By Jim Berry

MIAMI (CBSMiami) — The Miami Heat hit the court Thursday night in prime time for their season opener at the FTX Arena against the defending NBA champ Milwaukee Bucks.

The last time these teams met, the Bucks swept the Heat out of the playoffs in a humbling first round exit. It prompted a host of offseason changes in which the Heat added three veteran players with championship experience.

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 Kyle Lowry #7 of the Miami Heat reacts against the Boston Celtics during a preseason game at FTX Arena on October 15, 2021 in Miami, Florida. (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images)

The most notable, point guard Kyle Lowry, who teams up with Bam Adebayo and Jimmy Butler to form a new, defensive minded big three.

After an undefeated preseason, the Heat feel good about their makeover.

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Tyler Herro #14 of the Miami Heat looks on against the Boston Celtics during a preseason game at FTX Arena on October 15, 2021 in Miami, Florida. (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images)

They also hope that third year guard Tyler Herro’s impressive preseason stretch carries over into the regular season.

They will take on a Milwaukee team led by league MVP Giannis Antetekoompo. However, the Bucks will be short-handed without starters Brook Lopez and Jrue Holiday.

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Tip off at the FTX arena is at 8 pm.

Jim Berry