I’m not going to get too in depth with this one. Milwaukee took care of business at home in the first two games like they should and a win in Toronto in game three would’ve all but sealed the deal. Instead of coming out like a team that wanted to move on to the next round early, nearly the entire roster was a dud in their time on the court. It took two overtimes, but Toronto closed the game out, 118-112.
The Bucks got a 2-0 lead to start the game on a Giannis layup and they didn’t take another lead until four minutes left in the second overtime. The Raptors lead got as high as eleven and the lead stayed at about five or more for the majority of the game. Neither team played their best, but the Bucks just happened to play one of their worst games of the season, and that started with Giannis.
Giannis ended up fouling out early in the final overtime period, finishing with 12/23/7 in 45 minutes. While he was very active on the boards, he was a disaster on the offensive team. He gave eight of the twenty turnovers Milwaukee had, a number that will always come back to bite you. These turnovers didn’t come all at once. They were spread thoroughly throughout the game and into the overtimes. In a game that comes down to the wire like this, you’ll never be happy with the result when there’s a million giveaways.
The starters for Milwaukee shot 19-69 from the field and 6/29 from deep. Lopez led the group with 16 points on 5-10 and 3-7 from deep and was really the only reason the starting group didn’t go from a D to and F in this one. Even with a deep bench, the Bucks can’t afford to get torched when the starting five for each team are on the court. Giannis, Khris, and Bledsoe are too good to let this kind of performance happen and ultimately it falls on them.
On the flip side, the bench mob was phenomenal again. Brogdon, Hill, Connaughton, and Ilyasova combined for 19/33 from the field and 8/15 from three. This is where it hurts to miss out on a performance like this. No other bench in the NBA has the ability to do this so often and what has made Milwaukee so dominant is the starting five, including Giannis, playing at least equal with the opposition. Only Norman Powell had a good game off the bench for Toronto, normally something the Bucks can handle easily. But with so much bad play compiling, it was too much to dig out of.
Kawhi and Siakam had 36 and 25, respectively. These are normal numbers that the Bucks have come to expect from the primary duo. The issue came from leaving Gasol and Lowry open for too many easy looks. Often Milwaukee would turn it over and leave one of these guys open to choose from a number of options which puts Milwaukee’s defense in a tough position.
Bottom line, this isn’t indicative of the Buck’s season. They played one of their worst games of the season and still took the 58-win Raptors into double overtime. They have an opportunity to make this a soul-crushing 3-1 series advantage on Tuesday at 7:30 p.m.