Playing Out Frustrations

As their front offices prepare for the future, the Milwaukee Bucks and Miami Heat are playing out the string in their frustrating seasons.

The Bucks look to take advantage of an injury-ravaged Heat squad when the teams meet Monday at AmericanAirlines Arena.

Oddsmakers from Sportsbook.com have made Milwaukee -8.5 point spread favorites (NBA Odds) for today’s game, the over/under has been set at X total points (Matchup). Our public betting information shows that 50% of bets for this game have been placed on Milwaukee -8.5 (View NBA Bet Percentages).

Milwaukee (24-44) ended a six-game losing streak Saturday, beating Cleveland 108-98 at home. The game was the team's first since general manager Larry Harris' contract was not renewed Wednesday.

The Bucks made the playoffs twice after Harris took over in July 2003, but lost in the first round both times and are closing in on their fourth straight last-place finish in the Central Division.

"It was huge for us. It felt good to win again," said Michael Redd, who had 21 points. "We haven't won in a while, so it was a good win for us."

Milwaukee is ahead of only two teams in the Eastern Conference - New York and Miami (12-57), which owns the worst record in the NBA. The Heat were missing seven players in Saturday's 94-82 loss in Charlotte, including starters Dwyane Wade, Shawn Marion, Alexander Johnson and Dorell Wright.

Wade (knee), Haslem (ankle), and Wright (knee) are out for the season, along with center Alonzo Mourning (knee). Johnson (knee) has missed the last four games, while Marion (back) has missed three in a row.

Miami dressed only nine players against the Bobcats and was even without its coach, as Pat Riley has missed the last two games while scouting prospective draft picks at the NCAA tournament.

Jason Williams scored 19 points Saturday for the Heat, Ricky Davis had 15 and Chris Quinn 14.

"I thought we were competitive,'' said assistant Ron Rothstein, who filled in for Riley. "We did a good job of battling back. But they made a nice adjustment against our smaller lineup and started going inside.''

Riley is expected to return for Monday's contest as his Heat try to snap a seven-game home losing streak. Miami is a league-worst 6-29 at home.

Milwaukee, meanwhile, has lost five straight on the road and is 6-27 away from home. The Bucks have dropped 11 of their last 15 games against the Heat, including a 112-106 defeat Tuesday.

Jason Williams scored 21 points in that game, while Redd had 27 and Mo Williams chipped in 26 points and 11 assists for the Bucks. Mo Williams followed up that performance with 29 points and 13 assists against the Cavaliers.

"Certainly he did a great job," coach Larry Krystkowiak said of Mo Williams on Saturday. "He was finding matchups for us and getting the ball to people when they were in positions. He did a good job in pick-and-roll."

Andrew Bogut chipped in 16 points and 15 rebounds against the Cavs for his third straight double-double.

"I never questioned our effort," Redd said. "Our team is our team, and I believe in my guys. Sometimes it works out for us and sometimes it doesn't. Tonight was great."

By: Marc Young - theSpread.com - Email Us

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