Playoff fever takes over Toronto with both Leafs, Raptors vying for wins

Toronto Raptors point guard Kyle Lowry

Toronto Raptors point guard Kyle Lowry

Game 2 takes place Tuesday in Toronto, before the series shifts to Milwaukee on Thursday and Saturday.

That was part of a baffling second-half capitulation by the Raptors, who scored only 32 points while shooting a brutal 20 per cent from the field. All of that led to tough shots, challenged shots, and we were totally out of rhythm in the second half. In their careers, Lowry and DeRozan are shooting 37.9% and 39.1% in the playoffs, respectively. To hear Casey say "Lowry just needs to hit shots" again, after he said it last post-season, and the year before, it's enough to make a man insane.

It doesn't say a whole lot when an opposing rookie point guard outperforms Lowry, when too many shots are missed, too many times when Lowry tried to force his game, far too little and not exactly the way to start a series. The Bucks dug in defensively and went on an 11-2 run to take control of the game.

By the time Raptors coach Dwane Casey put his bench players into the game in the dying minutes, the cranky ACC crowd was barely two-thirds full.

In the clip below, DeMarre Carroll attempted to pressure Giannis the length of the court, with Jonas Valanciunas behind him to provide some support.

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In a word, Valanciunas became useless, prompting Casey to go small with P.J. Tucker replacing Valanciunas in the first chess move of the evening.

But oh my goodness, we need to talk about what Greek Freak did. Milwaukee, on the other hand, showed no fear.

One particularly nasty effort denied Toronto's game-high scorer Demar DeRozan at the rim and sent the Bucks on the fast break, with superstar Giannis Antetokounmo bringing the hammer down on the Raptors with the and-1 slam. That's the worst win percentage in Game 1s all-time (minimum 10 games played).

Most expect either Harden or Westbrook to take home the MVP trophy on June 26 after both players had stellar regular seasons. "I'm not going to get blindsided by seeing Milwaukee". After one game, those people look really, really smart after one game - the Bucks walked into Toronto and demolished the Raptors, 97-83.

Toronto's biggest adjustment in the second quarter was on defence, more locked in, more engaged on the glass and, of course, beneficiaries of shots that suddenly wouldn't drop.

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Obviously they are ahead of us, they're playing for the title, and for them it's important to win this game. Ander Herrera: He'd be in line for player of the season if United weren't so shit.

The Bucks opened the final frame with a 9-1 run before a jump shot from Ibaka with 7:49 to play ended an agonizing stretch of nine minutes and 17 seconds without a field goal for Toronto.

The Raptors' start to the fourth was a nightmare of turnovers and missed free throws as Milwaukee increased its lead. When Parker went down, it made Milwaukee a one-man team and that isn't going to turn out well today in Toronto. Antetokounmpo led Milwaukee with 15 points.

It wasn't as if the Raptors played tight all night.

Toronto rallied with a big second quarter holding the Bucks to just 16 points and taking a 51-46 lead into halftime. Antetokounmpo, who finished the season with 22.9 points, 8.7 rebounds, 5.4 assists, 1.6 steals and 1.9 blocks.

The Raptors have put themselves into a hole, and the Bucks look unsafe, particularly with Giannis Antetokounmpo proving himself to be the best player on either team. "I thought our guys did a great job of sharing the ball, the ball wasn't sticking and they didn't care who shot it or who made the shot, it was about making the right play".

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