Articles NBA Playoffs 2019

Playoffs Day 33: Fear the Deer Eastern Conference Finals Edition

Giannis Antetokounmpowas obviously feeling good about being a finalist for MVP this year as he led the Bucks to a demolition of the Raptors in Game 2, leading from start to finish to take a 2-0 lead in the Eastern Conference Finals.

Milwaukee Bucks (2-0) v Toronto Raptors (0-2): 125 to 103

Milwaukee was not going to lose this game.

Giannis was aggressive and sent a message early: Fear the Deer!

The Bucks beat the Raptors in pretty much every stat category. They were better off the bench, their starters were better and their coach did a better job to stop the Raptors.

The Bucks led 64-39 at the Half and had a 28 points lead in the game. This was not even close.

Giannis was gold once again with 30 points and 17 rebounds (with two assists, a steal and block) and just dominated the paint. Splash Mountain was quiet after being the Game One saviour, but the bench came to the rescue with a combined 44 points on 17/29 (59%) from Ersan Ilyasova, George Hill and Malcom Brogdon. Having a healthy Brogdon and Hill playing at this elite level has made the Bucks almost unstoppable. Even with Khris Middleton (who is usually their second offensive star) being held to 8 shots (with 12 points), the Bucks were able to utilise the Free throw line to make sure they were always in front.

Meanwhile, every Raptor not called Kawhi Leonard struggled once again against the fast paced, aggressive and energetic Bucks.

Kawhi had another great game shooting 10-18 with 31 points but the rest of the starters shot a clip under 30% with Marc Gasol struggling especially with 1-9. Gasol needs to have an impact on the defensive end with his offense not clicking, otherwise there is no way the Raptors stay in this series.

Kawhi also needs help from both Kyle Lowry and Pascal Siakam if the Raptors have a shot at winning this series (or even a single game). If all three are firing offensively and Gasol and Kawhi are the anchors on defence, there is a shot the Raptors win this. This would also mean holding the Bucks to under 100 points, given the struggle with offense for the Raptors.

Nick Nurse will need to change his game plan coming into Game 3 to adapt to the wrath that is the Bucks.

The series now heads to the deadly North as the Raptors pray they can take a game or two at home.

Next Game @ Raptors: Monday (20/5) 9am.

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