After 4 interesting games of Eastern Conference Finals action, the series is dead even at 2 games a piece. Now it becomes a best-of-3, with Milwaukee having a big advantage with 2 of those 3 games played at home. The Bucks did win the first 2, but Toronto roared back with 2 of their own in Canada. If the home team continues to win, the Bucks should be your favorite, but the Raptors do have momentum heading into tonight’s game!

[2] Toronto Raptors (2-2) @ [1] Milwaukee Bucks (2-2)

In Game 3, the Raptors were easily able to exposes the biggest weakness of Giannis by highlighting his inability to produce anything in crucial moments of the game. Antetokounmpo was mostly silent in the fourth and overtime before fouling out. He played better in Game 4, but the Bucks need MVP edition Giannis if they’re going to reclaim control of this series. For Toronto, a hobbled Kawhi Leonard had big help from the bench and Lowry in Game 4 to win their second straight against the Bucks. Now that we have a fresh reset in an even series, who will claim control with a victory here tonight?

Toronto

This playoff run for Toronto has been 60% Kawhi Leonard, 15% Pascal Siakam, 10% Kyle Lowry, and the last 10% has come from the bench. The massive burden is clearly starting to catch up to Kawhi, who’s averaged more than 40 minutes per game across the last two playoff series. To the Raptors’ credit, their bench was one of the better squads in the entire league, so their exceptional play shouldn’t be a huge shocker. It’ll be much tougher to expect the same on the road in Game 5.

  • Great offensive stats for the Raptors in Game 4. They shot 41-87 (47.1%) from the field, 14-41 (34.1%) from deep, and had 32 total assists with just 11 turnovers.
  • Toronto actually won the rebounding game last match, outdoing Milwaukee 44-40.
  • Powell, Ibaka, and VanVleet combined for 48 points off the bench in Game 4, completely outscoring the Milwaukee bench.
  • Fouling was much better for the Raptors, as they allowed the Bucks to shoot just 17-26 (65.4%) from the free throw line on 23 total fouls.

Milwaukee

After looking like a favorite and likely choice to potentially sweep the series, the Bucks have shown why younger, inexperienced squads often don’t win a title the first year they start to gel. They took care of business by winning the first 2 games at home, but couldn’t manage to finish off Game 3, which would’ve left things in 3-1 situation or even a sweep. Instead, the series is now even and the Bucks must win at least 2 of the next 3. Fortunately, they have all the tools they need to do that behind an excellent roster and 2 games at home.

  • The Bucks were decent offensively and could’ve won with better defense. They shot 37-80 (46.3%) from the field, 11-35 (31.4) from beyond the arc, and had 30 total assists with 12 turnovers.
  • Milwaukee had fantastic production from Khris Middleton, who had 30 points, 6 rebounds, and 7 assists in the Game 4 loss. On the other hand, Eric Bledsoe was mostly bad with just 5 points, 3 rebounds, and 2 assists.
  • The bench is gave no reason to fear the deer last game. They totaled just 23 points in over 100 combined minutes!
  • The Bucks are still 6-1 at home during the playoffs, and did go 33-8 during the regular season.

Pick: Milwaukee Bucks -6.5

The Raptors did a fantastic job of winning the last 2 games at home even with Kawhi clearly not at 100%, but now the series shifts back to Milwaukee. The Bucks have been fantastic at home all year, and are now faced with their most important game of the season. This is certainly the hardest test the Bucks have faced all year, but statistically and theoretically, they should still be the favorite to win this series. Whoever wins Game 5 will quite likely head to the Finals, but we still have potentially 3 games to play. For tonight, your best bet is on Milwaukee winning to claim a 3-2 series lead!

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