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The Milwaukee Bucks are looking to move up 3-2 in the Toronto Raptors in Game 5 of the Eastern Conference Finals.
Raptors hoping to keep it rolling into Game 5
Following the first two games of the series, the Raptors found themselves in a quick 0-2 hole with many questions facing them whether they could even make it competitive against the Bucks. They have answered the bell in a major way as they have evened up things up with some strong performances in the last two contests that have put them in the position to reach the NBA Finals. This always saw them had Milwaukee the first back-to-back losses since March and just were the third team this season to beat them twice. The Raptors were able to accomplish that largely behind the stellar play of All-Star forward Kawhi Leonard, who has been their unquestioned leading offensive factor in the series as he’s averaging 29.3 points per contest. In many respects, Leonard has been the lone scorer that they have been able to rely upon through the playoffs putting forth some of the best basketball of his career along the way in his first postseason run with the franchise.
Bang Bang pic.twitter.com/wbKIGRAys9
— Toronto Raptors (@Raptors) May 22, 2019
Toronto has leaned heavily upon his production in each contest. However, it should be noted that Leonard is currently dealing with a leg injury that has notably been limping over the last couple of games as he suffered in Game 3. He has downplayed the significance of the ailment, but it’s something certainly to keep an eye on moving forward in the playoffs. This alone will place more emphasis on the rest of the team picking up the slack offensively as it may have a sizable impact on the level of production that he is able to put forth on the floor. This will especially be crucial on the road in Game 5 as Bucks have been quite a difficult team to handle on their home floor throughout the season, especially in the playoffs suffering just one loss in the first seven games played. This places a huge amount of importance on the play from the Kyle Lowry, Pascal Siakam, Marc Gasol, and Fred Van Vleet to all pick it up in the process. This will determine whether the Raptors can make it three in a row and move toward being on the verge of reaching the NBA Finals after Thursday night.
Bucks aiming to bounce back at home
The Bucks seemingly lost their grip on the Eastern Conference Finals after dropping the last two contests against the Raptors that now have things evened up as they head back home for Game 5 on Thursday night. Milwaukee struggled to get their footing in the past two games with the Raptors seemingly taking a step ahead in both contests with second-half leads that the Bucks were unable to fully overcome. This was certainly the case on Tuesday night as Milwaukee fell into a hole in the second quarter and was unable to work through it with them suffering a double-digit loss in a game that was practically decided before the fourth quarter. However, they did show much reason for optimism as they remained a balanced scoring attack in the process behind the play of Giannis Antetokounmpo. The Raptors have seemingly gone on runs in each contest that the Bucks have been unable to match that has put the series in this position going into a pivotal Game 5.
The best of The Greek Freak in Game 4:
— Milwaukee Bucks (@Bucks) May 22, 2019
Antetokounmpo has had some frustrating moments over that span that saw him airball a pair of free throws on Tuesday night, but he has been able to put up productive outings despite those mental lapses as he had a double-double with 25 points and 10 rebounds. He has clearly been their driving force on both ends of the court as the manner in which the Bucks play runs through him. Meanwhile, the team has had strong production from their supporting cast with All-Star forward Khris Middleton putting up a team-best 30 points in Game 4, which marked his best offensive performance in the series. It has turned out to be a balanced matchup between both teams, but the Bucks have proven to be the more potent offensive squad behind their superstar forward. With the chance to get retake the lead on their home floor, it sets up things for their supporting cast to put forth strong contributions around Antetokounmpo to move them a step closer toward the NBA Finals. The questions that remain for this contest is whether their other talent can take it up a notch on Thursday night in a similar fashion to what they showed in the first games of the series. Given what they previous showed, it is certainly set up for the Bucks to prove that in Game 5.
- Bucks are 4-0 ATS in their last four home games.
- Bucks are 6-0 ATS in their last six games following a straight up loss of more than 10 points.
- Bucks are 4-0 ATS in their last four home games against a team with a winning road record.
- Raptors are 1-4 ATS in their last five road games.
- Raptors are 1-4 ATS in their last five road games against a team with a winning home record.
- Raptors are 1-5 ATS in their last six road games against a team with a home winning % of greater than .600.
The Bottom Line What to bet on this game.
Full-Game Side Bet
The Bucks have faltered a bit over the last two games, but some home cooking should be in order. It’s a chance for them to once again grab control of the series with a strong home performance. Milwaukee has been able to make the last two games competitive, so it’s completely in the realm of things for them to break through in Game 5 on their home floor.
Prediction: Milwaukee -7
Full-Game Total Pick
This is a matchup between two of the league’s most potent offenses. This should lead to plenty of scoring from both sides in a pivotal game in the series. What should also be kept in mind is that the over is 4-1 in the last five meetings in Milwaukee between both teams.
Prediction: Over 217