Playoff Preview: Raptors (3)

Playoff Preview: Raptors (3)

Last season, the Raptors parlayed a No. 2 seed into a Conference Finals appearance against the top-seeded Cleveland Cavaliers. Coming off a season in which he was the first player in National Basketball Association history to finish in the top 20 in points, rebounds, assists, blocks and steals, Antetokounmpo admitted he was able to play calm.

Toronto led by as many as 16 points in the first half and by 15 early in the fourth quarter before a 10-0 Dallas run made things more interesting. It was eventually reversed in the second half, but it was confusing to see during the first half. Antetokounmpo was brilliant in Game 1, however. Lowry has shot under 33% in back-to-back first-round series, and he seems well on his way to repeating that type of performance against Milwaukee. When they decide to defend, the result is usually very good. Teammate Greg Monroe, who played in his first ever playoff game put together one of his finest performances of the season, scoring 14 points and pulling down 15 rebounds.

"I think we're in a good spot", VanVleet said. "Oops I might get fined for that one". Toronto made all seven free throw attempts in the quarter, while Milwaukee was just 1-of-2 from the line.

The Bucks outscored the Raptors 51-32 in the second half.

"Giannis is a special player and he can cause a problem by getting two or three guys on him", said Kidd. "They weren't doing anything different than we were expecting them to do". "So we're going to have our coverages and all that, but we don't want to disrespect anybody because he's an All-Star for a reason". "If they're the aggressor, they're going to win the game, we've got to be the aggressor, we've got to be aggressive, we've got to go out and make them work on the defensive end".

After clinching a playoff berth on last week with a win over the 76ers, Antetokounmpo said, "We aren't going to be fun to play in the playoffs, because we have nothing to lose".

Two months after Ujiri acquired Serge Ibaka and P.J. Tucker to add another level of toughness to his team, the Raptors roar into the post-season playing their best basketball of the season, and are poised for what could be another long playoff run. He got the ball away and Malcolm Brogdon eventually sank a three-pointer on the play. Meanwhile, the Raptors are 9-3 ATS in their last 12 games playing on two days' rest, 7-4 ATS in their last 11 games against a team with a winning record and 7-20-1 ATS in their last 28 Conference Quarterfinals games.

The Raptors shot 36 percent from the field and the Bucks shot 44.7 percent.

"I don't know if we played hard enough to deserve a chance to win", Casey said.

Opening the third, a Maker block led to a fast break with Antetokounmpo switching hands with the ball in midair to evade a defender and get a better look at the bucket for a finger-roll layup. Lowry leads in steals with 1.5 and in assists with 7.0 per game. "So hopefully with those guys coming in, you hope that they've brought us some toughness and defence".

IN played a solid all-around game, matching the Cavs at both ends and even out-rebounding them.

NOTES: Toronto has won 13 of the past 15 regular-season meetings with Milwaukee. Give me the Raptors in 6. "It's been a little rockier this year just because of injuries, but we still need to continue to take those steps".

The Raptors will go back to the drawing board before Game 2 on Tuesday, but Antetokounmpo isn't anxious about the different defensive wrinkles Toronto will throw at him.