2017 NBA Playoffs
Eastern Conference First Round Game #2
#6 Milwaukee Bucks at #3 Toronto Raptors
Bucks Lead Best of Seven Series 1-0
Tuesday, April 18, 2017, 7 pm Eastern, TV: NBA TV
Air Canada Centre – Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Opening Line: Toronto -7 1/2
Current Line: Toronto -7 1/2
Opening Total: 193 1/2
Current Total: 192
Opening Money Line: Raptors -350 / Bucks +290
Current Money Line: Raptors -350 / Bucks +290
Going into game one of the Eastern Conference First Round Series, neither the Milwaukee Bucks nor the Toronto Raptors had much success in opening round game ones. The Bucks had lost six straight conference quarterfinal game ones and the Raptors were 0-9 in those games. The #6 seed Bucks pulled off the upset 97-83 against the #3 Raptors Saturday in Toronto. Game two is Tuesday night also in Toronto.
In game one, Milwaukee led 30-22 at the end of the first, but Toronto would lead 51-46 at halftime. The Bucks opened the third quarter on a 12-4 run and would never trail again. Toronto only scored 32 points in the second half including 13 points in the fourth as Milwaukee cruised to a 14 point victory. Toronto was an 8 point favorite and the total was 197.5.
Milwaukee shot 38/85 from the field including 9/23 from three point range. The Bucks made 12/15 free throws. Milwaukee had 48 rebounds, 22 assists, 5 turnovers, 5 steals and 5 blocks. The Bucks had 17 fast break points and 40 points in the paint. Toronto was 27/75 from the field including 5/23 from three point range. The Raptors made 24/33 free throws. Toronto had 59 rebounds, 15 assists, 11 turnovers, 3 steals and 4 blocks. The Raptors had 4 fast break points and 36 points in the paint.
Giannis Antetokounmpo had 28 points, 8 rebounds, 3 assists, 2 steals and a block for the Bucks. Malcolm Brogdon had 16 points and 6 rebounds. Greg Monroe had 14 points and 15 rebounds. Tony Snell and Matthew Dellavedova each had 11 points, while Khris Middleton had 10 points and 9 assists. DeMar DeRozan had 27 points and 8 rebounds for the Raptors. Serge Ibaka had 19 points, 14 rebounds and 3 blocks. Jonas Valanciunas had 9 points and 9 rebounds. No other Raptor scored more than 7 points, including just 4 points and 6 assists from Kyle Lowry.
Milwaukee is coached by Jason Kidd. The Bucks finished tied for second in the Central Division with the Indiana Pacers at 42-40, but both teams were 9 games behind the Cleveland Cavaliers. Milwaukee is 37-46 ATS and the total is 41-40-2 this season.
Toronto is coached by Dwane Casey. The Raptors finished second in the Atlantic Division at 51-31 two games behind the Boston Celtics. Toronto is 45-37-1 ATS and the total is 44-39 this season.
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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.
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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. He is probable with an ankle injury. 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.
Milwaukee is 6-1 ATS against Atlantic Division teams, 4-1 after a double digit win and on two days rest, 5-2 in Tuesday games, 4-9 in first round games and 3-8 after a straight up win. The under is 5-1 overall and in Toronto as well between the two teams.
Toronto is 4-0 ATS after a straight up loss, 6-1 after failing to cover, 4-1 after a double digit home loss, 9-3 on two days rest, 7-20-1 in first round games, 1-4 at home and against teams with losing road records, and 0-5 in Tuesday games. The favorite is 6-1 ATS in this series recently. The Raptors are 5-2 ATS against the Bucks recently.
Toronto has only won one game one in postseason history. They usually rebound with a win in game two, but Milwaukee’s size and lankiness could be an issue as it was in game one. Lowry’s post season struggles continue and it is very puzzling as he is an All-Star. I like the Raptors to win a close game to even up the series before it moves to Milwaukee for the nest two games.