Heat to Bucks' Jennings: Can't hide on the court
The Miami Heat have heard Milwaukee Bucks point guard Brandon Jennings loud and clear. But they plan to let the game do the talking.
Ahead of their Eastern Conference first-round matchup, Jennings predicted that the Bucks were going to beat the Heat in six games, according to the team's verified Twitter account on Thursday.
When asked after Friday's practice about Jennings' comment, Heat coach Erik Spoelstra shrugged.
"This series will be decided between those four lines," Spoelstra said. "And you can't hide from that."
Game 1 of the series begins at 7 p.m. ET Sunday.
Spoelstra did not specifically mention Jennings' quotes to the team, much less put it on the bulletin board.
"That wouldn't deserve me bringing it up," he said.
The Bucks (38-44) enter Sunday's matchup as the eighth seed. They lost seven of their nine final regular-season games and have gone 12-17 since a midseason trade that netted shooting guard J.J. Redick.
It's not the first time Jennings has made noise regarding the defending NBA champions.
Earlier this season, the third-year point guard said he wanted to play the Heat in the playoffs because they "match up well." The Bucks lost three of their four games against the Heat this season, with their victory coming in late December.
"Whatever their confidence or motivation is, that's for them to figure out," Heat forward LeBron James said. "We're only concentrated on what we're doing here."
Dwyane Wade understood Jennings' perspective, but doesn't think the Heat will use Jennings' comments for fuel.
"We've got enough motivation," Wade said. "We have a big goal in mind. We were put together to win a championship, not to just make the playoffs."
Heat center Chris Bosh wasn't exactly stunned to hear of Jennings' prediction.
"He's one of those guys," Bosh said of Jennings. "If they already had our attention, now they have more of it. If they want to show their hand, that's fantastic."
The Heat are 37-2 in their last 39 games and have won a franchise-record 66. Though the Heat won the regular-season series against the Bucks, Jennings has managed to put up big numbers against them. In four games, Jennings averaged 23.8 points, 5.8 assists and 4.3 rebounds on 45.8 percent shooting.
Shane Battier gave a small laugh when Jennings' comments were brought up.
"It's a different day and age," Battier said. "I'm old-school from Detroit. There's no need for talk, just play. When Joe Namath predicted the Super Bowl win, that took the cake right there. Everyone else should just give up."
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