The Raptors will try to take a bite out of the Bucks on Wednesday, May 15 when they play Game 1 of the Eastern Conference Finals. Tip off time is 8:30 p.m. EST from Fiserv Forum.
The Shot Heard ‘Round the World
The Raptors can thank Kawhi Leonard for leading them to just their second Eastern Conference Finals appearance in franchise history. The soft-spoken forward iced Game 7 of their second-round series against the Sixers with an improbable buzzer-beating three-pointer that bounced on the rim four times before tumbling into the hoop.
Kawhi Leonard’s game winner to the Avengers music is the most satisfying thing I have ever seen pic.twitter.com/IopFLXTHlf
— Ryley (@PrimetimeRyley) May 13, 2019
It was easily the most memorable shot of the game, but it was far from Leonard’s only contribution. The Former Finals MVP finished the game with 41 points, eight rebounds, three assists, and three steals in 41 minutes.
Milwaukee Dominated Toronto During the Regular Season
The Bucks owned the Raptors during the regular season, winning three of their four meetings in 2018-19. Toronto’s lone victory came on January 5th when they won 123-116 behind 30 points each from Leonard and Pascal Siakam. Toronto’s two stars will have to come up big again for the Drakes to have any shot in the Eastern Conference Finals.
— NBA (@NBA) January 6, 2019
Rest vs Rust
It should be interesting to see how fresh Milwaukee is for Game 1. The Bucks needed just nine games to win their first two series and have been off since May 8th. The Raptors, on the other hand, have already played a dozen postseason games and are coming off an emotionally draining win on Sunday night.
Brogdon is Back
The Bucks got a welcome boost in Game 5 against the Celtics with the long-awaited return of Malcolm Brogdon, who had been sidelined since May 15th with a plantar fascia injury in his right foot. The former Rookie of the Year had 10 points, four assists, and three rebounds in 17 minutes.
Welcome back Malcolm Brogdon 🙌 pic.twitter.com/LFhmsZYErK
— Def Pen Hoops (@DefPenHoops) May 9, 2019
Brogdon is expected to come off the bench at the beginning of the series with a goal of gradually increasing his minutes in each subsequent game.
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)|
Bucks Expected to Come Out on Top
Oddsmakers are clearly expecting a lot of points, as they’ve set the game total at a robust 218, with the Bucks opening as 6.5-point favorites. Toronto is 44-50-0 against the spread this year and 50-44-0 over/under, compared to 55-32-4 ATS and 47-44-0 over/under for Milwaukee.