The Raptors dodged two bullets in this series, pulling out Game 2 after a scoring drought late, and this one. And hey, Bucks fans your best player isn’t American.
Looking at the season totals for the regular season, the Milwaukee Bucks put up some impressive numbers collectively as well. Khris Middleton fought through an illness that bothered him all week to score 19 points. Even Antetokounmpo, a renowned gym rat, looked exhausted with his hands on hips as he caught his breath during fourth-quarter breaks.
Norman Powell starting the last three games has fueled the Raptors to three straight wins. “Milwaukee!” cheers from the crowd, instilling a sense of accomplishment and appreciation. Players talked about being proud of each other for fighting, that this was another positive step along their journey. Against Indiana, he averaged 32.8 points, 9.3 rebounds 9.0 assists, 3.0 steals and 2.0 blocks per game while shooting 54 percent from the floor and 45 percent from beyond the arc.
Two years later, Milwaukee was thought to be a sleeper after the Bucks finished.500 in Kidd’s first season at the helm, but again they faltered the next season and missed the playoffs. He led the Milwaukee Bucks in nearly every statistic this season, and still has many more years ahead of himself to improve even further. That faded into the final minutes. Maybe he didn’t fully trust his legs after logging more than 47 minutes.
“We’re better from that standpoint”, he said.
Giannis Antetokounmpo was so damn good for most of the Milwaukee Bucks’ first round playoff series against the Atlanta Hawks.
That they closed it out with 14 points in the final 3:06 salvaged the evening.
It looked like game six was over as well when the Raptors extended a 13 point halftime lead into a massive 25 point lead in the third quarter.
The Raptors rode their wave of momentum into the second quarter, and took a 13-point lead on a basket by DeRozan with 29 seconds left in the half.
The Bucks threw multiple defenders at DeRozan – Snell, Matthew Dellavedova, Malcolm Brogdon – and none of them could really slow the All-Star down.
Added Casey: “Right now, they’re the champs”. “I was supposed to go a little bit earlier because I had a lane to go”. With the capability of playing any position on the court, the Greek Freak is truly a specimen we haven’t seen in the National Basketball Association ever before. “That’s what we need to do”.
The Raptors took control of the series back in Toronto in a Game 5 blowout, winning by 118-93. “Ready for the next one”, guard DeMar DeRozan said.
Giannis was fantastic for the Bucks as usual, but you could see he was visibly exhausted after leading the Bucks on their massive comeback. Greg Monroe, who became one of the league’s best sixth men, holds a player option for next season.
With apologies to Russell Westbrook, James Harden and everyone else, the most important development of the 2016-17 season was Antetokounmpo’s dramatic ascent. Cleveland’s big acquisition came when it traded Mike Dunleavy, Mo Williams and a future draft pick to the Atlanta Hawks in exchange for sharpshooter Kyle Korver. Will Milwaukee make a splashy free-agent signing?
Credit should be given to Masai Ujiri for good drafting ability, but also to Casey for his willingness to play and properly develop them.
Basically, does this team, which has done so well to brand itself, generate excitement around the city and cultivate young talent, make the leap to true contender in 2017-18?