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Toronto Raptors vs. Milwaukee Bucks Preview and Predictions 05-15-2019 in NBA


Two of the best players in the league begin pursuit of an NBA Finals berth when the top-seeded Milwaukee Bucks host the second-seeded Toronto Raptors in Wednesday's Game 1 of the Eastern Conference finals. Leading MVP candidate Giannis Antetokounmpo has dominated while helping Milwaukee outscore teams by an average of 15.3 points in the postseason, while Toronto's Kawhi Leonard is again a playoff star and made the decisive basket as time expired in the conference semifinals against the Philadelphia 76ers.

The Raptors are in the Eastern Conference finals for just the second time in franchise history and they made it by riding Leonard's 41 points to a 92-90 victory over the 76ers, including the four bounces on the rim shot that is the first Game 7-winning buzzer-beater in NBA history. "Ended up getting a soft touch and it went in," explained Leonard, who is averaging 31.8 points in 12 playoff games, including a franchise record nine straight 20-point outings. Antetokounmpo is averaging 27.4 points and 11.3 rebounds as the Bucks went 8-1 against the Detroit Pistons and Boston Celtics to reach the East finals for the first time 2001. "At the end of the day, we realize we've never been there before," Antetokounmpo told reporters of the current group. "We're really hungry to achieve our goals. That's all we care about. As long as we play hard, we really don't care about what anybody has to say."

TV: 8:30 p.m. ET, TNT, Sportsnet (Toronto) LINE: Bucks -6.5

ABOUT THE RAPTORS: Leonard is carrying the attack and has made Toronto a viable threat to reach the NBA Finals for the first time in franchise history. "It's amazing to me, whether we're in the huddle, locker room or film room, he's always locked in on what the coaching staff is saying and I think that's an interesting thing about him," Raptors coach Nick Nurse told reporters. "He's very coachable. He's focused and pays attention. I think that's a pretty big statement to say that. Then you get to his play in the playoffs and it's been at an elite level." Power forward Pascal Siakam (20.8 points per game) and point guard Kyle Lowry (12.4) are the only other Raptors averaging in double digits in the postseason but Lowry is shooting just 41.5 percent from the field.



ABOUT THE BUCKS: Milwaukee's four second-round victories over the Boston Celtics were by an average of 16.3 points and seven of its eight postseason wins have been by 10 or more points. Antetokounmpo's supporting class has been solid with small forward Khris Middleton (19.1) and point guards Eric Bledsoe (16.0) and George Hill (12.1) making strong contributions. Combo guard Malcolm Brogdon is a full-go for the series after scoring 10 points in 17 minutes in the clinching win over Boston after missing the previous seven-plus weeks with a foot injury.

BUZZER BEATERS

1. Antetokounmpo averaged 27 points and 15.3 rebounds as the Bucks won three of the four regular-season meetings.

2. Toronto SF OG Anunoby (abdomen) has been ruled out of the opener, and has yet to play in the postseason.

3. Middleton has made multiple 3-pointers in all nine playoff games and has made 28 overall.

Prediction

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Key Players to Watch

Stadium

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

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Last Injuries

Milwaukee Bucks

  • D.J. Wilson

    Ankle
    Ques Tues | questionable

    Wilson is battling left ankle soreness and it is uncertain if he will suit up for Game 4 of the Eastern Conference finals against the Raptors.

  • D.J. Wilson

    Ankle
    Prob Fri | probable

    Wilson has a left ankle sprain but is expected to suit up for Game 2 of the Eastern Conference finals against the Raptors.

  • Malcolm Brogdon

    Heel
    Prob Wed | probable

    Brogdon has recovered from a minor tear of the plantar fascia in his right foot and is expected to return for Game 5 of the Eastern Conference second round against the Celtics.

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Toronto Raptors

  • Kawhi Leonard

    Leg
    Prob Tues | probable

    Leonard is expected to play against the Bucks in Game 4 of the Eastern Conference finals despite a left leg injury.

  • Chris Boucher

    Back
    Prob Wed | probable

    Boucher is dealing with back spasms but it is likely he will play in Game 1 of the Eastern Conference finals against the Bucks.

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milwaukee-bucks Stats 2018-2019

Offensive
Player GP GS P A PH FGA FGM FTA FTM 3PFGA 3PFG RO
Player GP GS P A PH FGA FGM FTA FTM 3PFGA 3PFG RO
Giannis Antetokounmpo 72 72 1994 424 52 1247 721 686 500 203 52 159
Khris Middleton 77 77 1407 331 39 1148 506 258 216 474 179 50
Eric Bledsoe 78 78 1241 430 33 971 470 236 177 377 124 82
Brook Lopez 81 81 1009 98 28 786 355 133 112 512 187 33
Malcolm Brogdon 64 64 1001 205 25 748 378 152 141 244 104 65
Defensive
Player GP GS RD B S TO FP FT
Player GP GS RD B S TO FP FT
Giannis Antetokounmpo 72 72 739 110 92 268 232 4
Khris Middleton 77 77 411 7 80 174 172 0
Brook Lopez 81 81 363 179 51 82 189 10
Eric Bledsoe 78 78 280 29 116 165 156 8
Malcolm Brogdon 64 64 223 13 46 91 102 0

toronto-raptors Stats 2018-2019

Offensive
Player GP GS P A PH FGA FGM FTA FTM 3PFGA 3PFG RO
Player GP GS P A PH FGA FGM FTA FTM 3PFGA 3PFG RO
Kawhi Leonard 60 60 1596 199 45 1129 560 426 364 302 112 78
Pascal Siakam 80 79 1354 248 44 945 519 302 237 214 79 124
Serge Ibaka 74 51 1112 99 34 877 464 177 135 169 49 156
Kyle Lowry 65 65 926 564 35 739 304 194 161 453 157 41
Danny Green 80 80 821 126 29 630 293 44 37 435 198 60
Defensive
Player GP GS RD B S TO FP FT
Player GP GS RD B S TO FP FT
Serge Ibaka 74 51 445 103 29 114 211 4
Pascal Siakam 80 79 425 52 73 154 241 5
Kawhi Leonard 60 60 361 24 106 121 87 2
Kyle Lowry 65 65 271 31 91 182 166 8
Danny Green 80 80 257 53 73 75 171 3