NBA PREVIEWS |

Toronto Raptors vs. Milwaukee Bucks Preview and Predictions 11-02-2019


The Toronto Raptors and Milwaukee Bucks met in last season's Eastern Conference finals but only one of the teams retained its best player. Reigning NBA MVP Giannis Antetokounmpo will lead the Bucks into Saturday's game against the visiting Raptors, who lost NBA Finals MVP Kawhi Leonard after he led the club to its first title.

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Leonard led Toronto to a six-game series win over the Bucks in the East and now sidekick Pascal Siakam is showing signs of being the star with three 30-point outings and averages of 28 points and 9.2 rebounds through five games. "I feel comfortable," Siakam told reporters after scoring 30 points on 13-of-21 shooting in Wednesday's 125-113 home win over the Detroit Pistons. "The more I get in situations like that, the more comfortable I get. Just having the coach (Nick Nurse) trust me to have the ball in my hands, and my teammates also, it feels good." Antetokounmpo has opened the season with five straight double-doubles and he had 29 points and 14 rebounds in Friday's 123-91 road trouncing of the Orlando Magic to raise his averages to 24.8 points and 13.6 rebounds. "We came out and played hard and played together and defended well," Antetokounmpo said afterward. "Everybody was pretty upset from the previous loss we had against Boston so you could see we had extra juice and we need to build off it."

TV: 8 p.m. ET, Sportsnet One (Toronto), FS Wisconsin (Milwaukee)

ABOUT THE RAPTORS (4-1): While Siakam is taking advantage of Leonard's departure as a free agent, third-year-pro OG Anunoby is receiving 34.8 minutes per game and averaging 12.4 points and 7.4 rebounds. "It really opened up a big opportunity for OG to fill a role," Nurse told reporters, "and I'm happy he's in there and doing it and looking tough and valuable for our team." Fellow forward Serge Ibaka is playing well off the bench and he scored 19 points against Detroit to increase his scoring average to 14.4.

ABOUT THE BUCKS (3-2): Point guard Eric Bledsoe scored a season-best 18 points and also recorded six rebounds and six assists in the easy win over Orlando. Bledsoe shot 37.5 percent from the field or less in each of the first four games before making 8-of-15 against the Magic. "It's early, it's still a long season," Bledsoe said afterward while downplaying his performance. "We've got a good win going back home and now he have to focus on Toronto."

BUZZER BEATERS

1. The Bucks have won four of the past five regular-season meetings.

2. Toronto PG Kyle Lowry has four 20-point outings while averaging 21.6 points.

3. Backup SG Donte DiVincenzo made four 3-pointers against Orlando as Milwaukee made 17-of-47 attempts.

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Wisconsin Entertainment and Sports Center
Milwaukee, Wisconsin, USA.
Capacity: 17,500

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Last Injuries

Milwaukee Bucks

  • Eric Bledsoe

    Shin
    Late Dec | out

    Bledsoe suffered a right fibula avulsion fracture and is likely to be out of the line up for two weeks.

  • Dragan Bender

    Ankle
    Ques Mon | questionable

    Bender has been absent from the lineup during the past four games with a right ankle sprain, and it is unclear if he will be a participant in Monday's tilt against the Mavericks.

  • Kyle Korver

    Back
    Prob Sat | probable

    Korver sat out the last game due to a sore back, but it is projected that he will suit up against the Cavaliers on Saturday.

  • Giannis Antetokounmpo

    Quadricep
    Ques Sat | questionable

    Antetokounmpo is suffering from right quadriceps soreness, and it is unclear if he will take the court against the Cavaliers on Saturday.

  • Giannis Antetokounmpo

    Quadricep
    Prob Fri | probable

    Antetokounmpo sat out the previous game due to soreness in his right quadriceps. It is likely he will suit up against the Grizzlies on Friday.

  • Sterling Brown

    Shoulder
    Ques Wed | questionable

    Brown has missed the last three games with a sprained AC joint in his right shoulder, and it remains to be seen if he will return Wednesday versus the Pistons.

  • Brook Lopez

    Back
    Prob Wed | probable

    Lopez sat his second straight game due to a sore back, but he is expected to suit up against the Pistons on Wednesday.

  • Thanasis Antetokounmpo

    Flu
    Prob Mon | probable

    Antetokounmpo has missed the last three games with a stomach bug, but is expected to be available for Monday's contest against the Kicks.

Toronto Raptors

  • Stanley Johnson

    Groin
    Late Dec | out

    Johnson has a stress reaction in his left groin and is expected to be out until at least the end of December.

  • Fred VanVleet

    Knee
    Ques Mon | questionable

    VanVleet has sat out the last three games due to a right knee contusion, and it is unclear if he will be available for Monday's tilt versus the Cavaliers.

  • Patrick McCaw

    Knee
    Prob Wed | probable

    McCaw is recovering from arthroscopic surgery to remove a benign mass on the back of his left knee. He is expected to return to action Wednesday versus the Clippers.

  • Kyle Lowry

    Thumb
    Prob Tues | probable

    Lowry has been recovering from a fracture of the distal phalanx in his left thumb. He is progressing in his recovery and is expected to return to action Tuesday against the Heat.

  • Serge Ibaka

    Ankle
    Prob Sun | probable

    Ibaka suffered a sprained right ankle, but he is projected to return against the Jazz on Sunday.

  • Dewan Hernandez

    Thumb
    Prob Sun | probable

    Hernandez sat out his fourth straight game due to a sprained right thumb, but he is likely to draw back into the lineup Sunday versus the Jazz.