Venue: Scotiabank Arena, Toronto, Canada
Date: May 21, 2019
Time: 7:30P.M. CT
Records Before the Game
Milwaukee Bucks (60-22 season, 2-1 series)
Toronto Raptors (58-24 season, 1-2 series)
Let’s say for the sake of argument that Kawhi Leonard read my last Bucks/Raptors preview. I would like to think that I somehow pissed him off when I questioned his mental and physical toughness. In that preview I said the Kawhi in San Antonio was an assassin and didn’t care who he faced in any game. Game 3, Kawhi looked as if Greg Popovich head coach of San Antonio sent my article to him and he wanted to prove me and a few more of his critics wrong. Kawhi guarded Giannis Antetokounmpo 71% percent of the game and derailed the Greek Freak. That’s how the Raptors pulled off the double overtime win in Game 3. Let’s take a look at Game 4 for both teams.
I was shocked as anyone else with the Game 3 loss. I’ll be honest and say that I thought Toronto was about to be swept in this series. Giannis Antetokounmpo seemed to be unstoppable driving the ball to the basket. He has to come out and establish himself early. The Bucks offense seemed shaky when their leader looked as if he was a mere mortal when all of his powers were depleted. Eric Bledsoe, Malcolm Brogdon and George Hill have to step up and get it done. Has anyone seen Kris Middleton? He’s the second option on offense, but failed to stay on the floor because of foul trouble. If the Bucks want to steal a win in Toronto, they can’t play like the walking dead.
Keep the plan that worked in Game 3. Giannis Antetokounmpo is the key for his team. You have to take Giannis Antetokounmpo out of the game to have a chance. In Game 3 he fouled out with 12 points in the first overtime. Rebounding will be key! In order to control the clock Serge Ibaka has to crash the boards. Marc Gasol has to continue to take wide open shots because he’s not being guarded on the perimeter. Transition defense will play a big part in this contest. Kawhi will get his looks at the basket, but in Game 3 he limped throughout the overtime periods. Let’s see how he feels during pregame activities.
What a difference a game makes. ESPN has the Raptors winning Game 4 by 54.8%. They lost faith in the Bucks as well. I see this game being close, but I’m taking Toronto in this one.