IT RIGHT!

      • Chris says:

        How old are you people? 12? Jordan vs Lebron? There’s no comparison. Jordan was created by God to dominate the game. When Lebron manages to drop 30 points while food poisoned and take home the trophy while he’s at it maybe you can talk, but until than, get off Lebron’s nuts I’m pretty sure he’s reserved those for his lovely wife.

      • Alex says:

        If you’re comparing rings than Bill Russell destroys Jordan in the “G.O.A.T.” conversation…

      • Hater4Life! says:

        @GJ you’re hilarious. Jordan didn’t go to Houston, you’re right. Or Pheonix or LA or Seattle. Thank you for saying what EVERYBODY knows, what EVERYBODY has heard. So now, after THREE YEARS of hearing the same tired argument, you have finally arrived to open our eyes so that we can “GET IT RIGHT.”
        Dude, Jordan wasn’t in cleveland. He was in Chicago.
        Chi. Ca. Go.
        Also, he didn’t HAVE to go anywhere, his management brought in good players. Yes, he didn’t get there with 2 all-stars already established. But those all-stars came, didn’t they? I didn’t see those kinds of players in Cleveland. That’s like Kobe. Why hasn’t he left LA? Well Idk, maybe it has to do with the fact that it’s LA, and that it attracts superstars, like Nash and Dwight Howard… you know, maybe. Maybe Cleveland doesn’t have that appeal.
        And maybe you need to get a new argument, one that’s not three years old.

  30. ene be a says:

    Miami heat. 2012-2020 nba champions. That’s all I have to say.

  31. Lebron's #1 fan says:

    You got that right. Heat are unbeatable