Bucks Roundup: James a big reason why Miami is expected to sweep Milwaukee
MILWAUKEE - Some national pundits do not expect the Milwaukee Bucks to win a single game in their best-of-seven first-round playoff series against the Miami Heat.
And the big reason is LeBron James. After being named the league's MVP a year ago, James led Miami to an NBA title last June - and he kept the pedal-to-the-metal this year by stepping up his game even more. James led the NBA in field goals made. He also set new career-highs in shooting percentage, three-point percentage, average rebounds, and double-doubles - all while taking fewer shots than in any season of his 10-year career. James says numbers don't concern him - it's championships. But it's his 56-percent shooting average and his increased tenacity that could make Milwaukee a foot-note in the Heat's quest for a second straight title. His teammate Shane Battier says James should be a unanimous choice by the media for the league's MVP. If so, it would be the first time that ever happened. We'll soon find out what kind of fight the Bucks have, as they promise to make the most of their first playoff appearance in three years. The best-of-seven series begins Sunday night in Miami.
Despite some recent injuries, Milwaukee Bucks' coach Jim Boylan says his team is relatively healthy going into the N-B-A playoffs. Starting center Larry Sanders has missed four games with a lower back injury. But Boylan says the N-B-A's second-leading shot-blocker is fine now, and he'll definitely play in Sunday night's first-round opener at Miami. The coach said Sanders moved around very well at practice yesterday. Boylan also says point guard Brandon Jennings should not miss any playing time, after his right foot was stepped on during Wednesday night's regular season finale at Oklahoma City. Forward Ersan Ilyasova will also return, after being out with a right wrist injury. Boylan says small forward Luc Richard Mbah a Moute will start against the Heat, after feeling ill the past few days. Mbah a Moute played solid defense against Miami's LeBron James in the Bucks' 19-point home win over the defending champion Heat on December 29th.