NBA Playoffs Betting Preview: Milwaukee Bucks vs. Toronto Raptors – Saturday, May 25, 2019
Matchup at a Glance
When: Thursday, May 23, 2019 at 8:30 PM EST
Where: Fiserv Forum in Milwaukee, Wisconsin
Spread: Milwaukee -7
Betting Total: 215.5 points
The Raptors now have control of the Eastern Conference finals as they head back to Toronto to try to close out the series at home and get a chance to meet the Golden State Warriors in the NBA Finals.
Bucks Face First Elimination Game
The Milwaukee Bucks had the Finals in their sight after claiming the first two games at home in the Eastern Conference finals. The pivotal point in the series was Game 3 in Toronto where the Raptors were able to survive in a double-overtime thriller against the Bucks to avoid dropping three games straight.
The Bucks did not hit the shots they needed to in Game 3 to stay alive, and that has been the story since. Milwaukee's usual game plan is to drive the ball with their MVP candidate Giannis Antetokounmpo, and when teams start to double-team him, he passes it out to one of the perimeter players who have been getting the job done from beyond the arc all year long.
The problem is, they haven't been in the last three games. In fact, between Middleton, Mirotic, and Bledsoe, they have shot just 11 of 48 from three-point range in Milwaukee's three losses. This allows the Raptors to double-team Giannis every time he gets in the paint and limit his production.
Kawhi Looking Dominant
The Raptors acquired Kawhi Leonard in the offseason from the San Antonio Spurs. There were a lot of questions about what exactly he could bring to the team after facing some injury issues or if he was even worth what the Raptors had to give up getting him, which was fan favorite DeMar DeRozan.
It's safe to say after leading the team with 31.4 PPG during the playoffs, hitting the series-winning buzzer beater against the 76ers, and now with the team just one game away from the Finals, Kawhi has been worth every penny.
The Raptors look to be in full control after winning three games straight and now having home-court advantage for Game 6, where they have not lost a game in this series.
What To Expect In Game 6
Game 6 will be played in Toronto on Saturday The Raptors, with a 3-2 lead in the series, look to close the Bucks out, while Milwaukee looks to stay alive and bring the series back home for Game 7. Right now, Toronto has the clear advantage after winning three straight.
Their ability to shoot the 3 and stop the Bucks from doing the same has been the difference so far in the series. Look for them to lean heavy on Kawhi again on both ends of the court while getting some help from their outside shooters on offense.
The Bucks simply need shots to fall if they are going to win. They have a clear game plan to drive with Giannis then rely on their shooters. The success of the Bucks will rely more on Middleton, Bledsoe, Brogdon, and Mirotic than anyone. If they can hit their shots, the floor will open for Giannis; if they don't, the Raptors will be able to suffocate the Bucks' offense the way they have recently.
I think the Raptors now have too much momentum to be stopped at home in a game that could send them to the Finals for the first time in franchise history. I would expect Toronto to have control of the game from start to finish, close out the series, and get ready for the Warriors.