It took 58 long and difficult minutes, but the Toronto Raptors finally got their first victory of the Eastern Conference finals. The Bucks are still leading the series by a count of 2-1, and the home team has won each of the first three games. Toronto was able to make enough plays in the second overtime to come away with a 118-112 victory to get back in this series. Most people predicted that this would be a very tightly contested series, and it looks like all of those predictions are coming true.
The Milwaukee Bucks have lost just two games so far in the 2019 Playoffs, and things have been relatively easy for them for the most part. Milwaukee swept the Detroit Pistons in the first round and then eliminated the Boston Celtics in just five games in the second round. Toronto had to grind out a seven-game series against the Philadelphia 76ers in the semifinals, and it looks like they might be running out of gas. The Milwaukee Bucks are -2.5 point favorites over the Toronto Raptors in Game 4.
Leonard Doing it All
Kawhi Leonard was brought over to Toronto to be a leader in the postseason, and he is doing it all in leading this Raptors team. Leonard played a career-high 52 minutes in the Game 3 win and was brilliant on both ends of the floor. The former NBA Finals MVP poured in a game-high 36 points and held Giannis Antetokounmpo to just 1-9 shooting when he was the primary defender. Leonard appeared to be worn down near the end of the second overtime, but he will have to be great again.
Even though the Raptors got their first win of the series in Game 3, there are still some major concerns moving forward. Point guard Kyle Lowry was able to play just 32 minutes in that game and had just 11 points. Norman Powell came off the bench to score 19 points in the crucial win, but the Raptors got just eight other points from their bench. The Raptors need some more contribution from their roster in Game 4. Toronto has enough talent to get the job done, but it’s time for them to help out Kawhi Leonard.
Bucks Just Have Too Much Depth
Speaking of depth, there is no doubt that the Milwaukee Bucks have one of the deepest teams in the entire league. Milwaukee got 54 points from their bench in Game 3, and it was almost enough to steal a road win over the Raptors. George Hill led the team with 24 points in that game, and Malcolm Brogdon chipped in with 20 points. These two players would be clear starters on most teams around the league, and they have been absolutely dominating the bench unit from Toronto.
Giannis Antetokounmpo has been putting up monster numbers for the Bucks in these playoffs, but he really struggled in the Game 3 loss. The “Greek Freak” is averaging more than 26 points per game but was held to just 12 in 45 minutes on Sunday night. Antetokounmpo saw plenty of double teams, and he is going to have to continue to trust his teammates as the series goes along. The Bucks did make 14 three-pointers in that loss and led the NBA in scoring during the regular season. The “Greek Freak” needs to lead this team, but he should have plenty of help in this game.
Milwaukee Steals Game 4
Winning on the road in the playoffs is never an easy task, but the best teams find a way to get it done. The Bucks just missed out in Game 3, but they are going to steal this one from the Toronto Raptors. Antetokounmpo isn’t going to be shut down again, and the Bucks are going to win. Bet the Milwaukee Bucks -2.5 over the Toronto Raptors in Game 4.