The Raptors will look to save their season when they host the Bucks at the Scotiabank Arena in Game 3 of the Eastern Conference finals.
Milwaukee have been the dominant team in the first two games, and hold a 2-0 lead as a result. If Game 1 was somewhat close, Game 2 was thoroughly one-sided. The final score was 125-103, but the result was not in doubt after the first half. Milwaukee led by 25 points at half-time after the Raptors managed just 18 points in the second quarter. They did play better in the second half, but it was too little too late.
Giannis Antetokounmpo was excellent as usual, and he had 30 points and 17 rebounds on the night. But he was not responsible for the considerable lead the Bucks built up in the first half. At half-time, their three leading scorers were all surprising names. Ersan Ilyasova and Nikola Mirotic – both reserves – each had 15 points. Aside from them, Malcolm Brogdon was up there with 12 points in the first half.
This is an excellent indicator of the depth available at Mike Budenholzer’s disposal. Incredibly, their bench scored 54 points in the game. Ilyasova impressed especially, and he finished with 17 points in 21 minutes. Six Bucks were in double figures in the game. Giannis was unstoppable in the paint again, and Milwaukee looks prime to make the NBA finals next month.
As for the Raptors, it was a hugely demoralizing win. They never really recovered from a poor start in the first quarter. Ironically, the substantial loss came despite some excellent contributions from their bench. Norman Powell scored 14, and Serge Ibaka added 8. Their bench scored 39 points in total. But most of the damage was done when their starters were on the floor in the first half.
Kawhi Leonard had 31 points and eight rebounds but did not receive much help. Lowry faded after his 30-point night in Game 1 and scored 15 in Game 2. No other starter was in double figures for Toronto. Marc Gasol, Pascal Siakam, and Danny Green combined for just 18 points. Siakam needs to step up if the Raptors have any chance of coming back. He may still be feeling the effects of a lingering calf injury, but the Raptors need his scoring badly.
Toronto need contributions from all their guys if they want to get their first win of the series. The likes of Green and Gasol need to step up in Game 3. Also, they can’t afford open looks to the Milwaukee shooters, which is what happened in Game 2.
Toronto Raptors vs Milwaukee Bucks Prediction
Even though the Raptors have the home advantage, it is hard to see the Bucks falling away. Toronto should put up a better fight on their home floor, but it’s hard to see how they can counter the likes of Antetokounmpo. It will be a closer game compared to Game 2, but the Bucks should get the win to take a commanding 3-0 lead in the series.