LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. – Having the NBA's best record during the regular season shows the obvious potential of the Milwaukee Bucks.
It also means they haven't dealt with major on-court adversity often.
They are now, facing a pivotal Game 3 of their Eastern Conference semifinal series against the rolling Miami Heat on Friday night. The top-seeded Bucks have dropped the first two games to the fifth-seeded Heat, marking just the fifth time this season that they've had a multi-game losing streak.
“We've said it many times," Bucks coach Mike Budenholzer said. “I think your character really comes through when you face adversity, when you're tested. I think the character of this group is off the charts."
They are being tested now, so that theory better ring true for Milwaukee — or else.
The ending of Game 2 was bizarre, a close call looking like it would take a win away from Miami — Goran Dragic’s foul of Khris Middleton with the Heat up by three in the final seconds, a play where Middleton tied the game with three free throws.
Of course, then came Giannis Antetokounmpo’s foul of Jimmy Butler with no time left. Butler made a free throw for the win, made another because the rules said he had to take it, and the Heat left 116-114 winners and up 2-0 in the series.
“We're not focused on anything after Game 3," Bucks center Brook Lopez said. “We're not looking back on anything from Game 2 or Game 1. We're looking at what's in front of us."