Milwaukee Bucks vs. Toronto Raptors: Eastern Conference Finals Preview

After an exciting and story-filled two rounds, the Eastern Conference is down to its final two teams. The Milwaukee Bucks will take on the Toronto Raptors. The Bucks and Raptors have enjoyed a long stay at the top of the East. The Bucks are the number one seed and the Raptors are the number two seed. But, only one of these teams will advance to the NBA Finals. Who will it be? Let’s dive into this powerful match-up.

Eastern Conference Finals Preview

Tale of the Tape

Both of these teams have been outstanding defensively. The Bucks have allowed 101.6 points per game, which ranks them third among playoff teams. The Raptors have allowed 96.0 point per game, which ranks them first. Opponents also struggled with efficiency with both of these teams. The Bucks held teams to just 39.9 percent, which ranks them first. The Raptors are close to that mark, allowing 41.3 percent. The Bucks have the advantage in rebounding. They average 52.0 rebounds per game and have a plus 6.7 differential.

On offense, there is a huge separation. The Bucks are the better team on offense. They are second in scoring (116.9 points per game). Also, the Bucks overall shooting percentage and three point percentage are significantly higher than the Raptors. Also, the Raptors are turnover-prone, giving up 16.2 per game.

Kawhi Leonard vs. Giannis Antetokounmpo

This series will feature two of the best players in the NBA facing off against each other. Leonard has been sensational during the playoffs. So far, he averages 31.8 points per game and 8.5 rebounds per game. Also, Leonard is shooting 53.9 percent overall and 40.1 percent from three. All of those numbers are higher than his regular season average. Leonard is on path to having perhaps the greatest individual playoff performance in NBA history.

Antetokounmpo has been remarkable in his own right. Currently, he is averaging a double-double in the postseason. He averages 27.4 points per game along with 11.3 rebounds per game. Also, Antetokounmpo is shooting north of 50 percent. He’s three pointer percentage has increased from the regular season. Antetokounmpo is in the running for the MVP award and looks to continue to make his case. He and Leonard will battle for the top spot among NBA players.

Keys to Victory: Bucks

The Bucks must find a way to disrupt Leonard. Leonard has been off-the-charts so far. No one has been able to stop him. The Bucks must continue to play sharp defensively and force the ball out of Leonard’s hands. They have the length and strength to both Leonard. In two out the three regular season games, the Bucks held him under 50 percent shooting. Also, Leonard was just 1-7 from three. The Bucks won both of those games.

Keys to Victory: Raptors

The Raptors must find a way to score against the lengthy Bucks. The Raptors currently average 103.6 points per game, which will not be enough. Leonard and Pascal Siakam have been the only players who have been consistent on offense. Other players such as Kyle Lowry, Serge Ibaka, and Danny Green must score more. Also, the Raptors bench must step up. Their reserve unit was underwhelming last series versus the Philadelphia 76ers. The Bucks are a deep team. The Raptors must match their depth and production.

Predictions

This is a very tough match-up. Both teams have been stout defensively. Both teams have a superstar player that can take over at any point during this series. Both team have played like championship contenders all year long. However, the Bucks have proved why they are the best team in the NBA this year. They defeated the Detroit Pistons and the Boston Celtics in only nine games. They had plenty of rest. Also, they are a match-up nightmare. The Raptors are tough but they do not have enough scoring power to match. They will push the Bucks a bit. But, in the end, the Bucks will reign supreme.

Bucks in Six

Stacey Collier II