VanVleet gets ready for NBA PlayoffsBy Kelly Sanders Apr 16, 2017
Of course, Milwaukee's defense played a significant role in Toronto's bricklaying on Saturday. But the electric Toronto backcourt slipped early in the playoffs last season, nearly costing them a First Round win.
At first glance, the Toronto Raptors appear to be an easy choice to defeat the Milwaukee Bucks in their Eastern Conference first-round playoff series. They have dominated the matchup in recent history, having won 13 of their past 15 meetings, including an average margin of victory of 15.6 points over their last seven wins.
Tipoff for Game 1 is set for 4:30 p.m. Saturday afternoon. "It's not something we're unfamiliar with". Antetokounmpo averaged 24.8 points, 7.8 rebounds, 7.0 assists, 1.3 steals and 1.0 blocks in the four. "I remember one of the refs came to the sidelines and said, 'Hey man, when are you going to get here.' I was like, 'soon, soon.' He's reffed a few of my games, it's a insane feeling".
With 42 wins, the Bucks finished above.500 for the first time since 2009-10. Miles' potential game-winner after the Cavs forced the ball out of the hot hands of Paul George, but Miles was just short, and the Cavaliers survived to get a 109-108 win. "We can't focus on what we did last year, and what happened last year". Helping control the middle was veteran center Greg Monroe, who had 14 points to go with 15 rebounds. "We didn't play with any pace, any rhythm, any movement". There's one reason to think they won't, and that one exhibited itself in the Bucks' 97-83 Game 1 win: they don't have the best player on the floor.
The Raptors' Kyle Lowry and DeMar DeRozan want to shake off the memories of a slow start in the 2015-16 playoffs.
"He had some good looks, he just missed some shots", Casey said. "If he misses a shot it's not going to be because of the playoff jitters, because he's a man".
He rejoined the Pacers on March 30 and was pivotal in them going 5-1 to make the playoffs. "We had a lot of challenges this year, but I do like the direction and the path that we're headed". He's like 'let me get this guy involved, that guy involved'. The reoccurring theme was defense; Raptors tried to outscore teams ignoring the defensive philosophy that got them to the Eastern Conference Finals last season. No Raptors player made more than one 3-pointer. "And his compete level, you've got to match his compete level to play against him".
"On paper, it all looks good when you make trades, but you hope they all gel".
"Coming out of halftime, Thon (Maker) definitely did a great job of protecting the rim for us (and had three blocked shots on the game)", Monroe said.
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And then Tucker is just a guy that I'm not sure they had. He hit 16 per cent of his three-point attempts against IN, which is about the rate you'd expect if you pulled someone from the stands and asked them to hit the long ball. "When we did finish with the rebound, just getting out on the run, the same thing we have been talking about all year".
The Grizzlies held a 13-point lead late in the first quarter before the Spurs caught fire.
The NBA Playoffs kick off tomorrow afternoon, and the Milwaukee Bucks will make its second playoff appearance in the last three years. Lowry became the first player during the shot clock era to shoot less than 40% in 9 straight playoff games with at least 10 shots per game.
IN could have won it in the final seconds, but C.J. Miles, who Cleveland's players and coaches call a "Cavs killer", missed a 14-foot jumper just before the horn.
The encouraging thing from the Bucks' standpoint is that they went 14-4 in March and were 21-15 overall after their most recent loss to Toronto on January 27.
This was exciting news for the Raptors because it meant the team could go back to winning games through defense - "the Casey way".
SN: What has impressed you about the additions of Serge Ibaka and P.J.
In the Dwane Casey era, the Raptors have lost every playoff Game 1 they've played.
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