2017 NBA Playoffs
Eastern Conference First Round Game #4
#3 Toronto Raptors at #6 Milwaukee Bucks
Bucks Lead Best of Seven Series 2-1
Saturday, April 22, 2017, 3:00 pm Eastern, TV: TNT
BMO Harris Bradley Center – Milwaukee, Wisconsin
Opening Line: Milwaukee -2 1/2
Current Line: Milwaukee -2
Opening Total: 195 1/2
Current Total: 194 1/2
Opening Money Line: Bucks -125 / Raptors +105
Current Money Line: Bucks -130 / Raptors +110
The Milwaukee Bucks lead the Toronto Raptors two games to one in the Eastern Conference quarterfinal series. The Raptors look to even the series in game four Saturday in Milwaukee.
Toronto is coached by Dwane Casey. The Raptors were 51-31 in the regular season and are the #3 seed in the East. Toronto is 45-39-1 ATS and the total is 45-40 this season. Milwaukee is coached by Jason Kidd. The Bucks are the #6 seed and finished 42-40 in the regular season. Milwaukee is 39-46 ATS and the total is 42-41-2 this season.
The Bucks won game one 97-83 and the Raptors won game two 106-100, both in Toronto. Milwaukee was a two point favorite in game three Thursday and the total was 197. The Bucks outscored the Raptors 32-12 in the first quarter and the rout was on. The Bucks lead 57-30 at halftime and led 88-46 at the end of the third. Milwaukee would end up winning 104-77 to take control of the series.
Toronto shot 24/71 from the field including 6/22 from three point range. The Raptors made 23/30 free throws. Toronto had 49 rebounds, 11 assists, 16 turnovers, 6 steals and 5 blocks. The Raptors had 19 fast break points and 32 points in the paint. Milwaukee shot 39/74 from the field including 12/23 from three point range. The Bucks made 14/19 free throws. Milwaukee had 45 rebounds, 29 assists, 13 turnovers, 6 steals and 4 blocks. The Bucks had 6 fast break points and 38 points in the paint.
Kyle Lowry had 13 points, 5 rebounds and 2 assists for the Raptors. Delon Wright had 13 points, 6 rebounds and 2 assists. Norman Powell had 12 points and 3 rebounds. Jonas Valanciunas had 11 points and 7 rebounds. Khris Middleton had 20 points, 7 assists and 3 rebounds for the Bucks. Giannis Antetokounmpo had 19 points, 8 rebounds, 4 assists, 2 steals and 2 blocks. Greg Monroe had 16 points, 7 rebounds, 3 assists and 2 steals. Michael Beasley, Thon Maker, and Matthew Dellavedova also scored in double digits.
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Toronto is outscoring teams 107-103 this season. The Raptors are in the top ten in both categories this season. Toronto is shooting 46.4% from the field and 36.3% from three point range. The Raptors make 79.6% of their free throws and are #8 in that category. Opponents are shooting 44.9% from the field and 35.4% from three point range. The Raptors are #6 in field goal defense. Toronto averages 43.3 rebounds per game and opponents average 42.1 per game. The Raptors are #6 in rebounds allowed. Toronto averages 18.5 assists, 11.8 turnovers, 8.3 steals and 4.9 blocks per game.
Guard DeMar DeRozan averages 27.3 points per game, 5.2 rebounds, 3.9 assists and 1.1 steals per game. Guard Kyle Lowry averages 22.4 points, 4.8 rebounds, 7 assists, and 1.5 steals per game. Forward Serge Ibaka, acquired in a midseason trade with the Orlando Magic, averages 14.2 points, 6.8 rebounds and 1.4 blocks per game. Center Jonas Valanciunas averages 12 points and 9.5 rebounds per game. Terrance Ross averages 10.4 points and 2.6 rebounds per game. DeMarre Carroll, Luis Scola, Cory Joseph, Norman Powell, Patrick Patterson, P.J. Tucker and Delon Wright will also get some minutes in the rotation.
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Milwaukee is being outscored 103.8-103.6 this season. The Bucks are #9 in points allowed and #20 in scoring. Milwaukee is shooting 47.4% from the field and 37% from 3 point range. The Bucks are #10 or better in both categories. Milwaukee makes 76.8% from the free throw line. Opponents are shooting 45.8% from the field and 35.4% from 3 point range. Milwaukee averages 40.4 rebounds per game and opponents average 42.5. The Bucks are #8 in rebounds allowed, but #29 in rebounding. Milwaukee averages 24.2 assists, 13.4 turnovers, 8.1 steals and 5.3 blocks per game.
Giannis Antetokounmpo, nicknamed the “Greek Freak” averages 22.9 points, 8.8 rebounds, 5.4 assists, 1.6 steals and 1.9 blocks per game. He is the only player to be in the top 20 in the league in all statistical categories, and in a normal year would be an MVP candidate. He won’t even crack the top five though. Jabari Parker averaged 20.1 points, 6.2 rebounds and 2.8 assists per game before a knee injury sidelined him for the season in February. Khris Middleton averages 14.7 points, 4.2rebounds, 3.4 assists and 1.4 blocks per game. Greg Monroe averages 11.7 points, 6.6 rebounds, 2.3 assists and 1.4 steals per game. Malcolm Brogdon averages 10.2 points, 2.8 rebounds, 4.2 assists and 1.1 steals per game. Michael Beasley averages 9.4 points and 3.4 rebounds per game. Tony Snell, Matthew Dellavedova, Mirza Teletovic, Spencer Hawes, and Jason Terry will also get some minutes in the rotation.
Toronto is 4-1 ATS after a straight up win, 6-2 in road games, 5-2 against teams with winning home records, 2-5 against teams with winning records, 6-19-1 in first round games, 1-4 after allowing 100 points or more, in Saturday games and on one day rest. The under is 4-1 in this series recently and the last four games in Milwaukee between the teams have gone under.
Milwaukee is 8-1 ATS against Atlantic Division teams, 6-1 in Saturday games, 5-1 in first round games, after a double digit win, overall and against Eastern Conference teams, and 2-7 after scoring 100 points or more. The favorite is 7-2 ATS in this series recently. The Bucks have covered the last four games in this series.
Besides a close game two win by the Raptors, the Bucks have dominated this series. If the Raptors are serious contenders in the East, then this is the kind of game they win to regain home court. The continuing struggles in the postseason for DeRozan and Lowry is very puzzling as they are two of the best players in the league during the regular season. I like the Raptors to win a close game before they go back to Toronto for game five Monday night.