The Raptors are coming off a hard-fought seven-game series win over the Philadelphia 76ers, and Kawhi Leonard is playing as well as any superstar left in the postseason. For the Bucks, they may not have a rematch with the Sixers, but the fanbase will certainly be hoping the moment for the much discussed injustices of the '01 Conference Finals to be corrected has now arrived.
All Eastern Conference finals games will air on TNT. Toronto backers will argue their club didn't have Kawhi Leonard in all of those contests.
The Toronto Raptors are officially the underdogs, according to Las Vegas oddsmakers.
"It was great", Leonard said. "They were making me play in a crowd so I thought they were successful at that in this first game".
The Raptors are well aware of the challenge ahead. The Milwaukee Bucks have won four of their last five home games.
"Sometimes I couldn't even get an attempt up, even if I was trying to force it, but they did a good job defensively". They finished second with 58 wins behind the league-leading Bucks (60 wins) in the regular season.
Toronto's Kyle Lowry makes a pass as Milwaukee's Nikola Mirotic defends. So, I think that shows we know we are capable of winning.
"If they see an opportunity to shoot a three they're going to take it".
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How will the series play out, though? The Toronto Raptors are averaging 103.6 points on 45.4 percent shooting and allowing 96 points on 41.3 percent shooting. While the older of the two has been a significantly better overall scorer, comparing their three-point percentage has been fascinating. The Bucks were the pinnacle of the National Basketball Association this season and have lost only one game in the playoffs so far.
"You're always talking about spacing with both offence and defence", Nurse said. Toronto center Marc Gasol agrees with his coach. "He's a mismatch all around".
"They gave me a lot of attention when I was coming off the screens". The Raptors are 4-1 ATS in the last 5 meetings in Milwaukee and 1-4 ATS in the last 5 meetings. Will a pumped-up Leonard derail the Bucks?
Meanwhile in Denver, Colorado, CJ McCollum scored 37 points and Portland overcame a 17-point first-half deficit to beat Denver in Game 7 and reach the Western Conference final for the first time since 2000. They lost big, 116-94, to the Golden State Warriors on Tuesday night.
The Bucks swept Dwane Casey's Detroit Pistons in the opening round, while the Raptors ousted Orlando in five games.
Now, the seven-footers are just as likely to be 24, 25, 27 feet from the basket, hoisting up long shots and forcing the other teams to adapt to their skills.