Raptors need to find another level in Milwaukee

20 Avril, 2017, 18:53 | Author: Cyril Hebras
  • NBA announcer explains the correct way to pronounce the real name of 'The Greek Freak' — Giannis Antetokounmpo

Punched in the mouth in Game 1, counter-punching in Game 2, the team that comes out swinging first in Game 3 will likely win.

"Every screen in the National Basketball Association is illegal", the Milwaukee Bucks' Malcolm Brogdon contends.

The Bucks hound ballhandlers. They've shot 48.1 percent from the field and kept their turnovers under control, but their defense had some bad moments. That can lead to players reducing Giannis' chance to drive by sagging off into the paint, tempting him to shoot from distance instead or pass off to a teammate. That's what happened in the second half on Saturday, and the Raptors - owners of the NBA's best offense through mid-January and its sixth-best overall - looked rattled.

Milwaukee's mental and physical toughness allowed it to respond each time Toronto went on a run Tuesday night, overcoming double-digit disadvantages in the third and fourth quarters. It would also take some old-fashioned shot-making. On the second one, DeRozan placed his crosscourt pass where even the long-armed Bucks couldn't get to it, so all DeMarre had to do was make the easy extra pass to the corner.

"You're playing the same team you played in Toronto", guard Jason Terry said about the youth on the team, "and if you can put together a performance like you did in Game 1, at home, then you can come away victorious. I thought we did a much better job putting on-time, on-target passes".

"I had no idea if we'd be able to draft him", Hammond says. Later in the first quarter, DeRozan got a favorable switch: Mirza Teletovic picked him up on the perimeter.

For example, take these possessions against P.J. Tucker, the Raptors' new defensive stud and best wing defender.

"They're not your typical rookies", Matthew Dellavadova said.

For the Raptors, they can't afford to miss seven free throws as they did in Game 2, 16 in total for the two games. And Kidd's personality is all over this young team, which plays the game hard from tip to horn just as its head coach did. They could've let up, content with stealing home court advantage, but they battled until the very end.

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Lowry had a bounce-back game, scoring an efficient 22 points after finishing with just four in Game 1.

In the end, it was just too much Kyle Lowry.

When Giannis gets so aggressive and reaches fifth gear, that combination of strength and length really can't be stopped. When help defenders converged, he passed it to Tucker in the corner, which triggered two more passes and another 3 for Joseph. Which, seeing as he can simultaneously cover centers and point guards alike at the other end of the floor, completes the package of the Greek Freak. Also notable: the Raptors had 24 assists on their 37 field goals.

The Bucks should be happy with themselves after the Game 2 despite the loss, as they managed to compete and create a chance to win against the good version of Toronto.

"That's what it has to be", Patterson said. We want to continue to take his numbers down as much as we can.

Fittingly, this series is all knotted up with Game 3 looming as that potentially series-altering tip, hoops history on the side of Thursday's victor.

The victor of that series will take on the victor between the third-seeded Raptors and sixth-seeded Bucks in the second round, and this matchup could go the distance of seven games based on the results of the first two. The second one went down to the final seconds, with the Raptors losing a lot of their rhythm in the final frame.

They will need better production out of Malcolm Brogdon, however. Casey, though, liked how his team stretched out the traps, got the ball to the weak side and made the Bucks' rotations longer than usual.

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