2019 Eastern Conference Finals

Giannis Antetokounmpo and the Bucks plan on being in the NBA Finals. Photo Courtesy: Keith Allison

By Da’Vince “Dino” Wright

Record Heading into the Series
Toronto Raptors 58-24
Milwaukee Bucks 60-22

How did they get here
Milwaukee was just way too much for the Boston Celtics plain and simple. Giannis Antetokounmpo (Greek Freak) is exactly who he is. Boston put up a fight for the first three quarters in all of the games played in that series, but the Bucks had answers for every single run the Celtics made. One might say that the Eastern Conference just changed hands and no one saw this coming. The Bucks completely destroyed the Celtics in 5 games and the series was nowhere as close as the games and scores show.

Toronto hasn’t seen a run like this since the last 90’s when the Vince Carter led Raptors put on a show in the East during his day. Last year, The Raptors were penned in as the winners of the East and finished the season with the top record in their division, but didn’t show up in the playoffs. Toronto won their last series with a last second shot by Kawhi Leonard to send the 76ers packing.

Key Players
The Greek Freak (Giannis) is the Bucks do it all specialist. He has lead the team in all three categories (points, rebounds and assists) per game. The key to his success is sharing the ball and seeing the floor. The only way to stop the Bucks will be to contain him, and that’s not likely to happen. You must remember that the Bucks were leaders in the NBA in 3-point average and were second behind the Houston Rockets. Swing man Kris Middleton will get his shots as well. He’s second on the team in points and plays good defense against the other teams leading scorer. Role players will play a factor in the success of the Bucks in this series.

Toronto’s back court of Kawhi Leonard and Kyle Lowry will lead this team to the championship if they control the clock. Kawhi has to play a very aggressive game to keep his team close. The Bucks are a good team that knows how to finish teams in the 4th quarter. Kyle Lowry has to control the tempo and look to take his shots as well. Serge Ibaka has to play like he’s been in a time machine. He has to take three point shots when given the opportunity and rebound on the defensive end. Toronto can beat the Bucks in this series.

Prediction
The over/under for the first game is 218 so take the under for the first game. The spread is +6.5 for the Raptors. I’m taking Milwaukee by 15 for Game 1. I see this series going 6 games. First game final score… Bucks 109 – Raptors 91.