Game one’s offensive lethargy was a faint memory tonight as the Bucks put on an offensive show that saw Milwaukee go up 2-0 on the series.
The change in Milwaukee’s fortunes offensively were immediately obvious as the Bucks rushed out to a 9-0 lead and really never let off the gas. Toronto would find themselves routinely out-hustled, out-rebounded, and outplayed on the way to a 64-39 Bucks halftime lead. A shot in the arm for the Raptors resulted in a far more potent third quarter as the Bucks looked completely out of sorts trying to stop the Kawhi Leonard show (he’d finish with 31 points, 8 rebounds, 2 assists). Still, as they have all year, Milwaukee laughed in the face of adversity. After surviving Toronto’s third quarter push, it was only a matter of when, not if, the benches would be cleared before the Bucks secured a decisive victory.
Giannis Antetokounmpo? Just another ho hum 30 point, 17 rebound, 5 assist, and 2 block game for him, routinely a steadying force on both ends by staunching scoring droughts through dominant paint play or snapping Raptor drives in half.
Really though, it was the “bench mob” that should be lauded tonight. With Brook Lopez, Khris Middleton, and Eric Bledsoe quiet, it fell to the likes of Ersan Ilyasova (17 points, 3 rebounds, 3 charges, 2 assists), Nikola Mirotic (15 points, 6 rebounds), Malcolm Brogdon (14 points, 5 assists, 4 rebounds), and George Hill (13 points, 4 rebounds, 2 assists) to pick up the slack.
For the Raptors, Kawhi Leonard was more efficient from the floor, but Kyle Lowry failed to replicate his shooting heroics, Marc Gasol continues to be AWOL, foul trouble plagued them all night, and Jodie Meeks played actual minutes. Not great!
Stat that Stood Out
How about Ersan ascending to a higher plane of existence? In a first half full of crazy output from Milwaukee, his was the craziest as he put together tough mid-rangers, catch-and-shoot threes, putbacks, and drew two charges on his way to a 14 point quarter. Milwaukee’s depth has left Toronto literally gasping for air, and it’ll only get worse for the Raps from here.