The Bucks will try to halt their two-game losing skid on Thursday, May 23 when they welcome the Raptors back to Milwaukee. Game 5 of the Eastern Conference Finals tips off at 8:30 p.m. EST at Fiserv Forum.
Toronto’s Bench Was Big in Game 4 Win
Don’t look now, but the Eastern Conference Finals are turning into a bona fide series. Toronto evened up its seven-game tilt with Milwaukee on Tuesday evening with a decisive 120-102 win at Scotiabank Arena.
Game 5: Thursday (5/23), 8:30pm/et, TNT pic.twitter.com/wA7G09RR8w
— NBA (@NBA) May 22, 2019
Kyle Lowry led the way with 25 points, but the real star of the game was the Raptors’ bench mob. Toronto’s backups had their finest performance of the postseason as they outscored Milwaukee’s reserves 48-23. Norman Powell contributed 18 points in 32 minutes, and Fred VanVleet finally broke out of a prolonged shooting slump with 13 points on 5 of 6 shooting from the floor.
The #Raptors role players stepped up in a big way in last night’s W over the #Bucks. Serge Ibaka (17 PTS 13 REB), Norman Powell (18 PTS), and Fred VanVleet (13 PTS 6 AST) off the bench. #DFS #FantasyBasketball #NBA #NBAPlayoffs pic.twitter.com/HOUPiyl73n
— Lineups (@lineups) May 22, 2019
Leonard Needed Lifting
Three weeks ago it would have been laughable to think the Raptors could win a playoff game with Kawhi Leonard at less than 100 percent, but that’s precisely what happened on Tuesday night as Leonard appeared to still be dealing with the aftereffects from an awkward landing in Game 3. The former Finals MVP had just 19 points in 34 minutes and consistently deferred to his teammates throughout the game.
— NBA (@NBA) May 22, 2019
Leonard downplayed his condition afterwards. “I feel good,” he said. “I’m going to keep going and keep fighting. We have a chance to make history.”
Bledsoe Has Been Shooting Blanks
No player has struggled more lately than Eric Bledsoe, who is shooting 25.6% from the floor and 9.2% from deep in the Eastern Conference Finals. That’s a far cry from the regular season, when he shot a career-best 48.4% from the field. The veteran guard has been putting in extra time in the gym, but so far remains mired in a deep funk. Don’t be surprised if his minutes dwindle while head coach Mike Budenholzer turns to Malcolm Brogdon instead.
As long as Bledsoe runs downhill, he will stay in front. This is a long series and they will get tired ~ Giannis Antetokounmpo on what he hopes for point guard Eric Bledsoe. pic.twitter.com/FR7B7yXyaH
— Lori Nickel (@LoriNickel) May 22, 2019
Home Sweet Home
Game 5 returns to Milwaukee, where the Bucks are 5-1 this postseason and were an NBA-best 33-8 during the regular season. Milwaukee scored 3.5 more points per game at Fiserv Forum this year than in all other enemy arenas.
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)|
Milwaukee Favored to Win by 7.0
Sportsbooks are clearly expecting a lot of points, as they’ve set the game total at a robust 218, with the Bucks opening as 7.0-point favorites. Toronto is 46-52-0 against the spread this year and 53-45-0 over/under, compared to 57-34-4 ATS and 50-45-0 over/under for Milwaukee.