Bucks throttle Toronto, grab 2-1 series lead

They can not relax, however. There were turnovers left and right, missed threes, and there wasn't much to get excited about outside of DeMar DeRozan and Giannis Antetokounmpo dueling it out in the second quarter. He's been the best player on the court by far in this series. The Raptors just don't have any defenders capable of challenging his length.

The rest of the team has been spectacular as well.

The Bucks captured the series opener 97-83. And like the guy calling the shots they seem to enjoy both getting hit and doling out the punishment. The Raptors were only slightly better with the ball.

The Bucks have also received tremendous play from their pair of rookies, Malcolm Brogdon and Thon Maker.

"This is a great game (Saturday's Game 4) for our group to understand we've got to stay in character and keep moving the ball".

Other than their youth, the Bucks had no excuse for being unprepared. What if Milwaukee makes counter-adjustments to take away Toronto's comfort zone in Game 5?

That set a tone for the Bucks, who fed off the sellout home crowd.

The teams return to Toronto for Game 5 on Monday night.

It was a bounce back game from the Bucks' bench as well.

"Experience goes a long way", DeRozan added. His pesky defense frustrated Lowry to the point that Lowry nearly swung an elbow at him right before a timeout.

Put simply, the Raptors' two All-Stars have averaged a combined 48.0 points per game and shot 50.7% in the wins, while averaging 26.0 and shooting 26.0% in the losses. The Congolese power forward started slow scoring just three points in the first half, but finished with 16 points, seven rebounds and six assists in the win. The Toronto Raptors have played the Milwaukee Bucks 4 times during the regular season, managing to defeat them on three occasions, while the Bucks came out on top only once.

What about the Raptors? They were not going to fall 0-3 in the series. To start with, they need to forget Game 3 even happened. They responded Saturday, however, willing their team to victory in an ugly game on the road that was a must-win.

The Milwaukee Bucks are viewed as a team on the rise with a promising future but they appear intent on fast-forwarding their progress.

Meanwhile, the Milwaukee Bucks will be going back to the drawing board after falling flat on their faces in Game 3. For a team that lacks playoff experience and has an average age just north of 24, meeting expectations can often prove more hard than facing an opponent. First, play to their advantage.

Toronto defenders were particularly nasty to the Bucks' Big Two of Khris Middleton and Giannis Antetokounmpo.

The Raptors are officially down in the series 2-1, what's your confidence level in the Raptors?

He had success in the post in Game 2.

The Raptors went 4-1 this season following losses by 15 points or more.

Second, there needs to be a tweak in the starting lineup.

The second half wasn't much cleaner, but Toronto. DeMarre Carroll has given the Raptors next to nothing this series. It meant Valanciunas was coming into the game at the same time Greg Monroe, so they were equally fresh.

The Raptors juggled their starters, though not in the way I had hoped. Casey emptied his bench with five minutes to play. He is an energetic and aggressive player who doesn't settle for the outside shot. Milwaukee has not won a playoff series since knocking off Charlotte in the 2001 Eastern Conference semifinals. Perhaps he should be given a shot on one of Antetokounmpo or Middleton. Get it? The Raps are purple dinosaurs, too! It's a team effort.

Competing in an National Basketball Association playoff series is like running a mini-marathon. There's no excuse for it.

Scream "Go Bucks Go" as loud as you can.

The Bucks haven't been in this situation before. "He could see that guys weren't making shots, so he thought he could do it". A let-down is probably forthcoming. The series should swing one way or another based off the victor of Game 4.

  • Salvatore Jensen