It’s all about matchups in the playoffs. This season, the Bucks took 3 of 4 got one game was without both Giannis and Kawhi. But the Bucks bench was the difference maker in the 2 even strength wins- and this is going to be the thing to watch in this series. The one game the Barnies won, they started Van Vleet and the starters all dominated. 

Theres a lot of talk about Giannis vs Kawhi, but they won’t match up as much as folks think. Middleton draws that assignment most of the time. Giannis matches up with Siakam, which helps the other Barnies because if Giannis has to get out of the lane, there a lot more room in the lane. 

DJW has had some success this season against these guys- could we see some more DJW? Does Gasol offset the Lopez factor? Bledsoe has dominated the Lowery matchup this season- does it continue? As Brogdon gets back into shape, can he contribute? Does George Hill negate Van Vleet, who has hurt the Bucks before. 

I think Leonard gets his, and the Bucks will dare Siakam/Ibaka to beat them. 

i am bias - apologies - raptors, but watching the games in the playoffs, seems real hard to judge fouls and what is a foul - i thought there was a ton of calls missed last night against the raptors, but again, i don't really understand the game, is the same kind of thing happening with the bucks?

Bledsoe needs to continue to win the battle against Lowry. I would hope that Hill and Brogdon will only add to our guard play being better than theirs. 

For some reason I think Mirotic could be big in this series. The Raps bench is weak and we can really stretch them with our depth. 

Gotta prevent Siakam from killing us as he has done in the past. Not sure how Philly was able to kill his confidence, but I hope it continues. 

This will be an interesting series.  Kahwi presents a different challenge for Milwaukee given the position he plays.  Defending Kyrie Irving was made much easier given Bledsoe is a bulldog on D and George Hill and Brogdon aren’t slouches either. 

Middleton draws the assignment and he’s going to need to try to slow him down which is no easy task.  Perhaps we will see Sterling Brown a bit more in this series. 

The Bucks have more firepower than Toronto and a better bench.  However, they have also been tested whereas other than one game the Bucks really have not. 

That being said, I like the Bucks in this one.  Bucks in 6.  

Timpranillo posted:
MichiganPacker2 posted:

Bet Vegas and the pundits will favor the Raptors. 

Vegas is very strongly favoring the Bucks. Ranging from -250 to -270

That makes sense from an objective point of view, given how shaky Siakam looked against the Sixers the couple of games. If Siakam continues to play like that it will be Bucks in 4 or 5. If the Siakam that the Bucks faced the last 2 meetings of the regular season (30 and 28 points on 5 for 8 from the 3 point line), it's a completely different series. 

Tavis Smiley posted:

Michigan...want your breakdown. 

As I said above, which version Siakam shows up will be big. The one that was scared to shoot on Sunday means a quick Bucks victory. I think we'll see more of the regular season Siakam. 

One big advantage the Bucks have is that Bud has a lot more options in terms of lineups. Bud has 9 guys who he can count on. If he needs to, he can go supersize (Giannis, Middleton, Lopez, Mirotic, and Ilyasova) with 4 good 3-point shooters around Giannis. He can also go small (Giannis, Middleton, Hill, Brogdon, Bledsoe) and have the same spacing on offense. He can flip Connaughton into that small unit as well. The Raptors play 7 guys (and really only 6 extensively - the Bucks have 2 guards off the bench better than Van Vliet). Nurse can't really make adjustments if the lineup needs a shakeup. Over the course of the series that will really help the Bucks. 

The Bucks match up very well defensively as well. Bledsoe plays Lowry well and Middleton has at least slowed Kawhi down. Again, it comes down to Siakam. If he doesn't play well it will really allow Giannis to roam. 

I think the wild card in this is that the Bucks have not played the Raptors with Marc Gasol. Gasol is about as close to Brook Lopez in terms of overall skill set as you can get. It will be fascinating to see what the coaches do about this matchup. Gasol seemed to be brought in to have someone to guard Embiid.  Both Lopez and M. Gasol struggle guarding the pick and pop big guys. Ironically, the guy that is likely to hurt the Bucks the most is Ibaka - who is basically a Horford clone. Do the Raptors sit Gasol and play Ibaka more and try to play Lopez off the floor or do they feel they can win the Lopez/Gasol matchup and force the Bucks to adjust? Do the Bucks sit Lopez and force Gasol to guard Mirotic on the perimeter ?

Just a few thoughts. I'd be interested to see what others think. 

The Raptors were a much deeper team last season.  Sure, they didn’t have Kahwi, but DeRozan was a big upgrade over Danny Green at SG.  

Siakam also came off the bench to spell Ibaka at the 4. They also had Valanciunas and Poeltl at the 5.   Collectively,  that a good 4 person group in the front court. 

In the past, Ibaka gave them trouble due to his size and outside shooting ability.   I’m not sure he’s as effective of a player at the center position.   Gasol adds a different shooting element, but the Raptors interior D and rebounding was better last year. 

