Get ready for some serious courtside antics from Drake on Saturday, May 25 when the Raptors battle the Bucks in Game 6 of the Eastern Conference Finals. Tip off time is 8:30 p.m. EST at Scotiabank Arena.
Raptors Have Bucks on the Ropes After Game 5 Win
The Raptors are one win away from their first trip to the NBA Finals after a thrilling 105-99 come-from-behind victory on Thursday night. Toronto trailed by as many as 14 points before Kawhi Leonard erupted for 15 of his game-high 35 points in the final frame. Pascal Siakam sealed the win with 16.3 seconds remaining when he threw down an emphatic slam on a pass from Kyle Lowry.
Game speaks for itself. #WeTheNorth
35 Pts | 9 Ast | 7 Reb | 5 3PM | 2 Stl pic.twitter.com/qxoIf80P0z
— Toronto Raptors (@Raptors) May 24, 2019
Raptors head coach Nick Nurse was full of praise for Leonard following the game. “He has been unbelievable in the playoffs with the Spurs as well,” Nurse said. “He gets stronger as the fourth wears on. He wants the ball and he wants to make the plays and he seems to be making the right plays. You’re almost shocked when he pulls up at 15 feet and it doesn’t go in.”
📸 • 23/05/19 • 1 more pic.twitter.com/IHWy5SXEA7
— Toronto Raptors (@Raptors) May 24, 2019
Powell Has Saved Toronto’s Season
Many questioned Masai Ujiri’s sanity when the Raptors president inked Norman Powell to a four-year, $42-million extension in 2017, but the athletic swingman has more than lived up to his contract during the Eastern Conference Finals. Powell had eight points on Thursday night and is averaging 14.8 points over the last four games. His energy and activity have been crucial throughout the series, especially as Danny Green has struggled to find his range.
Norman Powell against everyone else:
Norman Powell against the Bucks in the playoffs: pic.twitter.com/QUvlnURUka
— Gianni Napocalypse (@dante_j3) May 19, 2019
Fred VanVleet Has Officially Found His Shot
It took a lot of late night shootarounds, and possibly the birth of his second child, but Fred VanVleet has finally rediscovered his stroke. The Raptors reserve exploded for 21 points on 7-of-9 shooting from beyond the arc in Game 5. That’s quite a turnaround from the first three games of the series in which he scored a combined 10 points on 4-of-20 from the field and 2-of-11 from deep. The Raptors will need another big night from him on Saturday to open up the lane.
Fred VanVleet is an 83% 3-point shooter when he has more than one child.
— John Schuhmann (@johnschuhmann) May 24, 2019
Gasol Came Up Big in Game 5
Marc Gasol didn’t record his first field goal until the 4:54 mark in the fourth quarter, but his contributions can’t be understated. The former Defensive Player of the Year did an outstanding job of plugging the lane and preventing easy buckets from Giannis Antetokounmpo, who had another quiet night. Gasol’s heady play – and willingness to give us his body – has set the tone for Toronto, and has drastically cut down on easy looks and second chance opportunities. Expect another big performance from him in Game 6.
Caught up with Marc Gasol after tonight’s win.
Now one game from reaching the NBA Finals, Gasol told me these Raptors have “grit and grind in that locker room.” pic.twitter.com/Opuroiiyvj
— Grind City Media (@grindcitymedia) May 24, 2019
Toronto Raptors vs Milwaukee Bucks Regular Season Statistical Comparison
|112.5 (5th)||Offensive Rating||113.5 (4th)|
|114.4 8th)||Points||118.1 (1st)|
|25.4 (13th)||Assists||26.0 (7th)|
|47.4 (5th)||Field-Goal Percentage||47.6 (3rd)|
|36.6 (6th)||Three-Point Percentage||35.3 (15th)|
|+6.1 (3rd)||Plus/Minus||+8.9 (1st)|
|106.8 (5th)||Defensive Rating||104.9 (1st)|
|108.4 (9th)||Points||109.3 (11th)|
|44.9 (5th)||Field-Goal Percentage||43.3 (1st)|
|34.5 (8th)||Three-Point Percentage||36.1 (22nd)|
|47.5 (9th)||Points In The Paint||42.2 (1st)|
Raptors Favored to Close Out the Series at Home
Online sports betting sites are clearly expecting a lot of points, as they’ve set the game total at a robust 213, with the Raptors opening as 2.5-point favorites. Milwaukee is 57-35-4 against the spread this year and 50-46-0 over/under, compared to 47-52-0 ATS and 53-46-0 over/under for Toronto.