Quick Reaction

Quick Reaction: Bucks 94, Raptors 100 (Win series 4-2)

MIL Bucks 94 Final
Box Score
100 TOR Raptors

A-
P. Siakam42 MIN, 18 PTS, 4 REB, 0 AST, 1 STL, 7-17 FG, 1-3 3FG, 3-4 FT, 1 BLK, 2 TO, 8 +/-

That steal late in the fourth quarter personifies Pascal Siakam’s entire playoff run. He hasn’t been perfect, far from it in fact, but he just won’t stop grinding to secure the team a victory. There is no quit in this guy.

A+
K. Leonard41 MIN, 27 PTS, 17 REB, 7 AST, 2 STL, 9-22 FG, 1-8 3FG, 8-11 FT, 2 BLK, 6 TO, 7 +/-

There are no more superlatives. It wasn’t just that Leonard was the best player on the court, it wasn’t just that he pulled off an array of ridiculous shots and passes, it was that he clearly wanted that game more than anyone else. Those offensive rebounds were pure heart; you don’t haul down 17 boards on talent alone.

A-
M. Gasol26 MIN, 6 PTS, 3 REB, 2 AST, 1 STL, 2-3 FG, 2-2 3FG, 0-0 FT, 1 BLK, 0 TO, 1 +/-

We got passive Gasol tonight. Despite this, Big Spain still knocked down two huge threes in the second half. I was hesitant that Gasol could survive defensively against the Bucks floor spacing but he has proven me wrong, his presence inside shut down the Bucks interior scoring.

A+
K. Lowry41 MIN, 17 PTS, 5 REB, 8 AST, 1 STL, 6-10 FG, 3-4 3FG, 2-2 FT, 0 BLK, 1 TO, 0 +/-

The KLOE game. Huge buckets, drawing charges, sneaking between giants to haul down offensive rebounds. Did you really expect anything less? After years in the league, Lowry has finally found the perfect role in a team that can win the NBA championship.

F
D. Green14 MIN, 0 PTS, 2 REB, 1 AST, 2 STL, 0-4 FG, 0-4 3FG, 0-0 FT, 0 BLK, 0 TO, -7 +/-

These were the best looks Green has gotten all series. They didn’t go in, and he was swiftly removed. It is unfortunate but Green has another series to redeem himself.

A+
F. VanVleet34 MIN, 14 PTS, 0 REB, 2 AST, 0 STL, 5-6 FG, 4-5 3FG, 0-0 FT, 0 BLK, 0 TO, 12 +/-

Where are the Van Vleet haters now? With Green’s struggles, Fred has emerged as the fifth starter that Toronto needed to get past the best team in the league. Man, did he rediscover his shot at the right time — that sidestep off the dribble three he canned was a top five moment of this playoff run.

A
S. Ibaka25 MIN, 9 PTS, 3 REB, 0 AST, 0 STL, 4-7 FG, 0-0 3FG, 1-2 FT, 0 BLK, 0 TO, 3 +/-

Ibaka found his way into this game in the second half. He constantly flew towards Antetokounmpo as a help defender and scrambled back to protect the rim at all costs. Made a few key cuts to find space as the Bucks overloaded on Leonard late.

A
N. Powell17 MIN, 9 PTS, 4 REB, 0 AST, 0 STL, 3-5 FG, 1-1 3FG, 2-3 FT, 0 BLK, 1 TO, 6 +/-

Powell has now strung together a very strong series and quells the stress that has revolved around the Raptors’ bench. He has shot without hesitation and injected life into the team whenever there is a hesitant of staleness arising. Great performance.

A+
Nick Nurse

This series was a coaching masterclass by Nurse. He didn’t get flustered down 2-0, instead configuring lineups and schemes that would eventually swing the momentum of the matchup. His feel rotating the centres was spot on and Nurse’s decision to yank Green early was wise. Toronto knew what the Bucks were going to throw at them and they responded accordingly. Bravo.

Things We Saw

  1. This is happening people!
    Forgive me for not having my analytical brain screwed on quite yet, but the adrenaline is still seeping from my fingers typing right now. The Toronto Raptors are going to the NBA Finals for the first time in NBA history; this is a magical moment. I implore everyone to put aside one minute to just think about your fandom and this moment right now. Enjoy it.
  2. The comeback sans Kawhi
    If I were to write out the formula for the Raptors clawing back in this game, it would not have included Toronto going nuclear with Leonard off of the floor. Yet, Toronto erased 5 point deficit entering the final stanza and even produced a two point lead once their talisman returned. Without that much-needed help, Leonard may not have been able to get this team to complete a heroic comeback.
  3. Playing on their terms
    Toronto demonstrated veteran savvy slowing down this game to neutralize the Bucks’ transition dominance. Once the game got into the half-court, it was clear which team was superior. The Bucks showed gumption on the offensive glass which was infuriating to see, yet when winning time came around Toronto pulled down the most important rebounds of the series. A truly composed performance; even when down 15 points Toronto knew that their method of basketball would prevail.

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