Collectively, I think last years Toronto team matches up a lot better against this years Bucks.  

 

I think the Bucks ought to win and I am grateful they made it this far.  I will be far from ecstatic if they lose, but for me, disappointment would have been had they lost in the 2nd round and they destroyed any possibility of that!

I just think Giannis + the team's depth makes them the better team.

I sure hope Lopez gets out of his shooting slump.  I am pretty sure he did not hit a single three in the Boston series.

While of course there are other factors such as Giannis foul trouble, I continue to see huge importance in Bledsoe and Middleton not having clunker games.  They have the highest spread about their average level of play.  Their lows can be really low and their highs really high.  Though the Bucks guard depth can more easily handle a Bledsoe clunker game.  Obviously having Brogdon back, but George Hill is such an addition to this team.  I heard it said that while 6'3" he has a 6'9" wing span and he plays tenacious defense.  Also plays extremely within himself and his 3 point shooting in the playoffs has been stellar.

It’s easy to overlook Hill and Mirotic as they were hurt and unable to play toward the end of the season. However, they are both very capable and solid contributors with playoff experience and their veteran presence can’t be overlooked.  

Along with Brogdon and Sterling Brown they give the Bucks a tremendous amount of quality depth.  Any four of those guys could start on a number of teams.  Then you have Connaughton who is such great niche player hitting key shots and grabbing boards. 

We saw this versus Boston that the Bucks just kept coming at them in waves and it took a crazy shooting and scoring game for Boston to win even one game.   If you are facing Milwaukee how do you beat them 4 out of 7 games including at least one game in Milwaukee? 

Personally, I thought Boston would be their toughest test and they dismantled them.  Not to say Toronto can’t beat them but unless the Bucks suddenly forget how to play or revert back to Jason Kidd habits I see them advancing and if things go well I think they have a legitimate shot at a title this year.  I know, it’s one game at a time but a championship is not a pipe dream this year.  Not anymore. 

Kawhi Leonard is a great player.

However, the fact that he hit a lucky shot has somewhat obscured the fact that he took 39 shots on Sunday and was not that efficient (16-39; 2-9 from 3). The Raptors offense essentially became give the ball to Kawhi and get out of the way. Is he a Michael Jordan-level player that can handle that load over a seven game series? I'm not sure. Over the last three games of the Sixers series he was 32-75 from the floor.  

Maybe he'll prove me wrong, but I don't see Kawhi as an unguardable force at the level of Kevin Durant. In other words, I think the Bucks have the defenders and the depth to make someone else on the Raptors beat them. That probably means Siakam, Lowry, or Ibaka. I like our chances. 

MichiganPacker2 posted:

Kawhi Leonard is a great player.

However, the fact that he hit a lucky shot has somewhat obscured the fact that he took 39 shots on Sunday and was not that efficient (16-39; 2-9 from 3). The Raptors offense essentially became give the ball to Kawhi and get out of the way. Is he a Michael Jordan-level player that can handle that load over a seven game series? I'm not sure. Over the last three games of the Sixers series he was 32-75 from the floor.  

Maybe he'll prove me wrong, but I don't see Kawhi as an unguardable force at the level of Kevin Durant. In other words, I think the Bucks have the defenders and the depth to make someone else on the Raptors beat them. That probably means Siakam, Lowry, or Ibaka. I like our chances. 

My initial thought following their Game 7 win was whether Toronto as a whole would now be more apt to turn to Kawhi to bail them out, hence fewer players willing to take the “big shot”. Obviously if that’s the case it works out for Milwaukee assuming Kawhi doesn’t shoot 60% from the floor. I don’t see Milwaukee losing G1 as they remember getting punched in the mouth vs Boston G1. What I hope Coach is able to drill through their heads is how difficult it is to get to this point. I think fans, and to a lesser extent players, assume once they go on a post season run that it will happen every year. That’s what worries me about the Brewers, and what we’ve learned in GB. It’s soooo hard to get to this point and you have to take advantage of it. These chances don’t come across all the time. 

The Bucks have to win 8 games to get a title.  And they have home court advantage.  No LeBron to deal with and Golden State is vulnerable.  They have a real shot.

As good as the Brewers were last year they had a much tougher path.  The Dodgers were dominant.  And had they gotten past them the Saux were waiting for them.  It was sad to see them come up short but honestly they exceeded expectations just to get to where they did.  

Bledsoe, Hill, Mirotic and Middleton have been no shows in this game.  Yet they are only down by 8.  

Toronto came out on fire but I am sure Bud will make adjustments.  Bucks are lucky to only be down by single digits.  

Come out strong in 2H and make a statement.  

Toronto has been hot, and they play strong defense. Doing an especially good job on Middleton. 

Some of this looks similar to G1 against Boston. Stagnant on offense, need adjustments to get the open shot. Hopefully just nerves to start and the shooting will improve in the second half. 

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