Playoffs 2020

NBA Playoffs 2020: Previewing Monday's slate of games

The 2020 NBA Playoffs continue on Monday with a pair of games.

The Milwaukee Bucks and Miami Heat begin the two-game slate with Game 1 of their Eastern Conference Semifinals series. Next up, the Houston Rockets will look to close out the Oklahoma City Thunder in Game 6 of their first round series.

Here's what to look out for in each game.

All win probabilities are per FiveThirtyEight's NBA Predictions model. All times in ET.

Miami Heat vs. Milwaukee Bucks (Game 1) - 6:30 p.m. ET

Win probability: Bucks - 56%

We'll really get a glimpse of rest vs. rust as this series gets underway.

Monday marks a week since Miami last took the floor while Milwaukee gets back in action just 48 hours after closing its first-round series.

You could argue that the Heat played the Bucks better than any other NBA team this season, winning two of their three regular-season meetings, including an overtime comeback win without Jimmy Butler. In fact, Butler only took the floor against the Bucks once this season, so his impact in this one will be one to keep an eye on.

SERIES PREVIEW: Can the Heat take down the Bucks?

It should be a fun matchup as the Heat's All-Star duo of Butler and Bam Adebayo will look to counter the Bucks' duo of Giannis Antetokounmpo and Khris Middleton.

While Giannis is coming off of a historic first-round performance that saw him average 30.6 points, 16.0 rebounds, 6.0 assists, Middleton found his stride late in the first round and looks to build upon that going into the second round.

With that in mind, this one could come down to the play of each team's supporting cast and the perimeter shooting of Miami.

Houston Rockets vs. Oklahoma City Thunder (Game 6) - 9 p.m. ET

Win probability: Rockets - 79%

Can Houston get the job done?

The Rockets dominated in Game 5, holding the Thunder to just 80 points. Russell Westbrook is back in the lineup and, despite scoring just seven points in Game 5, made an impact simply with his presence while James Harden turned in an efficient 31-point performance.

MORE: How did Russ look in his return?

As mentioned above, OKC is looking to bounce back from an atrocious night on the offensive end. Danilo Gallinari, Shai Gilgeous-Alexander and Chris Paul all struggled while Dennis Schroder, who led the team in scoring, saw his night end in the third quarter after he was called for a Flagrant 2 on P.J. Tucker, who was also ejected.

Additionally, Houston dared rookie Luguentz Dort to shoot from the perimeter. He didn't shy away from the opportunity but missed all nine of his 3-point attempts. There will be an adjustment on that front, one way or another.

The Thunder have overachieved this season and shown time and time again that there's no quit in them. Down, but not out, this is a team that should be expected to claw and fight to force a decisive Game 7.

MORE: Is Houston or OKC a bigger threat to the Lakers?

As for the Rockets, they know the Los Angeles Lakers are waiting for them and will look to advance to the second round in order to limit LA's ability to rest up after its series with the Portland Trail Blazers.

The views on this page do not necessarily reflect the views of the NBA or its clubs.

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