(Photo by Nathaniel S. Butler/NBAE via Getty Images)
Good afternoon, folks. Let’s just go ahead and skip to Warriors-Bucks, shall we? Let’s talk NBA Playoffs.
(2) Raptors – 103 @ (1) Bucks – 125 (MIL leads 2-0)
Two dunks from Giannis Antetokounmpo, a made layup from Nikola Mirotic, followed by a Mirotic triple bust this game open to an early 9-0 Milwaukee Bucks lead. You got the sense through the first three minutes that the Bucks might just completely run away with this thing. Toronto managed to trim the lead down to only a 9-14 Milwaukee advantage, but that was the closest the game felt all night long. From there, the Bucks cruised to an easy 2-0 series lead as we head to Canada for the next two games.
Antetokounmpo posted 30 points, 17 rebounds, and five assists for Milwaukee highlighted by an 11-point fourth quarter. The Bucks were up 14 points after the first quarter and led by 25 at halftime. Toronto – well, Kawhi Leonard, mostly – did it’s best to fight and get themselves back into the game throughout the second half, but could never knock the lead to single digits. When Milwaukee is aided by 15 points from Mirotic, 17 from Ersan Ilyasova, 13 from George Hill, and 14 from Malcolm Brogdon, they aren’t going to lose any games against this Toronto squad. The overall depth of the Bucks outmatches anything the Raptors can put on the court.
To give you an idea of how confused Raptors head coach Nick Nurse is regarding how he should go about managing his rotations against a deeper team, he had Jodie Meeks playing the most minutes (8) he has since Game 5 of the first round series. Meeks did drill a three-pointer jumping off one foot right at the third quarter buzzer and ended with five points on 2-5 shooting.
Meeks beat the buzzer ? pic.twitter.com/zLLoQHMo3V
— Def Pen Hoops (@DefPenHoops) May 18, 2019
Eric Bledsoe continues to struggle from the field as he shot just 3-10 and connected on only one of his five three-point attempts. He finished with eight points but also added five rebounds, seven assists, and zero turnovers. Even Bledsoe was becoming frustrated with his missed shots – most of them coming without much resistant – and was literally thanking the heavens after made buckets. Luckily, he’s still making plays; slipping passes under the basket to Antetokounmpo and running fastbreaks. But Bledsoe is now 6-22 from the field through the first two games of the Eastern Conference Finals and is shooting only 24.1 percent from deep during this entire playoff run. He can afford poor shooting nights when everyone else steps up, but these missed corner threes can’t continue against a team such as Golden State.
PlayerResult PointsFG (3FG)Reb.Ast.StealsBlocksTOs+/-Mins.
Eric Bledsoe (MIL)125-103 W vs. TOR83-10 (1-5)57000+729
Jodie Meeks (TOR)103-125 L @ MIL52-5 (1-2)00101-18
TONIGHT IN THE NBA
9:00 (ESPN): Warriors (Cousins-out) @ Trail Blazers (Labissiere, Kanter) (GSW leads 2-0)