Title: Raptors have to find way to beat Bucks in minutes Giannis Antetokounmpo sits
Date: May 17, 2019
Original Source: The Athletic
Synopsis: In my latest for The Athletic Toronto, I wrote about a disastrous Game 2 for the Raptors and why they so badly need to win minutes where Giannis Antetokounmpo sits moving forward.
MILWAUKEE – Giannis Antetokounmpo left no doubt right after the opening tip: The Bucks were taking Game 2 against the Raptors and heading to Toronto with a 2-0 lead in the Eastern Conference Finals.
He couldn’t have done it more emphatically, slamming home his own miss with a vicious putback dunk to open the game. Back the other way, he blocked Marc Gasol, then finished an Eric Bledsoe pass for a dunk in transition. The Raptors were on their heels, taking a timeout roughly two minutes into the game, and Antetokounmpo and the Bucks never really looked back. In case there was any doubt with a 23-point halftime edge, he opened the third quarter with an and-one.
Antetokounmpo’s early assertiveness eventually led to a 30-point, 17-rebound, five-assist performance. He was only required to play 35 minutes, in large part because the Bucks won those minutes by 17 and aided by the Bucks keeping up their momentum without him. It poses some difficult questions for the Raptors with just a day to regroup and make this a series back at home. It wasn’t all bad, but as with any one-sided game, it can be difficult to find the positives to build with.